© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hartford Foundation Convenes Group To Seek Out More Opportunities For Artists Of Color

Hartford's Artists Collective
Shana Sureck

A group of Black and Latino artists will convene today for the first time to find ways to support and diversify Greater Hartford’s arts community.

The Artists of Color Advisory Group was formed in response to a study by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Its2019 Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Studyconcluded that the region had a wealth of diverse artists but a limited amount of opportunities for them.

“So we got the study back, and saw the data that there were very few people of color on the boards, and in the high-level positions, in the arts community,” said Jacqueline Coleman, senior education investments officer for HFPG, “so we thought the next step was to bring in artists of color to see if this sounded accurate to them, and to figure out why this was happening.”

Late last year, HFPG did just that, inviting dozens of artists to an open discussion. Coleman said a lot of ideas came forth in that meeting.

“One of the takeaways from that meeting was ‘whatever you do, Hartford Foundation, please make sure that you are not doing it to us, that you are doing it with us,’ down to the point of designing what that might look like,” explained Coleman. “They felt like ‘please don’t tell us here is what we are going to do now for you guys,’ and dump the money out there. They wanted a say. If we are going to invest dollars to help them in their community, they wanted to be involved.”

Coleman says the idea for the formation of the new Artists of Color Advisory Group came out of the larger meeting. The newly formed group consists of 14 arts leaders and artists from varied backgrounds and disciplines in the Hartford area, as well as representatives from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Yolande Spears, The Bushnell’s senior vice president of education and a member of the advisory group, said one of the areas she will focus on is training.

“I just think there are opportunities for those artists who want to do arts administration, or arts management, or grant writing; if there’s something they feel they have an interest in, then let’s think about how we get them engaged in those organizations,” said Spears. “Because if you don’t get inside these organizations and understand it, then you can’t learn.”

The first meeting of the advisory group will aim to create goals and a support structure for artists of color, as well as establish a timeline and governing guidelines for how the group will operate.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.