When it comes to making Hartford a lively and interesting region, let's get right to Shakespeare: The play's the thing. So is the exhibit, the music, the dance, the festivals, the heritage sites.
The arts and cultural organizations of Greater Hartford may be unmatched in any other region in the country of similar size. They are an integral part of the Capital area, a pillar of its quality of life, a major selling point in corporate recruiting. In an era of increasing uniformity, when every city has a convention center, an arena and the same chain stores and restaurants, the arts distinguish Hartford.
Many of the institutions are legacies of the corporate bishops of yesteryear. But with the corporate landscape vastly changed, the challenge for the community is to support its arts groups. Thus it is greatly encouraging to see the Greater Hartford Arts Council announce that its 35th annual United Arts Campaign raised a record $4,011,426, a nearly 6.5 percent increase over last year's total.
More than 200 local businesses and 4,000 individuals contributed to the drive, which ran from February through June. Fifty-one organizations held workplace campaigns.
With this kind of support, the arts council is able to offer support to more than 150 arts and heritage organizations, and help with special projects such as the triumphant return of Paul Brown's Monday Night Jazz Series to Bushnell Park. That so many companies and individuals understand and appreciate the role of the arts in the community, and are willing to reach into their wallets, is much ado about something.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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