(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.
(March 12, 2015) Mayor Pedro E. Segarra welcomes fans, visitors and teams to the City of Hartford for the 2015 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, which kicks off today at the XL Center and ends Sunday, March 15, 2015. Eleven restaurants in Downtown Hartford will serve as the home base for all teams competing in the tournament and several others are offering discounts for ticket holders. Community and business volunteers will join Hartford Business Improvement District Ambassadors to greet visitors and answer questions throughout the area.
“We’re proud to welcome all the fans and athletes to Hartford for the tournament. Our downtown restaurants are ready for you and I encourage everyone to explore our Capital City, and, above all, to have fun. Although we’ll be rooting for our UConn Huskies, we wish all the teams the best of luck.”
“A lot of work went into planning by our partners including Global Spectrum, Hartford Parking Authority, XL Center, the BID, CRDA, CT Convention & Sports Bureau, ConnDOT, Hartford Police, MetroHartford Alliance, Hartford Hospitality Task Force, CTTransit, LAZ Parking and our Marketing & Events staff. I especially want to thank our Public Works staff, the AAC and UConn. We look forward to hosting the tournament for many years to come,” said Mayor Segarra.