(March 19, 2015) The Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge is in the final phase and representatives from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) are at City Hall this week meeting with the finalists and judges. On Friday, the City of Hartford will host a presentation led by Jaison Morgan, managing principal of The Common Pool and designer of the SC2 Challenge. Mr. Morgan and EDA representatives will discuss the SC2 Hartford Challenge, as well as the value of using competitions to spur innovation and enhance the quality of proposals. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.
On Thursday, March 26, the city will host a bus tour to present current economic development activities and areas of impact for the SC2 Challenge. The goal is to provide SC2 Hartford teams with an overview of the broader economic development landscape. Space on the bus tour is limited.
“The SC2 Challenge is a creative approach to economic development and urban revitalization that draws talent from within our community. I’m proud that our City is part of this process and look forward to seeing the winning plans,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.
The SC2 Challenge is a global competition designed to invite new ideas for economic development, business incubation and community acceleration. The challenge is a key component of the Obama Administration’s SC2 initiative launched in 2011 to help strengthen neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions around the country. Hartford finalists will present their projects to the public on April 8, 2015 and to the judges in early May. Winners will be announced publicly the first week of June. A $500,000 cash prize is available to the best plan that meets the needs of local leaders. Other finalists will receive significant cash prizes based on the quality of their submissions.
Learn more at https://hartford.sc2prize.com.
(March 19, 2015) – The City of Hartford is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Business Development Grant for Artists and the Creative Industry and submissions for the Creative Youth Essay contest for middle school and high school students. The Business Development grant is designed to support jobs in the creative economy. Funded through a federal Community Development Block Grant, the grant will award more than $100,000 to Hartford-based artists for business related operational costs and equipment purchases. The Creative Youth Essay contest is open to all students in 7th to 10th grade from Hartford public, private or magnet schools. Submissions must be original essays on subjects that explore art, culture and their impact on local communities. This is the third year that the City’s Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs Division has sponsored the contest with past participation numbering over 85 entries.
(March 19, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that he will co-chair the National League of Cities (NLC) 2016 Presidential Election Task Force, charged with raising the visibility of issues that are important to cities during the presidential election cycle. The bipartisan task force will educate candidates and campaign staff on what cities expect from a new administration, highlight the types of federal partnerships that will help cities thrive and position the NLC as the go-to resource on city issues. Mayor Segarra joins 16 other city officials and state municipal league executive directors on the task force. The selection was announced earlier this month at the 50th Annual Congressional City Conference, where 2,000 city officials and delegates convened to advocate for city priorities in Congress and the administration.
“Cities drive the majority of economic activity in our country. Ensuring the financial health and stability of Hartford, along with the education and success of our young people, helps advance the city and the surrounding region. Shining a light on the needs of Hartford and other urban areas during the upcoming presidential election and seeing that those needs are met will propel the country forward,” said Mayor Segarra. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to be a part of this important call to action.”
Ralph Becker, President of the National League of Cities and mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, said more than 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas.
“It is imperative that the issues cities face be at the forefront in the 2016 presidential election. Our goal is to ensure that future Administrations understand the needs of America’s cities and support the policies and partnerships that enable cities, and the nation, to grow and prosper,” Becker said.
The 2016 Presidential Election Task Force will lead NLC’s participation at national political conventions and in the transition to the next administration. For a full list of task force members visit: http://bit.ly/1CvV77T
(March 13, 2015) – Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today announced that Hartford’s “Subject Matter,” a temporary public art project proposal by artist Nari Ward, is among 12 finalists chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies out of a pool of 237 to compete for up to $1 million as part of its new Public Art Challenge program. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government.
“Hartford’s project Subject Matter will be a series of community portraits and neighborhood processions that will honor the City’s past and future,” said Mayor Segarra. “I’m proud that Hartford was selected out of so many other cities to compete for this award. I also want to acknowledge the collaboration of our project team, Real Art Ways, Community Solutions, and the Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs (MECA) Division, which made this achievement possible. It shows the kind of vision, talent and inspiration we have here.”
As part of the project, an original 1920’s-30’s Hartford goldsmith’s workbench acquired by Mr. Ward from the Capitol Salvage Company will be completely gilded in gold. The workbench, symbolizing achievement, value, history and labor, all culturally shared traits inherent today and in the 19th century when M. Swift & Sons Company’s gold leaf manufacturing was founded in Hartford, will anchor a series of neighborhood processionals at 77 locations throughout the city that will include community portraits aimed at generating conversations about local issues and honoring citizen participation.
The Bloomberg Public Art Challenge is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. At least three winning cities will be selected in May to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. More information about the Public Art Challenge, including links to images and maps can be found here.