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Clean Water Project Stakeholders Feedback Meeting

Construction activity for the Metropolitan District’s (MDC) Clean Water Project will be starting
again this spring in the Upper Albany area of Hartford. Due to the number of projects taking
place in close proximity to one another, traffic patterns – including detours, delays and street
closures – will be carefully planned in advance to minimize the impact on residents and
businesses while allowing the construction work to progress.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT TO ENSURE THIS PROGRAM WILL WORK FOR YOU. Please join us to
provide your feedback and learn how you can stay informed during this construction season.

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time: 9:00 AM Presentation

Light refreshments served

Location: Community Health Services

500 Albany Ave, Hartford

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Micro Business Incubator 2011 Class 5

Today Upper Albany Main Street is proud to present the Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCo) as our guest speaker for our Micro Business Incubator program! HEDCo Executive Director Sam Hamilton and Deputy Director Fernando Rosa shared with our class a wealth of understanding on the importance of business planning and what lending organizations are looking closest at in a plan, and the people behind it. Thank you both very much for an informative presentation!

Executive Director Sam Hamilton speaks between Professor Margery Steinberg and Deputy Director Fernando Rosa
Executive Director Sam Hamilton speaks between Professor Margery Steinberg and Deputy Director Fernando Rosa

Micro Business Incubator 2011 Class 4

Today’s Micro Business Incubator class had a couple very special guests. University of Hartford President Walter Harrison was a guest speaker, alongside Deputy Chief Sansom, Officer Anthony Rinaldi,  and additional officers of the Hartford Police Department.  The HPD gave a presentation on personal safety and self management in the neighborhood, which was followed by Walter giving an extensive history of the University of Hartford’s efforts in the community. Thank you Walter and HPD for the wonderfully engaging presentations!

Deputy Chief Scott M. Sansom speaks to the class before Walter does
Deput Chief Scott M. Sansom speaks to the class before President Harrison does

First Lady Michelle Obama Honors The Artists Collective

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA HONORS The Artists Collective For Its “Training Program In The Arts And Culture Of The African Diaspora”

Local program one of 15 nationwide recognized for positive youth outcomes

through engagement in the arts and humanities

Hartford,CT – For its effectiveness in developing creativity and fostering academic success by engaging young people in the arts and humanities, The Artists Collective of  Hartford, CT was recognized with a prestigious national award by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, October 20.

Chosen from a pool of more than 400 nominations and 50 finalists, The Artists Collective’s program, “Training in the Arts and Culture of the African Diaspora,”   was one of 15 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly, the Coming Up Taller Award), the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. The awards are administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The award honors community-based arts and humanities programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores and graduation rates, enhancing life skills, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.

The Artists Collective was recognized by Mrs. Obama for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to improve academic achievement, encourage admissions to higher education, and/or advanced training programs, promote self  – discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills; and foster respect/responsibility  for self and others.

Founded in 1970 by internationally renowned alto saxophonist, composer and  educator Jackie McLean, with his wife Dollie McLean, the Artists Collective. was created to  preserve and perpetuate the art and culture of the African Diaspora  Over the past 40 years, the organization has engaged more than 50,000 young people in dance, music, drama visual arts, martial arts. and Skills for living training programs.

Accepting the award from Mrs. Obama on behalf of Artists Collective was Lauren Horn, a 14-year-old participant in the program since the age of three, who was accompanied to the White House by Founding Executive Director Dollie McLean

“Standing with the First Lady of the United States in the White House and accepting this award was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” said Lauren . “It showed me that the power of the arts and humanities to change kids’ lives is recognized and valued. Having dance in my life helped me to express myself and do well in school.”

Joining Mrs. Obama and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in recognizing the impact of “Training in the Arts and Culture of the African Diaspora” in transforming the lives of young people and our community were a number of its long-time partners and supporters, including: Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, Hartt School, University of Hartford, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Neighborhood Studios, Greater Hartford Arts Council.

“By engaging and inspiring young people, the Artists Collective is giving them not just the vision but the skills to build a new and better life for themselves and their families, and for our community,” said  Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Congressman John B. Larson .  “These young people are learning how to use creative thinking to work as a team, to solve problems and to express themselves constructively. These are exactly the kinds of skills we want them to have to be able to succeed in school, in work and in life, ” said State Senator Eric Coleman, State Representative Marie Kirkley-Bey, Karen J. Senich Executive Director, Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, and Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by receipt of the prestigious award, The Artists Collective will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and engage more young people from the community.

