CHS Receives $70,000 NEA Funds for Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program

August 17, 2016 · Press Releases

Hartford, Conn., (August 17, 2016) – As part of its most recent major funding announcement, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $70,000 to the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) to support the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP) exhibits and events.  This funding comes from the NEA’s Art Works category which supports the creation and presentation of new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts.

These NEA grants will help support events such as the new “Connecticut Traditional Artists and their Communities” exhibit (now through November 4 at The Gallery at Constitution Plaza on the second floor of One Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford).  Works in this exhibit represent the traditional cultures of Peru, Poland, the Ukraine, Finland, Trinidad, Tibet, and Bosnia, as well as the Burmese Karen and Assyrian peoples.

“This NEA funding allows the CHS to offer crucial support for CCHAP’s exhibits, helping them preserve and display work by the wonderfully diverse artists, art forms, and cultures that are part of the fabric of Connecticut,” said Jody Blankenship, CEO of the CHS. “These funds will also help the CHS archive CCHAP’s growing collection of materials that represent traditional art forms and cultural practices. This is an important relationship for the CHS and the people of Connecticut and we appreciate the NEA’s commitment to our efforts.”

Funds also support current CCHAP projects at the CHS including a new traditional arts apprenticeship program; a sixth year of “Mas: Carnival Costumes from Hartford’s West Indian Community” that teaches traditional costume making and dance to Caribbean teens and displays their work at the CHS; and a partnership with Hartford Performs to connect folk artists with opportunities to present their cultures in local schools.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like CCHAP at the Connecticut Historical Society offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The Connecticut Historical Society ( is a private, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center. Founded in 1825, the CHS is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. The CHS works to connect visitors to the story of Connecticut, and to help create a society that values historical perspective and understanding as essential tools in shaping communities, and making informed decisions. To accomplish that, the CHS has collected more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials related to Connecticut’s social, cultural, and family history – which are available to the public onsite at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, off-site at other locations, and online.

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