Arts Lifestyle

West Hartford Arts and Cultural Organizations Receive Grants from the State

Noah Webster House & West. Hartford Historical Society. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford organizations were awarded more than $120,000 in grants from CT Humanities.

By Ronni Newton

CT Humanities recently awarded $8.5 million in Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants to organizations throughout the state, including 16 that are physically located in or are based in West Hartford.

West Hartford’s arts and cultural organizations received a total of $121,600 in grant funding that was awarded during this cycle to 723 cultural organizations in 146 towns throughout the state. The Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants are part of $30.7 million allocated by the state legislature to CT Humanities during the 2022/2023 biennium and approved by Governor Ned Lamont to assist in recovery from the pandemic. The grants are also intended to assist organizations “maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public, connect K-12 teachers and students to strong humanities and arts content, and improve their information technology and digital infrastructure,” a news release states.

“These grants will play a strong role in supporting West Hartford’s arts, historical and cultural organizations, and I’m grateful to CT Humanities for supporting our community,” state Sen. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) said in a statement. “With this extra funding, these groups will be able to continue educating our youth and entertaining us all.”

In the previous round of funding, 632 organizations received grants that “benefitted job retention and growth, supported K-12 education and aided technology and digital improvements,” according to CT Humanities. In that round, roughly 88% of the organizations used the funds to hire or retain employees. The most recent cycle resulted in a 14% increase in the number of organizations receiving awards.

The largest grant to a West Hartford organization in 2022/2023, $18,500, was awarded to Ballet Theatre Company. “BTC sees a bright future for professional ballet in Connecticut and is proud to offer dynamic programs and performances to make the art enjoyable and accessible to everyone. This funding is key to this work,” Artistic and Managing Director Stephanie Dattellas said after learning of the grant. Uses of the grant include support of sensory-friendly ballet, enhancement of DEI initiatives, and improving administrative staff capacity.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society received $13,300, West Hartford Art League received $12,000, and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford received $8,300 in Cultural Fund Operating Support Grants.

Other West Hartford-based organizations to receive grants in this round of funding include:

  • Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Hartford $6,800
  • Art Museum, University of Saint Joseph $5,000
  • Connecticut Family Theatre, Inc. $7,500
  • Connecticut Summerfest $6,100
  • Hartford Opera Theater $5,300
  • Music at the Red Door $6,200
  • Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc $5,000
  • The Children’s Museum, Inc. $5,000
  • The Sounding Board $5,500
  • West Hartford Community Theater $5,700
  • West Hartford Women’s Chorale $5,800
  • Women Composers Festival of Hartford $5,600

“Through this investment, Connecticut’s leaders recognize the integral role arts and culture play in our state’s economy, in the lives of our residents, and in making our communities thriving places to live and work,” Jason Mancini, executive director at CT Humanities, said in a news release.

“The CT Cultural Fund is so much more than a cash award to Connecticut’s arts, humanities, museum, and cultural sector,” Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation & Museums said in a statement. “The fund is a statement of support by the state for the organizations that make our communities more vibrant and our economy stronger. It’s a tangible guarantee from the Office of the Arts and CT Humanities that there is a meaningful, accessible, collaborative network of wrap-around support for the sector.”

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