Awards / Grant Opportunities

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MECA Community Arts Grant 2014 - 2015

MECA Community Arts Grant 2014 – 2015 (application & guidelines)

Business Development Grant for Artists & The Creative Industry

The City of Hartford is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 – 2015 Business Development Grant for Artists & The Creative Industry. This grant is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and created to support Hartford based individual artists and microenterprise businesses in the creative economy to increase their income and capacity to produce new work.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

Joshua Westbrook, (The Brother Crisp)

Marissa Blaszko (Kaleidoscope)

Maria Lino (The Latino Way Media)

Roger Castonguay (Photography)

Balam Soto (New Media Artist)

Adam Lenz (Composer)

Sean Taylor (Visual Jedi, LLC)

Lee Mixashawn Rozie (Musician)

Michael Anderson (Musician)

Keith Bolling Jr. (Designer)

Andy Hart (Photographer)

David J. Carrier (Santa Connection)

David Borawski (Artist)

Kyle Grimm (Composer)

Colby A. Russo (Designer)


Artists Take on City Utility Boxes. The City of Hartford invites Greater Hartford artists to make art of overlooked urban forms.

Read our MECA OUTSIDE THE BOX Application Guidelines, complete and return the MECA OUTSIDE THE BOX Application to apply.

MECA Business Development Grant

Arts-centric business and individual artists play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy by enhancing a city's vitality, spending money locally, revitalizing neighborhoods, and employing Hartford residents. MECA's Business Development Grants for Artists and the Creative Industry are designed to foster these businesses and individuals within the City of Hartford to help reap those benefits.

Read our MECA Business Development Application Guidelines for more information, and complete and return the MECA Business Development Application to apply.

Creative Youth Essay Award 2014

Creative youth essay passed for 2014. Award ceremony to be held April 25th at City Hall.

Contest Objective:
The City of Hartford, Marketing, Events, & Cultural Affairs Division (MECA) “Creative Youth Essay Award” supports creative energy among city youth, and encourages students in all disciplines (music, theatre, fine art, performing arts, literary, photography, etc.) to submit original essays on subjects exploring art, culture & its impact in their community.

Participation & Eligibility/Ineligibility:

  • All students Grades 7th – 12th 
  • Hartford students attending any public, private, or magnet school, in or outside of Hartford are eligible.
  • Non-residents are not able to apply.  Unless attending a Hartford based School.

Youth interested in participating will have to submit a one page essay elaborating on the following questions:

  • How does art make a difference in your life?
  • Describe at least one example of art you see in Hartford.
  • Describe the art form that is most special to you.
  • If you could, how would you give back to the community and impact others through art?


  • All entries must be typed on standard size paper 8 ½” X 11” (entries submitted on smaller or larger paper than specified size will be eliminated.   If emailing your essay –please save it as a Microsoft word document with your last name and name of the school as the file name.  Example: Thomas Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • All entries must have complete information at the top of the paper: (student’s name, complete home mailing address, school, teacher’s name, grade, and age).
  • Essays should be a minimum of 300 words & not exceed 800 words.
  • Essay must be entrant’s original work. Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.

Judging Criteria:
Entries will be evaluated on the basis of content and creativity. Please note that each of the questions must be answered.  A panel of 4 judges comprising of MECA staff, representative of a Hartford Arts Organization & a member of the City of Hartford’s Commission on Cultural Affairs will be established to judge the entries.


  • Grades: 7th – 8th (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • Grades: 9th – 10th  (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • Grades: 11th – 12th (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • Grades 7th – 12th participating students will be acknowledged with a certificate.

Winners will be announced Friday, April 11, 2014. An award reception will be held recognizing all winners Friday, April 25, 2014 at City Hall Atrium, 550 Main St., Hartford, CT - 5pm to 6:30pm. Pizza & Refreshments will be served and we encourage all participants and their families to attend.

Deadline Monday, March 10 2014, 5:00 P.M. All essay submissions may be mailed and postmarked, or sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Creative Youth Essay” or hand delivered during business hours 8am – 5pm.

Please Mail or Hand Deliver Essays to:

c/o Andres Chaparro
Department of Development Services, MECA 
250 Constitution Plaza– 4th floor
Hartford, CT  06103


If you have any questions, please contact the Marketing, Events, & Cultural Affairs Office (MECA):  
Andres Chaparro, 860-757-4895, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

All entries must be received or postmarked no later than Monday, March 10, 2014, 5:00 P.M.

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Marketing, Events, and Cultural Affairs Division
250 Constitution Plaza
4th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM