Uncategorized

Catalyzing the Arts: Hartford Proud Drum and Drill

 

The Arts Catalyst Cohort Program is an opportunity for nonprofit arts organizations in Greater Hartford to bring their organization to the next level of innovation alongside peers of the arts community. Fresh off of their performance at Big Red, I had a chat with Executive Director Terry Starks of Hartford’s Proud Drum and Drill to learn more about their ambitions and goals for the year and beyond.

Mission

Hartford’s Proud is a non-profit with a mission to integrate sound, movement and artistry in the overall development of youth and expose youth to bigger and greater opportunities so that they excel academically, socially, and artistically throughout life.

“We started in 2013 with 9 students, but now have more than 100 students participating! We’ve been so lucky to have students graduate, then come back to help with competitions and become mentors to younger members to help encourage them to be the best they can be.“
Motivation

The motivation behind the start of HPDD came from a need in the community to have something for children and teens to do to keep them safe and involved in something positive.

“I’d been doing community outreach for Community Solutions. We had a survey that we were giving out and 100% of those surveyed said that the biggest concern amongst people in the community was safety and 87% of them said that kids had nothing to do. I met a group of students that I surveyed who’d already formed a small group and they just wanted a space to practice and be themselves. Before I knew it, I had them practicing in my backyard.”

Inspiration

“They love to be seen doing something positive.”

Hartford Proud Drum and Drill is very much a family that are not just inspired by being a positive force in the community; “We are inspired by each other! I know the kids definitely inspire me. Just seeing them smile and working together is enough for me to push them and it motivates me as well.” The students also have a creative hand in the choreography and music. “The kids are always coming up with something new. They one hundred percent are involved in everything that we create and do.”

Big Dreams

Hartford Proud Drum and Drill has many dreams and aspirations. The kids have diverse interests and personal career goals with some wanting to be dancers, doctors and architects. One thing they all want is to continue their education and to continue making an impact

“As an organization, the goal is stability, consistency and occupancy.  The kids themselves have all kinds of things they want to do. Some of them want to keep dancing; I have a few that want to be doctors and veterinarians. They definitely all want to go to college; they want to do everything!”

“We compete all over. They take this super seriously down south, it’s a great way for the kids to see what’s out there. We have another competition coming up in Delaware.”  Starks says, ‘Whether they win or lose, they win more than they lose! Sportsmanship is very important to me and the parents.”

See for Yourself

HPDD is getting ready for their Stomp the Violence Dance Drum and Drill Competition on May 26th at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Tickets are $10 – $15 at the door!

Why Arts Catalyst?

“We are very interested in learning about how we can better support our organization so that we can serve even more students”

 

Read more

Open Studio Hartford, Hartford Harvest Market Receive Funding through Hartford Events Grants Program

Hartford, CT (October 27, 2017) — The Greater Hartford Arts Council is proud to award funding to 15 Hartford events taking place between October 2017 — March 2018 through its Hartford Events Grants program. These grants support free, family-friendly concerts, festivals and exhibits that draw community engagement and showcase Hartford’s cultural vibrancy. Hartford Events Grants are supported by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

“Hartford Events Grants make possible dozens of free community-wide events in our capital city,” says Cathy Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. “These events showcase the creativity, innovation and cultural diversity that make our community such an exciting place to live, work and visit.”

Recent events supported by Hartford Events Grants include Night Fall and Eversource Hartford Marathon. The following events will take place in November through the end of the year:

Open Studio Hartford — November 11–12, 2017

Presented by Artists in Real Time, Open Studio Hartford is a free, city-wide event and is the largest collaboration of artists, arts organizations, and events in the capital city.

7th Annual Hartford Harvest Market — November 18, 2017

Hosted by Knox, Inc., the 7th annual Hartford Harvest Market will collaborate with local organizations, artists, community leaders, farmers, vendors, and community gardeners to produce a full day of family fun. Activities include live musical performances, local environmental art, crafts, Hartford-grown produce, and story hour for the children.

