When 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.