“We hope this award will draw attention to the documented fact that programs like ours are essential investments not just in the lives of our young people, but in our community, as well,” said Founding Executive Director Dollie McLean for the Artists Collective.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs, particularly those that reach underserved children and youth. The awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends and evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings. For more information, visit www.pcah.gov.

Founded in 1970 by world renowned alto saxophonist, composer, educator, and community activist Jackie McLean, his wife, actress, dancer, administrator Dollie McLean, as well as co-founders and Hartford artists, bassist, Paul Brown, visual artist, Ionis Martin, and dancer Cheryl Smith, now Associate Director, the Artists Collective is the only  organization in Connecticut dedicated to the art and culture of the African Diaspora.  Annually, through its interdisciplinary arts training programs and professional concerts, dance/theater productions, and visual arts exhibits, the Artists Collective serves upward of 15,000 children, youth, and adults from Hartford and Greater Hartford . The majority are youth from the African–American and Caribbean communities, as well as low-income communities nearby. Located in one of Hartford’s poorest, most violence-ridden neighborhoods, the Artists Collective has been a catalyst and anchor for $150 million of economic development since its new facility was completed in 1999. The organization receives support from national and local foundations and corporations, such as the JazzNet Endowment, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Surdna Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Bank of America, and the Travelers, Prudential, and Metlife Foundations. In addition, the Artists Collective is supported by federal, state, and city agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Justice, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and City of Hartford    For more information about the Artists Collective, please visit www.artistscollective.org

Dollie McLean and her students accept their award from First Lady Michelle Obama
Dollie McLean and her students accept their award from First Lady Michelle Obama

Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

The award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning was created to recognize the remarkable teaching that sets the University of Hartford apart from other institutions. In honor of faculty members who have shown exceptional dedication, innovaction, and effectiveness in their teaching as well as extensive interaction with students, the awards are given in recognition of recent and specific achievements in teaching.

Margery Steinberg receives her award
Margery Steinberg receives her award

“Dr. Margery Steinberg has made it her mission to promote the importance of service learning. In 2002 she introduced the Micro Business Incubator program to support the work of the Upper Albany Main Street program.

Exemplifying the mission of the University as a private university with a public purpose, this service-learning course involves students from disciplines across campus, including the Barney School of Business, the Hartford Art School, and the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. Students work on site at micro businesses in the Upper Albany enighborhood of Hartford, providing business owners with one-on-one assistance with business plans, marketing, technology, graphic design, financial management, and other business areas. They assist the business owners while learning about themselves and about diversity.

The program has enriched the learning experience for all students involved, making a positive impact on their academic and personal growth, while playing a major role in the economic development of the Upper Albany neighborhood.” – Faculty Award Ceremony, Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

MDC Helping the Community

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MDC Vacuum Catch Basin Cleaner

MDC responded to requests to clean a clogged catch basin by dispatching a large vacuum truck to clear the debris. The catch basin had been clogged for a long while beforehand.

2010 Connecticut Main Street Awards Ceremony

Yesterday was the Connecticut Main Street (CMS) Awards Ceremony for 2010 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. We would like to congratulate the Chrysalis Center for winning the 2010 CMS award for the Best Adaptive Reuse of A Building for their restoration of the Sealtest building on Homestead Avenue! Their new home is absolutely beautiful, and a great asset to our city.

This was the invitation to the Connecticut Main Street Gala event in Bridgeport
This was the invitation to the Connecticut Main Street Gala event in Bridgeport
These select organizations were chosen for their outstanding work over the course of this past year. Congratulations to them!
These select organizations and individuals were chosen for their outstanding work over the course of this past year. Congratulations to them!
Associate Director Anthony Hebert (2nd from right) and Director of Development & Community Relations Maryellen Shuckerow (Far right) accept their award for Best Adaptive Reuse of a Building from Connecticut Main Street's Directors
Chrysalis’s Associate Director Anthony Hebert (2nd from right) and Director of Development & Community Relations Maryellen Shuckerow (Far right) accept their award for Best Adaptive Reuse of a Building from Connecticut Main Street’s Directors
This is the new Chrysalis Center on Homestead Avenue
This is the new Chrysalis Center on Homestead Avenue. The angle is from the back parking lot looking out towards Homestead.
This is the Sealtest building before it was renovated by Chrysalis
This is the Sealtest building before it was renovated by Chrysalis shot from across Homestead Avenue.