Tag Archives: Greater Hartford Arts Council

GHAC Celebrates A Good Year, Gets Ready For Another

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artsc1It was one big arts party over at Spotlight Theatres Wednesday as the Greater Hartford Arts Council  celebrated a successful 2014 year that included its $2.7 million campaign,  and said ‘hello’ to its 2015 fundraising plan.
Besides naming the Phoenix as campaign chair for 2015 at the annual celebration, it was also time to say goodbye to its Director of Communications & Donor Relations Tim Yergeau, who is joining Civic Mind, a Hartford marketing and branding company.
Yergeau, who has been with the council for four years, received a special shout-out from executive director Cathy Malloy during the program that was followed by a party in the theater’s main lobby and bistro.
For Malloy, there will be two campaigns going on in her life, one for the council and the one for her artsc4husband, Democratic incumbent Governor Dan Malloy who is running for reelection.
“His thing,” she said smiling when asked about juggling a couple of campaigns at the same time. “That won’t really get going until fall.”
artsc2It seemed anyone who was anyone with the arts attended the event including a more relaxed than usual including fresh-off-a-motorcycle ride Bushnell CEO David Fay and Michael Stotts, managing director at Hartford Stage.
“I’m always relaxed,” grinned Stotts adding that it was a little less hectic than usual at the theater because of the season break and theater renovations that will mean a new look in the fall.
“New paint, new seats, new carpeting, you won’t recognize the house,” he said.
artsc3Also doing a bit of celebrating was newly-elected council president, Atty. Moe Banks.
“My passion is to get what we need to put instrument in the hands of more Hartford students,” he said explaining his plans during his tenure.
Founding executive director Dollie McLean took the opportunity to give a thank you shout out to the council, noting the non-profit she began with her husband, celebrated musician Jackie McLean, and is responsible for a lot of what the venue has achieved over the decades.

“If it were not for the Arts Council, we could have not maintained a program,” said McLean. “And we are thankful for that.”

Greater Hartford Arts Council Dines For Education

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ars22Farm-to-table dinner season got a head start in Hartford as the Greater Hartford Arts Council held its annual “Farm to Table” fundraising dinner at Max Downtown Sunday.

“These are the stars of the show, this is who you should be talking to,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proudly promoting college students Brandon Couloute from Central Connecticut State University and Gina Salvatore, a student at University of Connecticut, who both benefited from Neighborhood Studios program.

The dinner, which this year included wine paired courses including March Farm’s tomato salad, Secchiaroli Farm’s pork presse, Marwin Farm’s stuffed duck beast and Pell Farm’s strawberry semifreddo, raises money for the council’s art programs offered in cooperation with institutions including The Amistad center for Art & Culture, the Mark Twain House 7 Museum and Real Art ways.

arts11And while the reason was arts, there was talk of the big topics of the week, a minor league ball club being wooed from New Britain to  Hartford.

And while the governor has taken a “hands off” attitude when it comes to the controversial negotiating  being crafted with current New Britain Rock Cats owner, Josh Solomon, there were guests who don’t care about the politics of the deal, they just want it to happen.

“I am very happy about a baseball team coming to Hartford, said Rebecca Dalessio who came to the fundraising dinner with husband, Harry Dalessio.  “I think it will be great.”

Happy ‘Hours’ And The Arts Rule This Weekend Hartford

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The first week of June brings more than signs of summer, the end of the school year and the arrival of prime wedding and prom season.

It brings some seriously good get-togethers at some of the Hartford area’s favorite places.calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]

Head over to the Wadsworth Atheneum Thursday and get your groove on at is “First Thursday” party. The 70’s themed social from 5 to 9 p.m. includes hustle dance lessons, a 70’s band, body art, a disco-ball craft activity, the film “American Hustle” and a new VIP lounge. For more information go here.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will honor the 2014 recipients of the Student Stowe Prizes at the Big Tent Jubilee Thursday evening on the Stowe Center lawn.  Madeline Sachs of University of Chicago Laboratory High School (Chicago, IL) and Donya Nasser of St. John’s University (New York, NY) will receive their awards from Teresa Younger, newly appointed president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.  For more information go here. hbs

On Friday, head over to the New Britain Museum of American Art for its “First Friday” soiree beginning at 5:30 p.m. The R&B band, Strutt, will provide the sounds and there will also be appetizers, beverages, a poetry reading and more. For more information go here.

Attention, lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms, get your fill of jousting, fortune-telling, fencing andthrones more at the CT Science Center’s “Liquid Lounge” get-together Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. The 21+ party is going back to  the age of knights, fair maidens and dragons and if you dress as your favorite medieval or Game of Thrones character, you get a chance to win glittering prizes. Food, entertainment, hands on science and more are always the features at this  downtown bash. For more information go here.

As we mentioned, it’s not all about that end of the day unwinding this week.

MTH Exerior.28.25.04Head over to the Bushnell Saturday night and get your Dan Brown fix. The best-selling author of books including “The Da Vinci Code” and “Inferno” is doing a program there thanks to The Mark Twain House & Museum. The evening als includes a meet-and-greet with the famed author for those with VIP tickets. For more information go here.

On Sunday, it’s off to Max Downtown where the Greater Hartford Arts Council will hold its annual wine dinner fundraiser benefiting its summer arts program. For more information on the wine-paired dinner and evening of fun  go here.

And in case you forgot, Sunday is Broadway’s Tony Award day and Hartford Stage and itsgentguide “Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder” is a front runner. The Stage will be holding a  Hartford party at The Society Room where guests will watch the televised show in New York and keep their collective fingers crossed that Hartford’s own play will be picking up its deserved Great White Way honors. For more information go here.

‘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.