Youth Arts Institute

Charter Oak Cultural Center’s Youth Arts Institute is dedicated to providing wide access to the arts for Hartford youth and to strengthening family and community through professional and community arts programming.

The Youth Arts Institute seeks to do this by 1) offering free, inclusive, visual art, music, and dances class both onsite at Charter Oak and through partnerships, 2) creating a Hartford All-City Youth Orchestra 3) offering Putting Down Roots in Hartford, a free summer arts-based organic gardening program and 4) by offering free family events that encourage life-long learning through the arts.

We believe that everyone is an artist.

We believe in providing holistic programs to meet the needs of the whole person.

We believe in offering a variety of classes in order to stimulate creativity and appeal to different learning styles.

We believe in allowing students an opportunity to identify with art in their own unique way.

We believe in making the arts accessible to everyone.

We believe in the art of collaboration and the importance of a final presentation to celebrate the achievement of goals and learning.

We believe in the value of Non-Violent Communication, a conflict resolution technique that helps students to express themselves and get their needs met without resorting to anger or violence.

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Art Classes
Youth Arts Institute offers an exciting opportunity for youth to become involved in a wide variety of art forms. Youth Arts works collaborative with community organizations and schools to provide as many young people as possible with access to the arts. For example we offer Shared Ability Dance, an inclusive dance class for students both with and without disabilities, through a partnership with Bulkeley High School.

Youth Arts also provides Hartford young people with access to free classes held within Charter Oak Cultural Center’s beautiful historic building. Here, we offer classes in visual arts, music, and dance. By offering a wide variety of classes, our goal is that youth will have the opportunity to experiment and find a medium that speaks to them. By creating a positive association with learning through fun, creative activities, the students readily integrate what they learn into their daily lives.
Please call or email Saige Dupont for class descriptions and our current class schedule: 860-310-2590,

Hartford All-City Orchestra

If you play an instrument and are a Hartford resident in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, we want you! Placements will be held at Charter Oak Wednesday, October 23rd from 6:00pm- 9:00pm.

Contact Susan Mazer for more information: 860-302-8678.

Putting Down Roots In Hartford
Putting Down Roots in Hartford, a summer program that allows students to plan, create, plant, maintain and harvest an organic garden. The curriculum includes the arts, nutrition, history, science, math and reading. The gardens and our greenhouse provide fresh vegetables for the children, their families and the community.

Family Events

Art. Food. Family, a monthly event for local children and their families to enjoy an art workshop and share a hot delicious meal

• Sukkah Decorating Party, an annual celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot with music, food, activities, and fun!

Read It and Sleep, a monthly event for local children and their families to enjoy snacks, hear a bedtime story and take home a free a copy of the book

• Dinner and a Movie, an opportunity for young people and their families to enjoy a free meal and a film outdoors in our garden during the summer months. The films we select are based on popular books and we provide each family with a free copy of that book

Registration is required, and space is limited. Contact Saige Dupont for details: 860-310-2590,


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Our Youth Arts Institute is funded in part by

Abel Family Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving


Bank of America

The Barnes Foundation, Inc.

The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp.

The Common Sense Fund, Inc.

Congregation Beth Israel

City of Hartford: Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Charter Oak Temple Restoration Association, Inc.

City of Hartford: Department of Families, Children Youth & Recreation

The First Church of Christ in Hartford

Fisher Foundation

The Fund for Greater Hartford

Ellis A. Gimbel Trust

Harry E. Goldfarb Family Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

The Simon Hollander Fund

The Aaron Hollander Trust

Jessie’s Community Gardens

S. A. Johnson Family Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Lida A. Kearney

The Hartford Larrabee Fund Association

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

The Andrew J and Joyce D  Mandell Family Foundation

William and Alice Mortensen Foundation

Charles Nelson Robinson Fund

NewAlliance Foundation

Samuel Roskin Trust at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Amy Selzer Memorial Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

The Joseph S. Stackpole Charitable Trust


A special thanks to Beth El Temple for making our family dinners possible

We are proud to be a partner of:

National Inclusion Project

National Inclusion Project logo

(updated 05/16/13)

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