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 is a vibrant multi-cultural arts center committed to doing the work of social justice through the arts. Here’s how:

Our Youth Arts Institute 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 2022 Student of the Month Andrea Cotto-Juarbe

April 2022 Student of the Month: Andrea Cotto-Juarbe

Andrea Cotto-Juarbe is a 13-year-old student at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, Connecticut. She has been a Youth Arts student...

Youth Arts Institute April Teacher of the Month

Charter Oak's Youth Arts Institute APRIL TEACHER OF THE MONTH is HENRY OLIVO a.k.a. Savage Henry Henry Olivo, also known as Savage Henry in the...

March 2022 Student of the Month: Natalia Reyes

MEET NATALIA, OUR MARCH 2022 Y.A.I. STUDENT OF THE MONTH! Natalia Reyes is a 12-year-old student at Renzulli Academy in Hartford, Connecticut. She...

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.

Community News


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...

Charter Oak Cultural Center Announces Acquisition of Historic Property, Expansion of Youth Arts Campus, and Capital Campaign

Arts, Culture and Social Justice Non-Profit to Expand and Upgrade Downtown Campus, Serve Double the Number of Hartford Youth Charter Oak Cultural...

A former synagogue located in a Hispanic neighborhood, hosting an African-American event that is attended by people of all ethnicities – how cool is that?

Alvin Carter, Jr.

in reference to Charter Oak’s annual Kwanzaa Celebration

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

Here Comes the Poetry Bus!

Charter Oak Cultural Center is proud to present The Poetry Bus, a CT Transit vehicle featuring excerpts from poems written by our Youth Arts Initiative students. Working with YAI teaching artist and Poetry on the Streets founder Melanie Faranello, the youth created...

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Lip Sync Battle!

Calling all youth! Be A Friend Project is hosting a lip synch battle competition to raise awareness around social bullying. Broadway judges and awesome prizes await your entry!

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YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE: An Essay by Rabbi Donna Berman

August 5, 2020In Hebrew, there are three words--nefesh, neshama and ruach—that, with slight nuances, all mean “soul” or “spirit.”  What’s interesting is that all three words also mean “breath.” What is the connection between soul, spirit and...

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Read The Hartford Courant story on UNCAGED ART

The Hartford Courant arts reporter Susan Dunne recently spoke with Dr. Yolanda Leyva of the University of Texas El Paso's Museo Urbano exhibit, UNCAGED ART: TORNILLO CHILDREN'S DETENTION CENTER. See the preview of the exhibit by clicking HERE.

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