Tag Archives: Greater Hartford Arts Council

‘Go Red’ Bash Raises Green for Hartford Arts Council

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red4red6At first (red) blush, someone would think it was Christmas or St. Valentine’s Day over at The Society Room Wednesday night, where nearly everyone there, all 350 of them,  was sporting crimson, ruby, cherry, fire engine or lipstick red wear.

But it wasn’t one of those traditionally red holidays but rather a way to raise “green” at the annual Greater Hartford Arts Council’s “Big Red for the Arts” fundraising bash.

Besides some really good food courtesy of the Hartford area’s best restaurants including Bricco, Salute, Capital Grille, Dish, Billings Forge and Trumbull Kitchen, great wines like the new awarding-winning Hopkins Vineyard Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, 2011 there was a great vibe that left no doubt that Hartford loves its arts.

“Last year we raised $68,000 and we have a bigger crowd this year,” said council president/CEOred3 Cathy Malloy, sporting the expected red dress. “It’s going to be a good night.”

It was thanks to some serious star power from Connecticut’s favorite celebrity chef Jacques Pepin and wife Gloria, just back a vacation in Mexico. Both dove right into the party spirit that included signing books and posing for pictures with clearly enthusiastic fans.

But what about the arts? was the question posed to the personable and so suave Pepin who is not only an artist in the kitchen but one at the easel at well.

“If I could not cook and could not paint I would be so dull,” he said. “I love both and as far as arts in red2life, it is no life without them.”

Pepin couldn’t help but promote his newest venture, yet another cooking show based on yet another cookbook “Jacques Pepin, Heart and Soul. ”

“I have about 200 recipes I wanted to share so they will be in a cookbook and I am doing a public television show based on the book,” explained Pepin about the new cooking series that will begin shot in California in the fall.  “I don’t know how many more I can do because you know, soon I’ll be 80,” he teased, referring to the landmark birthday in 2015.

The bargain of the night, the sole live auction item, an at-home dinner for 8 prepared by Sheraton Hotel chef  James King.  Valued at $2,000 it went for $1800.

“They got a deal,” remarked Gloria Pepin. “A real good deal.”

For more pictures go here!

Video Below: Attendees Share Favorite Arts Events In Connecticut

ARTini Showcases Hartford’s Art of the Pour

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Maryellen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The art was in the pour at Hartford’s Union Station Friday as the Greater Hartford Arts Council held its 3rd annual “ARTini” fundraiser there.

And it was a sight to behold for guests anxious to start the weekend what with tables and tables of tasty martini creations featuring ciders, spirits, fruit and whipped cream, all concocted by the masters from restaurants including Black-eyed Sallys, City Steam Brewery and Café, Cuvée, Grants, Hot Tomato’s, Max Burger, Rocking Horse Saloon, The Russian Lady, The Tavern Downtown, Vito’s by the Park and Wood-n-Tap.


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

“I just love the names of some of these,” said Andrea Masterson, a Hartford resident who was sipping a Bourbon Melontini from Hot Tomato’s, and trolling the room trying to decide whether her next tasting would be the Farm to Table Pisco Fig Martini from Vito’s or the Sinister Cinnison from Tavern Downtown.

“We see this as a way to attract young people to the arts in Hartford,” explained council spokesperson Tim Yergeau as the Happy hour crowd drifted in. “And it’s a good way to kick off the weekend.”


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The idea must be working.

“We are part of the Young Professional of Travelers group,” explained Allison McKenna, an Ellington resident who works at the downtown insurance company and came with fellow employees. “We have a campaign going on now to get involved in United Way and the arts and that’s what brought us here.”

WDRC “CT’s Got Talent” Taps Taubl Boys As Winners

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talent2Remember the Taubl Family, those seven talented kids and two talented parents who were stars a few years ago on “America’s Got Talent?”

Well the four brothers, James, Jack, Jeremiah and Sam Taubl, proved they still have it winning the WDRC  “Connecticut’s Got Talent Show” at Zendri’s Stillwood Inn in Meriden on Wednesday night.

