The Greater Hartford Arts Council was formed in 1971 by the corporate community of Hartford, Connecticut to support the growing non-profit arts and cultural sector with operating support grants to the five largest community institutions: the museum, the ballet, the opera, the symphony and the theatre company. Since then, the Arts Council has grown significantly to support more than 150 arts, heritage and cultural organizations across a 34-town region in central Connecticut, providing grants, programs and services designed to leverage the arts to strengthen communities, drive the economy and improve the quality of life of 1.2 million residents.
The Arts Council runs an annual United Arts Campaign, a community-wide fundraising drive that relies on the generous support of corporations and local businesses, government and private foundations and the contributions of individual arts enthusiasts to help keep the arts alive. The Arts Council re-invests United Arts dollars through a range of grant programs—from essential operating support to funding hundreds of programs, projects and events—and provide support, technical assistance, arts education initiatives, advocacy and umbrella marketing to the cultural sector. The Arts Council acts as “investment counselors” for its donors, convening panels of community volunteers to thoroughly review each application for grant funding and make appropriate allocations recommendations to the Board of Directors.
Outside of fundraising and financial support, the Arts Council acts as a key strategic partner and civic institution to utilize the power of the arts to improve cities and towns, celebrate the unique cultural diversity of the region, educate families, create an economic “ripple effect” and make Greater Hartford a vibrant, wonderful place to live, work and visit.