HSO President and CEO Steve Collins Joins Arts Leaders on Mayor’s Arts & Culture Committee


As Hartford’s mayoral leadership transitioned from Luke Bronin to Arunan Arulampalam, Mayor Arulampalam formed a committee to articulate priorities of the arts and culture community for his consideration. The committee was formed with widespread representation of all arts and culture sectors; its mandate is to determine the optimal utilization of financial and other resources to bolster the sustainability and vitality of Hartford’s arts and culture scene, positioning the city as a destination rather than merely a thoroughfare. Members include HSO President and CEO Steve Collins, as well as committee leaders Floyd Green, board member for Americans for the Arts, and Cynthia Rider, managing director of the Hartford Stage.

Following a series of discussions and analyses, a preliminary report has been compiled, offering both short-term and long-term recommendations. These recommendations encompass initiatives such as establishing a dedicated Office of Arts & Culture within the Mayor’s Office, creating an Artists Bill of Rights, and establishing arts districts, among others.

The committee’s initial findings suggest that supporting arts organizations and artists can catalyze economic growth and enhance Hartford’s economic viability, thereby increasing tax revenues for the city (refer to the AEP6 study cited below). Such investments foster improved communication among arts and culture entities, municipal government, and local residents, fostering greater trust in these organizations and stimulating increased activity and reinvestment within local communities. The committee’s endeavors are ongoing, with a final report slated for submission to Mayor Arulampalam and subsequent public dissemination in the coming months.

For further insights, refer to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study, which underscores the essential role of arts and culture in communities, demonstrating their capacity to drive economic development, nurture a visitor economy, generate employment, enhance community livability, bolster local commerce, and elevate overall well-being. Regional breakdowns, including that of the Greater Hartford area compared to other regions in Connecticut, are available through the AEP6 study and its associated resources.