A Kwanzaa Celebration — December 16, 2017

A Kwanzaa Celebration at the Artists Collective is a free event that exposes a broad community to the African-American traditions of Kwanzaa through music, dance, and a key-note speaker.

For a full list of the 2017 Hartford Events Grants award recipients, please visit LetsGoArts.org/HartfordEventsGrants.

About the Greater Hartford Arts Council

The Greater Hartford Arts Council helps to improve lives and transform communities through the arts. We inspire all people to participate and invest in the arts in their region, so that together, we can create a thriving, vibrant community that is united by art. To learn more about Arts Council programs and services, as well as our United Arts Campaign, visit LetsGoArts.org or follow us @letsgoarts_org on Twitter.

Read more

5 Ways To Get Involved On #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, returns on November 28 and the Arts Council needs YOUR help!  Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference this #GivingTuesday:

  1. Donate to the Greater Hartford Arts Council. Your contribution provides critical support to more than 150 local arts organizations, helping to foster diversity and equal access to the arts for all people. Give directly at LetsGoArts.org/SeasonOfGiving.
  2. Attend our Yoga & Mandalas workshop on #GivingTuesday, hosted by our partner Starr Yoga West Hartford, to experience the benefits of art on mental and physical health. All proceeds from the event benefit the Arts Council. Spots are still available, but not for long – RSVP at LetsGoArts.org/Create!
  3. Share your #MyGivingStory on our blog! Have you supported the arts  over the past year? We’d love to hear why the arts matter to you! Snap an #UNSelfie to social media or write a guest post for our blog on the importance of the arts. Download the #UNselfie sheet below and fill out:
  1. Host a Facebook Fundraiser! The best fundraisers are shared between friends. Harness the power of your social networks and raise money for the Arts Council on #GivingTuesday by hosting your own fundraiser on Facebook. Click here to get started.
  2. Spread the word! “Donate” your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post on #GivingTuesday to inspire your audience to give give back to our community and support the arts.

We appreciate your support! No matter how you show your support, you’re helping to improve lives and transform our community through the arts, right here in Greater Hartford!

Read more

Local Arts Centers Receive Funding for Employment Opportunities, Community Projects

Hartford, CT (October 3, 2017) — The Greater Hartford Arts Council is proud to award funding to four community arts centers in the greater Hartford region through the Arts Center Catalyst program. The recipients include: Art League of New Britain, Farmington Valley Arts Center, Southington Community Cultural Arts, and Windsor Art Center. These funds, which are being awarded following the completion of a 1 year organizational goal setting and professional development program for art center leaders provided by the Arts Council, will support general operating, employment, and capacity-building projects that achieve organizational goals.

“We recognize the important impact of community arts centers in improving quality of life for residents in our region,” says Cathy Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. “These organizations are gathering points for each of their communities where children take dance lessons, seniors enjoy a variety of art classes, and all people come together to express their creativity. Both the professional development and the unrestricted funding our Catalyst program is providing will help these organizations best serve their communities.

Here are the project goals for each of the recipients:

Art League of New Britain

Art League of New Britain will launch a new discussion series with the help of Business Volunteers for the Arts consultant, Stephanie Glasgow of Day Pitney. The series will connect the theme of each visual art exhibition to a salon-style discussion of relevant current events and/or live performance.

Farmington Valley Arts Center

Farmington Valley Arts Center will hire a social media consultant to assist with marketing efforts to help them reach new audiences. They will also expand their gallery programming to include a full array of artistic experiences such as storytelling, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations.

Southington Community Cultural Arts

Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA) will use funding to employ a part-time assistant at the center to support the Executive Director with developing a donor appreciation program, volunteer coordination, and expansion of the All Access Program.

Windsor Art Center

Windsor Art Center will hire consultants to assist with building a database to grow, audience, revenue and members, as well as strengthening their social media presence.

Read more