Capital Campaign

Building A Campus Dedicated to Social Justice Through the Arts


Charter Oak Cultural Center's innovative programs bring food, jobs and educational opportunities to community members experiencing hunger and homelessness.

Youth Arts

Charter Oak offers nationally-recognized visual and performing arts programming to over 1,000 students across Hartford. Classes take place after school and during the summer, and enrollment is free of charge.

Get Involved

We count on the generosity of our friends, volunteers and donors to make Charter Oak's award-winning programs a reality for the children and families of Hartford. Consider getting involved now!


From emerging, young painters to acclaimed photographers, Charter Oak is a haven for creative visual artists from across the region. Within our Our Gallery for Visual Arts, we curate an array of shows throughout the year. 


Charter Oak Cultural Center feeds the soul by hosting an array of unique, thought-provoking, multicultural performances, exhibits and events in its Sanctuary for Performing Arts — a 150 person performance and event space in the heart of the historic Charter Oak complex. 

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Charter Oak Cultural Center

Charter Oak Cultural Center’s mission is to do the work of social justice through the arts in the Hartford metropolitan area and beyond.

Here’s how:

Our City School of the Arts offers audition and tuition-free classes in the arts to Hartford youth ages six through eighteen.

Our Beat of the Street programming provides educational and employment opportunities to the homeless community.

Our professional multicultural performances and exhibits provide access to the arts for everyone because no one is ever turned away due to lack of funds.

We are stewards of the historic building we call home, the first synagogue built in Connecticut, and are dedicated to preserving the building and its inspiring legacy.

Supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign.

Youth Arts News

April 2024 Student of the Month: Estelle Knurek

Estelle is 11 years old and is homeschooled. She has been attending Charter Oak Cultural Center for 2 years. In that time, she has taken Piano, Arts...

March 2024 Student of the Month: Jaelie Lanier

Jaelie is in 11th grade at Rockville High School she is 16 years old Jaelie has been attending Charter Oak for over 2 years. She has taken...

Summer Fun with our Youth Arts Students!

We've just a wrapped a fun and education summer of Youth Arts classes at Charter Oak Cultural Center. Enjoy some highlights of our great students...

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann). The White House from Washington, DC / Public domainGood Vibrations participants Hartford Police Officer Hiram Otero and student Kayke Lopes were honored as part of the White House’s “Champions of Change” program for their work in building trust and improving public safety in communities. “Good Vibrations” pairs Hartford youth with Hartford officers for a 12-week music program in either rap/poetry or guitar.

City School of the Arts Summer 2024


We are now accepting registration for Summer 2024. Because there is a waiting list for our program please make sure that your child is interested in the subject you are registering them for.

Registration is not a guarantee of enrollment.

For questions, please contact Barbara by email, or call (959) 666-9627.

Registro en español

Community News

The Lives of Latina|x|e Women Matter

The Life Stories of Latina|x|e Women Matter. Would You Like to Be a Part of Preserving Them? Las historias en las vidas de mujeres latina|x|e...

Charter Oak Cultural Center lives in Connecticut’s oldest synagogue building. The building was home to Congregation Beth Israel as well as several other religious institutions over the years, until it was abandoned in the 1970s.

Learn More

The innovative programming at Charter Oak Cultural Center is sustained by a diverse community of dedicated supporters. Consider joining the Charter Oak community today.

Latest News

Stephen Riege’s Essay Inspired by The 1619 Project

Fear of the Unknown? Choose Learning I am a retired middle and high school teacher. Truth be told I retired ten years ago. I have been busy these years but do miss the classroom and the learning environment where young people wrestle with ideas. When asked if I might...

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Robert Cooper’s Reflections on The 1619 Project

March 1, 2023 Dear America,  I don't have my gaze on being the next Black martyr - dead.  turn your guns the other way. keep your promise, never again a black martyr. And, I have something to say and, I'm saying it: I don't go anywhere without invitation....

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Historic Stained Glass Restoration

Charter Oak Cultural Center Kicks Off Major Renovation Project With Restoration and Installation of Historic Stained Glass Windows Charter Oak Cultural Center, housed in one of Connecticut’s architectural jewels--the first synagogue built in Connecticut-- is about to...

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A Reflection by Rabbi Donna Berman There is a famous Buddhist teaching about how, soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the Buddha’s peaceful and radiant presence. The man stopped and asked, “My friend, what are...

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In February 2022, nine-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Brittney Griner was detained at an airport in Russia for possession of vape cartridges with trace amounts of medicinal cannabis. Most people arrested for such an offense are fined and...

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The Ada Maria Isasi Diaz Justice Institute Launch Event You can now view the launch event of The Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Justice Institute held on October 6, 2022. EN LA LUCHA: What is “The Struggle” in 2022 for Latinas/for Us All? Featuring a distinguished panel: Dr. Melissa PagánDr. Matilde...

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