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Our Philosophy

Hartford Performs is founded on the notion that when children are actively and joyfully engaged in their learning, they grasp lessons more personally, more deeply, and more lastingly. Study after study bear out the fact that the arts help children advance both academically and socially/emotionally.

Our Mission

Working in partnership with school systems and artistic communities, Hartford Performs infuses and integrates arts and cultural experiences into teaching and learning in ways that enrich the student experience and improve outcomes across the curriculum.

Our Core Values

In pursuing and supporting Hartford Performs’ mission, members of the staff and board of directors are guided by these institutional values.

  • Access- It is Hartford Performs’ goal that all students have exposure to the arts in multiple formats in their daily lives and reap the benefits they bring to learning.
  • Integration–We are committed to making purposeful and relevant connections, aligning the art we bring to students and teachers with the needs of the school district.
  • Impact–We are committed to demonstrating through methodical evaluation the impact we know the arts have on students’ academic learning and social/emotional development.
  • Collaboration–We believe that in order to implement our programming and have true impact, we need to build meaningful relationships with artists, educators, families and the broader community and school systems to understand needs and unleash creativity.
  • Diversity–We recognize and aim to celebrate the individuality that is created by all of the things that shape us: experiences, abilities, culture, language, economics, social circumstances, race, gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion and perspectives.
  • Inclusion–In all that we do, we strive to include, represent, and reflect the diversity of the students we serve and the people with whom we collaborate. 
  • Equity–Hartford Performs recognizes that systems are inequitable; we exist to address inequities in the education system in our community.
  • Leadership–Our approach is systemic; we build leaders who model and advocate for inspiring students’ success by embedding the arts in education in a systematic way.

Hartford Performs is based in Hartford, Connecticut on the indigenous lands of the Tunxis, Sicaog, Wangunks, and Poquonook people. We recognize the lives lost, cultures erased, voices silenced for so long and extend our gratitude for the ability to love, create, live, and learn on these lands with the teachers, artists, and students of Hartford.

This acknowledgement fundamentally relates to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, all of which are re-expressed above.

For more information about these peoples, to research the land you live or work on, or begin to write your own land acknowledgement visit:

It is only the beginning, but a place to start. Join and challenge us as we move imperfectly forward together.

Our Model

Our History and Goals

Hartford Performs evolved out of the recommendations of the 2009 Hartford Public Schools Task Force on the State of the Arts. The course of action endorsed and put into motion by the Hartford Board of Education was to develop a community partnership in which the school district and the arts community work in concert to infuse arts education throughout the city’s schools. Hartford Performs was created as the public/private partnership through which that work would happen. The organization aggregates and focuses the region’s rich cultural resources and puts them to work for Hartford Public School students. It also attracts private-sector supporters to magnify the Hartford Public School district’s investment in this work.

Hartford Performs’ model emphasizes equity and equal access to ensure that ALL Hartford students have planned, sequential, standards-based, high-quality arts experiences that support their academic learning as well as their social/emotional development.

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