Youth Arts Institute
FREE ARTS PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN IN THE GREATER HARTFORD AREA
Charter Oak’s Youth Arts Institute is a truly one of a kind program. Youth Arts provides tuition-free arts classes, workshops, and other programming to over 1,000 Hartford youth each year. All children should have access to high quality arts education. Learning an art form enhances creativity, and teaches perseverance, team skills, self-confidence, self-expression, and so much more.
Youth Arts Overview
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.
We do this by…
- Offering free, inclusive, visual art, music, theater and dance classes both onsite at Charter Oak and through partnerships.
- Offering free family events that encourage life-long learning through the arts.
- We believe that everyone is an artist.
- We believe in providing 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.
Support for Youth Arts Institute music programs at Charter Oak Cultural Center provided by Spread Music Now.
This program/project is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to CHARTER OAK TEMPLE RESTORATION ASSOCIATION INC. – YOUTH ARTS INSTITUTE by the City of Hartford.
Youth Arts Institute Spring 2023 Registration is Open
Registration is not a guarantee of enrollment.
For questions, please contact Danielle by email, or call (860) 310-2589.
When I was 13, I had no career goals and was undirected. Charter Oak gave me a place to sit down with other kids where we could discuss issues and share our art. We created an environment where we felt safe and grew as people. I am now 19 years old, in college, and an assistant teacher for Charter Oak. I would like to continue my career performing, teaching, and writing poetry books to inspire my community. Charter Oak gave me a direction in life.”
Our free programming is designed to help those most in need and we therefore consider household income when we assess eligibility for our classes. We welcome families to apply. We will get back to you as soon as possible about the status of your application.
Youth Arts Programs
Every spring and fall, Charter Oak’s Youth Arts Institute offers an assortment of arts classes in music, theater, dance, and visual arts. These classes are aimed at students ages 6 to 18, and are held every Monday through Thursday on-site. All classes are free to students. Free summer classes are also available.
Charter Oak houses two ensembles – the Hartford All-City Youth Orchestra and the Funky Dawgz Community Brass Band. Participation in the ensembles and loaner instruments are all free of charge. The Community Brass Band, run by the internationally known Funky Dawgz Brass Band, works with special guest artists like members of the internationally known Trombone Shorty Band.
Charter Oak offers a number of special programs designed to meet the needs and interests of students, families and the community. For example, Charter Oak launched Good Vibrations to help build bridges between the police department and members of the community through music and art.
Charter Oak partners with local schools and organizations to provide quality arts education programs around the city. Classes range from one-day workshops to year-long programs. There are over twenty-five choices for arts classes.
Family & Community
Charter Oak offers special community and family events. Read It and Sleep, Dinner and a Movie, and our Community Dinners, promote engagement with the arts in a community context. We also offer holiday arts events and workshops for families.
From having the supplies delivered to our home to seeing my daughter chop and try onions and peppers in her cooking class, it was very nice to see it all. I am so thankful for all the staff at Charter Oak, especially during this time. My daughter felt like she was back in a classroom setting with great teachers and friends which has been something many children have been missing. I can’t wait to see what other classes are offered in the future and what great things my daughter will accomplish taking classes at Charter Oak.
Youth Arts Institute Sponsors
P.K. and Phoebe Allen
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
The Barnes Foundation, Inc.
Russell Bell and Rachel Gates-Bell
J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Inc.
Celeste Polley Burns
Christ Church Cathedral
City of Hartford – Grants Management
Common Sense Fund
Creative Music Center
Barbara O. David
Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
The Fund for Greater Hartford
Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust
Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Fund
Francine and Robert Goldfarb
Greater Hartford Arts Council
The Gryphon Fund
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Elwyn V. Harp
Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford
Lincoln Financial Group Foundation
Adlyn and Ted Loewenthal
Andrew and Joyce Mandell
Musical Club of Hartford, Inc.
The Phoenix Insurance
Charles Nelson Robinson Fund
Amy Selzer Memorial Fund
Jane Zande and Jeff Smith
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 for a year and attends the program alongside her...
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 dance world, has been Breakdancing and competing for...
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 has been a Youth Arts student for four years and...
Charter Oak’s Got Talent
https://youtu.be/_ykaU6-dr6w Two of our Youth Arts Institute students - Saagariha and Sarvariha Sunoj - were winners of the Be a Friend Lip Sync Contest! Their mother sent Charter Oak a nice note:...
Spring 2021 Youth Arts Institute Student Showcase
Watch our Youth Arts Institute Spring 2021 students share what they’ve learned by clicking on the video below! https://youtu.be/qOjt_BVRpj4
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 Center unveiled today the acquisition of an...
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...
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!...