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News From

State Senator

John Fonfara

Deputy Majority Leader

Representing Hartford & Wethersfield

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Contact: Dave Steuber
860-240-8616

April 27, 2012

Hartford Senators Announce Grant for Repairs at Artists’ Collective

Today State Senators Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield) and John Fonfara (D-Hartford) announced the State Bond Commission’s approval of funds for renovations and improvements to the facilities of the Artists’ Collective, located on Albany Avenue in Hartford.

“The Artists’ Collective is one of the most important cultural institutions in Hartford, helping bring the arts to at-risk youth and people of all ages. The beneficial impact this has on the community cannot be overstated, and I am very pleased that the state will be helping to renovate the Collective’s facilities,” said Senator Coleman.

“As Senate Chair of the Bonding Sub-Committee, I was very disturbed when I learned of the significant infrastructure problems facing the Artist’s Collective. For too long, they have had to keep things together on a shoestring. I am glad that we will be able to help rectify this situation,” said Senator Fonfara.

At its meeting this morning, the State Bond Commission approved $600,000 in funding for renovations to the Artist Collective’s facility. The project will address pressing structural problems on the interior and exterior of the building that are in need of repair. This will include replacement of rooftop HVAC units, installation of new windows and doors, flooring repairs, exterior masonry work, and energy efficiency improvements.

The Artists’ Collective is an historic institution located in the Upper Albany neighborhood of Hartford. The facility accommodates the surrounding community through instructional workshops, cultural training, public performances, student showcases, cultural celebrations, and various public/private events.

The Collective is a unique facet of the Hartford community and remains the one of the only multi-arts and cultural organizations in Connecticut to emphasize the cultural and artistic contributions of the African Diaspora.

“It is wonderful to hear this news. We have been waiting for five years for some assistance with these repairs, and are very thankful to Senator Coleman, Senator Fonfara and the governor for making this happen,” said Dollie McLean, Founding Executive Director of the Artists’ Collective. “We have 200-300 youngsters in the building every summer, and the roof A/C unit needs to be replaced. A heavy rainstorm a couple of summers ago flooded the floor of our theater. Other work needs to be done outside, and some windows need replacing. The longer it takes to fix these kinds of things, the more expensive it gets, so we are very grateful for this assistance.”

 

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