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Enrollment in Child Day Care and School Readiness is Open
Looking for Child Day Care or School Readiness programs in Hartford? Please call 860-560-5401, or send an email to: [email protected] and we will be happy to talk to you about next steps!

National Arts


The Community Renewal Team presents a wonderful opportunity for teens to learn about and express their feelings about social issues. For over 27 years, CRT has hosted the National Arts open art show, as an opportunity for anyone (both amateur and professional artists) to participate in a non-juried art show, for free.
In an effort to expand awareness of CRT’s programs and services, we are expanding the National Arts program as a way of reaching more people and bringing awareness of the social issues that affect teens. New this year, we are offering an additional category called “Teens Looking Out for Teens” to the National Arts show, in which individuals or groups of teens can submit a piece of art that evokes a greater understanding of the social issues affecting teens.
The show will be at Capital Community College (960 Main Street, Hartford) from February 11 – March 2, 2019. An awards ceremony will be held at Capital on March 2, 2019 from 1PM – 3PM. Following the judging which will take place on Thursday, February 14, 2019 the winning pieces within the “Teens Looking Out for Teens” category will be photographed and printed on posters to be exhibited in a variety of community spaces throughout Central Connecticut.
Dates to be aware of:
  • Register online: www.crtct.org/en/events/national-arts by Friday, February 1, 2019
  • Deliver art to either Avon Old Farms School (500 Old Farms Road, Avon - Estabrook Arts Center) or Capital Community College (960 Main Street, Hartford) on February 6 or February 7, 2019 between 3:00 – 6:30 PM.
  • Volunteer to hang the art work. We need volunteers for Friday, February 8 to hang the art work as we typically get over 200 pieces submitted in the show. Please let Ilana Bernstein know if you are available at (860) 560-5657 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • Visit exhibit from Monday, February 11 – Saturday, March 2, 2019 – Mon-Fri 7am – 10 pm and Sat 8am – 1pm.
  • Award winners are notified - Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Celebrate the award winners at an awards ceremony on Saturday, March 2, 2019 1PM – 3PM (snow date March 9) - Exhibition closes and art is returned the day of the reception
  • Check Out the community spaces where the winners of the “Teens Looking Out for Teens” art is hanging!
26 years of National Arts

Local Artists were recognized during our 26 National Arts Program


More than 350 people came to Capital Community College last Saturday to support local artists at our 26th Annual National Arts Program. Artists were recognized by judges JoAnne Bauer, Carlos Hernandez Chavez, Ellis Echevarria, Angela Parker and Ed Johnetta Miller. All forms of visual arts were represented; from paintings and photographs to sculptures, crafts and textiles. 

The awards ceremony was a performance in and of itself, with singers Aja Wilson and Orice Jenkins, pianist Warren Byrd, and live poetry readings by Ekphrastic Poets from The Free Poets Collective who created original poems about each first place entry.

We would like to thank all the artists and volunteers who participated. Special thanks to: The National Arts Program, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, Capital Community College and President Dr. Wilfredo Nieves, Carlos Hernández Chavez of the, City of Hartford Commission on Cultural Affairs, JoAnne Bauer, Ellis A. Echevarria, Angela Parker, and Ed Johnetta Miller, Members of the Free Poets Collective, CRT CapitalCity YouthBuild, Mark Pallatino, Mick Melvin, Wilberto Guzman, Nancy Pappas, Maria Cheema, Myriam Pilar Salazar Chala, Dario Muneton, Jennifer Chapman, Catherine Damato, Tiffany Cooper, Julie Ackerman, Ernesto Rios, Lori Lennon, Brodey Coutant, Faris, Manaal and Zain Sheriff and Program Coordinator Nancy Shapiro.

The National Arts Program® For Hartford and Middlesex Counties

Encouraging and developing artistic talent in Central Connecticut 

New for 2019! Special Program Just for Teens! 
Find out about CRT's new community service opportunity for students in Central Connecticut. “Teens Looking Out for Teens” invites students to submit a piece of art that evokes a greater understanding of the social issues affecting teens. Click here for more information

For 28 years, the Community Renewal Team has hosted an annual National Arts Program providing an opportunity for local artists to showcase their art within the community. Youth, teens, amateurs, intermediate and professionals from Middlesex and Hartford Counties are invited to participate. All prizes are determined by a panel of judges with experience in the arts. 

To register go to: https://www.nationalartsprogram.org/venues/hartford by Friday, February 1, 2019. 
All entries must be delivered to either Avon Old Farms School located at 500 Old Farms Road, Avon (Estabrook Arts Center), or to Capital Community College, located at 960 Main Street, Hartford on either February 6 or 7, 2019 between 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm each day.
Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to get the most up to date information.  For more information about the rules of the exhibit, please contact Ilana Bernstein at (860) 560-5657 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
A gallery display will be held at Capital Community College located at 950 Main Street in Hartford, CT – on the 1st and 11th floors from February 11, 2019 to March 2, 2019 during Monday – Friday from 7 am – 10 pm and Saturday from 8am – 1 pm.
A reception and presentation of awards will be held at Capital Community College on March 2, 2019. All participants will be notified of details prior to the event. In the event of inclement weather, all participants will be notified of rescheduled date.



