Drummers, historians, and ballerinas converged on downtown Hartford at the Old State House during Wednesday’s lunch rush as part of the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s I Am An Artist campaign, encouraging more than 200 businesspeople, tourists, and passers-by to engage with their art.
“The purpose of I Am An Artist is to show that everybody has an inner artist. You don’t have to be somebody who’s a professional artist to have creativity inside of you,” Amanda Roy, the community programs manager of the arts council, said. “Everybody has creativity in them, and it’s a nice chance for people to come down here and mix up their day a little bit.”
The Greater Hartford Arts Council started in 1971 as an initiative of Hartford’s corporate community to bolster the nonprofit arts and cultural sector and supports almost 200 arts organizations. This is the second year the council is celebrating I Am An Artist Day, with 16 arts groups that have received grants from the council set up in the courtyard of the Old State House.
“It’s a chance for our grantees to expose their work to the corporate community and workplace community that’s here and anybody that’s passing by,” Roy said. “It gives them a chance to get to know the organization and hopefully it will bring them to that organization to go see a play or check out a museum.”
The Hartford Symphony set up a “petting zoo” of instruments for visitors to try out, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center asked people to paint a representation of a book that was meaningful to their lives, the Old State House invited residents to share their favorite thing about the city on a paper heart strung to the fence, and the Charter Oak Cultural Center even set up a drum circle.
Reuben Chueu, a hotel operations intern at Hilton, said he had to stop when he saw the drum circle. “I was going to the library and I was like, ‘No way, is that some art?’ It blew…