DOUGLAS C. EVANS, Executive Director
Established - 1965
Statutory authority Ė CGS Chapter 181
Central office - 755 Main Street,
One Financial Plaza,
Hartford, CT 06103
Number of employees - 13
Recurring operating expenses - $791,416
Organizational structure - Appointed Commission members and professional staff
†††† Recognizing the essential value of the arts and artists in the cultural, educational, social, and economic vitality of Connecticut, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts supports artistic excellence and fosters cultural development through the arts; and increases public understanding of, participation in, and support for the arts in Connecticut.
†††† Commission on the Arts programs continued to successfully aid the development of Connecticutís arts industry, facilitate the creation and presentation of artistsí work, expand the accessibility of the arts in underserved regions of the state and raise the publicís awareness of the arts. In fiscal year 2002:
∑ The Organization Challenge Grant Program provided matching grants to 145 Connecticut non-profit organizations to conduct cultural programs that foster artistic development, broaden public participation in the arts and expand the role of the arts in education.
∑ The Arts Partnerships for Stronger Communities initiative awarded matching funds for 13 cultural organizations to develop collaborative projects with local organizations aimed at enriching community life. Arts groups partnered with social service agencies, health care facilities, a senior center, schools and libraries.
∑ Artist Fellowships were awarded to 27 of the stateís finest visual artists working in the disciplines of crafts, digital art, painting and works on paper, photography and sculpture/installation. Funds are used to support artistsí career development and enable them to devote time to the creation of new works.
∑ Arts Presentation Grants, designed to broaden access to the arts, were awarded to 263 schools and nonprofit organizations.† These groups presented over 1,500 performances, classroom residencies and workshops conducted by members of the Commissionís Performing Artists and Master Teaching Artists Directory.
∑ Interest earnings from the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund were distributed among 91 state cultural organizations. The Fund was established by the Legislature to stimulate and encourage the development of private sector funding resources and ensures the long-term stability of Connecticut's arts industry.
∑ Professional development activities of 18 non-profit organizations and one outstanding arts administrator were supported through the Arts Management Technical Assistance Program, and the Elizabeth Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellowship respectively.
∑ The Urban Artists Initiative continued to provide urban-based artists and organizations with the tools to professionally thrive and enrich the cultural life of their communities. The program expanded to Southeastern Connecticut this year, providing 43 participants with professional development training over a 16-week period. Additionally, 34 artists and organizations were given modest grants, as well as exhibition and performance opportunities.
∑ Twenty-four schools serving 12,500 students participated in the Commissionís HOT Schools„ Program, an innovative educational model that promotes learning in, about and through the arts in a democratic setting. The agency sponsored a week-long HOT Schools Summer Institute where over 200 educators learned effective techniques and innovative strategies for teaching through the arts while artists worked with schools to develop curriculum-integrated residencies.
∑ Three community partnership teams in Bridgeport, Middletown and Old Lyme were awarded funding through the Arts and After-School Demonstration Initiative to design and implement after-school programs that offered substantive arts experiences for middle-school youth.
∑ The Commission received funding through the State Department of Educationís Interdistrict Grant Program to conduct the Cultural Tapestries Project. Schools in six towns participated in the project, designed to improve studentsí cultural literacy, a key workforce skill for the 21st century.
∑ The Commissionís Internet website continued to be a cost-effective means of disseminating information on agency activities, recording over 106,000 user sessions, a 41percent increase over the previous year. The site was expanded to include a number of downloadable publications, grant guidelines and application forms.††††††††††††
∑ Connecticut Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provided a variety of free legal services to qualified non-profit arts organizations and artists. A law intern handled 130 requests for information, and public workshops were offered on the topics of copyright and contract law.
∑ Eight major new public artworks were installed at state government building sites as part of the Art in Public Spaces program. Over 35 additional projects proceeded through various stages of development during the year.
∑ Six exhibitions featuring artwork by Artist Fellowship recipients were held at the Commissionís Art Gallery, located at the agencyís downtown Hartford office.† Five exhibitions of work by Connecticut artists were presented in the Visual Arts Showcases at Bradley Airport.
∑ The Visual Arts Slide Bank, a library of images of works by over 2,000 visual artists and craftspeople from Connecticut and across the nation, served as a resource for public art projects, and for people seeking to commission, exhibit or purchase artwork.
∑ Over 180 arts advocates attended Arts Day at the Capitol in March to express to lawmakers the critical need for public funding of the stateís non-profit arts industry. Activities included information sessions, performances and the presentation of Distinguished Advocates for the Arts Awards to 15 individuals in recognition of their efforts to foster cultural development and support for the arts.
∑ Governorís Arts Awards were presented in June to sculptor Casimer Michalczyk, Chamber Music Plus and the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre.
∑ The Commission embarked on a comprehensive process to formulate a business plan for the future. A number of public input activities were conducted to provide a knowledge base from which to build the plan, including regional forums, focus groups and a statewide conference.