Child Abuse Prevention


CRT's campaign to end child abuse is driven by a simple idea - that the best way to put an end violence and abuse is to educate our young people, both to protect themselves today and future generations tomorrow.

This spring marks the 5th annual installment of the campaign, and the main event this year is the “ volunteer reader day” in which adults take a little time out of their day to read age-appropriate books to children in any of our 72 classrooms throughout Central Connecticut. The date is April 19, 2013, and we need volunteers to help us make this a great success.
Together these efforts are led by Community Renewal Team's Early Care and Education program, and made possible with the partnering support of a broad coalition of advocacy, education and protective agencies.
The campaign has roots in CRT's efforts to end domestic violence among its ECE families. For the past four years, CRT has hosted guest readers in each of its classrooms for the reader day in recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is also recognized nationally. Throughout April, other workshops, trainings and activities are held in classrooms for both parents and children.
Like every year, community partners from throughout the State of Connecticut are sharing events, resources and awareness to help end domestic violence. To learn more about how to become involved in our mission, please contact Bethanne Vergean, CRT mental health manager, at (860) 761-7948 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The National Arts Program® For Hartford and Middlesex County

The CRT National Arts Program® is designed to give all artists living in Hartford and Middlesex counties the opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional manner and to compete for cash prizes.

Prestigious professionals in the field of visual arts judge the entries based on the age and the experience of the artists.


2016 Judges 

JoAnne Bauer
An award-winning and Elected Artist of the West Hartford Art League, Joanne serves as a Board Member of Rough Edges Art Production in Windsor and on the Advisory Council of Art Connection Studio at Arbor Arts Center and as a grants reviewer for the Greater Hartford Arts Council. Currently, she is a juried member of the Women Artists Collective and was previously juried into the Canton Artists Cooperative; CT Women Artists; and the former Artworks Gallery Cooperative, where she was a Board Member. Having studied art in courses at various universities, JoAnne was juried into more than 75 exhibits within a decade. To see samples of her art visit: hygienic.ning.com/profile/JoAnneBauer.  
Andres Chaparro
Andres Chaparro, who coordinates the City of Hartford’s Cultural Affairs Division, is a self-taught artist. Although he studied art history in college he has never taken 
an instructional art class. His work is rooted in mixed media incorporating collage, oil pastels, marker, crayon, pencil, acrylic, spray paint and virtually anything else at his disposal. Andres continues to refine his own visual vocabulary through his focus on the intersection between art and jazz music.  His work can be found in myriad private art collections and he has exhibited in galleries and alternative exhibition spaces in the United States and Canada. 
Ellis A. Echevarria
Born in Patillas, Puerto Rico, Ellis works predominantly in digital media, drawing and painting. Ellis attended Manchester Community College and Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. He has had solo and group  shows in Hartford’s Craftery Gallery, Windsor Art Center,  Wadsworth Atheneum and the Pump House Gallery. Ellis’ work can be found in many private collections throughout the country. Ellis has also been recognized internationally and awarded for his design excellence on behalf of clients ranging from ESPN to Dr. Perricone Skin Care.
Angela Parker 
Angela Parker is the Docent and Tour Programs Manager at the Wadsworth Atheneum where she manages and trains current and incoming docents and contributes to the museum’s school and adult tour programming. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and a MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is continuing to pursue a Ph.D. in Art History.
Tracy Kane
Tracy Kane is the Director of Arts for Hartford Public Schools.   Before moving to the Central Office, she taught theater to middle and high school students in both the Hartford and Farmington Public Schools. Prior to becoming a public school teacher, she held education positions at professional theatres including Director of Education at Hartford Stage, Associate Director of Education at Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and Education Coordinator at American Place Theatre in New York City. Her education includes a BA in Drama from Vassar College, an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University, and a Sixth-Year in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. 
Ed Johnetta Miller
A fiber artist, quilter, teacher, curator and lecturer, Ed Johnetta Miller is acknowledged to be one of the most creative and colorful improvisational quiltmakers in the U.S. Widely exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, her quilts can be found in many leading museums, corporate and private collections including The National Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; Nelson Mandela’s National Museum in Capetown, South Africa; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado. Ed Johnetta received the State of Connecticut’s most prestigious artistic award, The Governor’s Art Award; Wadsworth Atheneum’s first Presidents’ Award; Leadership Greater Hartford’s Arts and Cultural Award;  Vision Award for Arts and Culture; and the Capital Community College Heritage Award. HGTV featured Ed Johnetta on the Modern Masters series. In addition, she appeared on Debbie Allen’s series “Cool Women,” and Public TV in Tokyo, Japan, and her woven creations were worn by actress Phylicia Rashad.