As one of the hottest and most humid summers in recent history comes to a close, we’re looking forward to capping off an incredible season of Summer in the City with Hartford Pride! Learn more about CLARO INC, the organization behind the festival and what its president, Charlie Ortiz, is most looking forward to on September 8.
GHAC: How long has the Celebration been in existence?
CO: Hartford Pride is a committee of CLARO INC. (Connecticut Latino Achieving Rights & Opportunities) a 501 C3 non profit organization. CLARO INC., which was established in 2003 and was formerly a committee of Love Makes A Family. In 2013, the committee of Hartford Capital City Pride was born when Mayor Segarra requested the support from CLARO INC. to lead the committee with the support of the City to reenergize Pride. This is our 4th annual event, last year we had our biggest turn out of 6,000 people attending PrideFest. (www.hartfordpride.com)
GHAC: How has the event grown or changed over the years?
CO: Each year the event continues to grow with a growing attendance and each year we aim to make it more inclusive. We also have a magazine OUTINCT.com that is our safe place for the LGTBQ+ community.
GHAC: Why do you think people keep coming back?
CO: In part there is a loyal group of “old timers” who support the event this year. Also we are making an effort to have a stronger connection with other LGBTQ+ organizations.
GHAC: What is your favorite part(s) of the event?
CO: At a certain time during the day we reach our maximum attendance and seeing so many members of the LGTBQ+ community and their supporters taking part in the event is definitely the climax and taking pictures of supporters and the community. One of the objectives is to bring the community together, so for me and the committee, having a good turnout is the payoff.
GHAC: Why do you think this event important to Hartford, and what makes it a Hartford event?
CO: Hartford and its residents have a strong history of supporting LGTBQ+ rights and marriage equality. Following our tradition of being the Constitution State, this festival celebrates our history and role in LGTBQ+ equality. The event also serves as a place to share resources, network and support our youth.
GHAC: What does the future of the event look like – what are you looking forward to?
CO: A celebration of diversity that is entertaining, provides an opportunity to celebrate the LGTBQ+ community, and offers an opportunity for the entire community to learn of resources available. To offer our youth a safe place to freely express and celebrate their identities.
We hope you enjoyed this year’s Summer in the City as much as we did, and we already can’t wait until next year! Don’t forget to tag us on social media:
Summer in the City: #summerinhartford
Greater Hartford Arts Council: #letsgoarts
Summer in the City, which is made possible by United Technologies, is a program of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Hartford.