Calling themselves “The Asberry Boys,” the four siblings performed a Justin Timberlake tune (accompanying themselves with violins and guitars) wowing judges, Broadway star Billy Johnstone, recording star Jeff Pitchell and the far-less-talented Java.talent1

And what did the star-worthy foursome win?

A gig on Fox Ct next month and an even bigger gig in August, opening for “Chicago” at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre.

“This is great, just great,” said Jeremiah Taubl about the opportunities for the four who are all interested in pursuing a professional singing career.

The talent show was the brainchild of WDRC personalities Mary Jones and Brad Davis and featured nine acts chosen from hundreds of video submissions.

talent3And among those nine, another surprise. Remember Greater Hartford Arts Council head and former insurance exec Kate Bolduc?

Well she too is an accomplished songstress and musician, and these days, sporting a new look that is a far cry from the conservative, buttoned-up professional from days gone by.

talent4Ms. Bolduc was rockin’ it in leather and satin and five-inch sequined stilettos. And she looked and sounded great!  

Second runner-up for the evening was Wint Fenderson (definitely best name of the night!) and first runner-up Crissy Grazio.

hangAnd just have to give a shout-out to Bob Eccleston who performed on his “hang drum,” a percussion instrument that looks and sounds like a steel drum.

You learn something new everyday!

Hartford Arts Gets Off To A Good “Go Red” Start!

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gred1gred4gred2gred6gred5gred3When Greater Hartford Arts Council Executive Director Cathy Malloy throws a party she attracts some heavy hitters.

That was the case at the council’s annual “Go Red For the Arts” fundraiser which also serves as a kick-off for the annual council arts campaign.

First of course, was hubby Gov. Dannel Malloy, who, hours earlier, had delivered his “some like it some don’t” state budget proposal. But by Wednesday night, he was “just” a husband.

“Tonight’s about supporting family,” he said, noting that he had changed his traditional green tie for a red one because, well, the night was called “Go Red for the Arts”  and just about everyone there got the hint and donned something red.

But what about that budget proposal that has already ruffled some feathers?

“I’m still standing,” he grinned seemingly ready to take on the naysayers who are ready to begin the annual attack on the plan. “It’s my job,” he continued about the budget proposal that never pleases everyone. “It’s why I was elected.”

Lobbyist Carroll Hughes, with wife and business partner Jean Cronin, was measured in his comments about the budget, carefully  characterizing it “a good starting point,” but pointing out that there are a lot of things in it that are “not favorable.”

“I’m still analyzing it,” said Hartford mayor, Pedro Segarra, who is a little nervous about the proposal to phase out car taxes, a city revenue maker.  “I like the idea of keeping us whole,” he said about the proposed budget. “I just wouldn’t be in favor of anything that could reduce revenues to the city.”

The party at Hartford’s Society Room included a VIP wine tasting reception with food from famed chef Tyler Anderson and his Millwright’s staff. A host of area restaurants including The Kitchen at Billings Forge, Fleming’s, Salute, Pond House Grille, Vinted, Vito’s  and DISH provided small plates ranging from  marinated shrimp to firecracker chocolate pudding, paired with  wine and scotch tastings provided by a variety of vendors.

There was also another kind of money talk when it came to the reason for the party, funding dozens of arts initiatives around the city. And Mrs. Malloy delivered again.

UTC Chairman and CEO Louis Chenevert will be the 2013 campaign chair.

“We expect an excellent year,” said the red-bedecked Malloy. “UTC is one of the largest employers in the state and is on board with our campaign. That is great for us.”

And of course there was the talk of the pending snowstorm, with some suggesting meteorologists were hyping the weather and others taking it seriously.

“I plan to have a really good time tonight, and then stop for groceries and gas on my home to avoid the crowds,” said East Hartford resident Leslie Reiner. “My parents told me about the storm of 1978 and how everyone was taken by surprise,” she said. “I am one of those people who believes the weather reports and plan to be prepared.”

For more pictures go here.