Thursday, July 28, 2011

i got the following email from the wadsworth atheneum

and wanted to share it. by the way, if you've never been, you're missing out. GO GO and GO. it's a fine museum.  

Community Engagement Initiative at the Wadsworth Atheneum

Wadsworth Atheneum Seeks Ongoing Feedback from Greater Hartford Community on Its Community Engagement Initiative

HARTFORDConn., July 27, 2011 – After the first year of new programming and events launched by the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Community Engagement Initiative, the Museum will hold ChatBacks Part II, and invites the public to participate. During these sessions participants will be updated on the initiative’s progress. Following the update, researchers will seek additional feedback from participants. Please review the Community Engagement Initiative 2010 Annual Report, which will be on our website shortly, at

In order to better serve the community, the Museum invited visitors to a series of ChatBacks, or town-hall style discussion groups in 2008 and 2009. These ChatBacks provided invaluable feedback from the local community about the Wadsworth. For example, information was collected on how well the institution was doing to reach and involve people in the Greater Hartford area, what perceptions of the Museum existed by various constituencies, and how to better engage diverse populations. As a result, the Community Engagement Initiative is the overriding focus of the Wadsworth and the development of responsive programming is an ongoing process. 

To accommodate various schedules and constituents, we are holding three ChatBack Part II sessions at the Museum:

1) Thursday, August 4, 4 - 5:30 pm
Participants will receive free admission to First Thursday (members will receive an extra bonus). The August 4 First Thursday is a Cirque du Wadsworth block party from 5 – 9 pm.

Please note: Atheneum Square North will be closed on this date for our block party so please use theMain Street entrance or the entrance in the back of the Museum at Prospect Street.

2) Saturday, August 13, 11 am - 12:30 pm
Join us before or after the session at Second Saturdays for Families from 10 am – 1 pm with fun-filled, hands-on art activities related to the theme of Water!

3) Saturday, September 10, 11 am - 12:30 pm
Participants are invited to partake in the Museum’s Community Day with free admission and art activities all day from 10 am - 5 pm! 

Interested participants can RSVP by email, or by phone (860) 838-4058.

Funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has provided essential support for this initiative. As a result, the Wadsworth has made great strides in addressing the above issues for our primary target audiences by connecting art and people through establishing an ongoing dialogue with our community. In the words of Wadsworth Atheneum Director Susan L. Talbott, “The whole face of the Museum looks different. The grant from the Hartford Foundation really made that possible.”

In the past year, the Wadsworth has implemented programming in conjunction with more than 60 community partners, such as the Hartford Public Library, the American School for the Deaf, Charter Oak Cultural Center and Mi Casa.  A new Artist-in-Residency Program has engaged community members in a meaningful way. Museum on the Move has brought the Museum to Hartford Public School classrooms as part of Hartford Public School’s Hartford Performs initiative. A multi-lingual, cross-cultural marketing strategy was launched and programming was expanded to include free multicultural-themed performances and hands-on art activities. Bilingual promotional materials have also been produced and distributed. To enhance the experience for each visitor to the Museum, a new informational map that improves orientation was developed. In addition, the Connections Gallery was created as a new interpretive space to create relevancy by presenting innovative art installations. Lastly, free and discounted admission has been provided to various partner non-profit organizations in order to make the Museum more affordable and accessible to members of the community.

The Community Engagement Initiative will be the overriding focus of the Wadsworth in the years ahead and program development will be an ongoing process of implementation and evaluation.  The Museum invites the community to participate in ChatBacks Part II in order to update them on its CEI progress and to welcomeadditional feedback to further its mission towards greater engagement with the diverse local and regional populations of Greater Hartford.

Luiselle Rivera
Community Programs Coordinator
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main StreetHartfordCT 06103

Sarah Ferri
Institutional Advancement & Communications Assistant
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main StreetHartfordCT 06103

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