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.
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.
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.
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.
Youth Arts News
April 2022 Student of the Month: Andrea Cotto-Juarbe￼
Youth Arts Institute April Teacher of the Month
March 2022 Student of the Month: Natalia Reyes
Good 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.
BRING BRITTNEY BACK!
Charter Oak Cultural Center Announces Acquisition of Historic Property, Expansion of Youth Arts Campus, and Capital Campaign
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?
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.
The innovative programming at Charter Oak Cultural Center is sustained by a diverse community of dedicated supporters. Consider joining the Charter Oak community today.
Watch: THE EMPATHY DIARIES – Dr. Sherry Turkle in conversation with Rabbi Donna Berman
Did you miss our recent (and wonderful!) conversation on MIT Professor and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Sherry Turkle's THE EMPATHY DIARIES: A MEMOIR? Enjoy this lovely and intimate chat with her cousin, our very own Rabbi Donna Berman, Executive Director of Charter Oak...
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...
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! https://www.beafriendproject.org/battle
Trevor Noah: Where are the good apples?
Announcing THE EMPATHY DIARIES – A 2-Part Conversation with Sherry Turkle
Hartford Stage, The Mark Twain House & Museum and Charter Oak Cultural Center presentTHE EMPATHY DIARIES: A Two-Part conversation with SHERRY TURKLE Three of Hartford’s premier cultural institutions join together for an intimate two-part conversation with...
Charter Oak Announces the Sustainable CT Challenge to expand our Eats of the Street program!
Charter Oak Cultural Center is working to expand its Eats of the Street program with the addition of new container gardens on the streets of Hartford, arbors added to existing pots to increase food output, and the hiring of additional Hartford individuals experiencing...
Charter Oak proudly presents the Fall 2020 Youth Arts Institute Showcase
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...
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.