Youth Arts Special Programs

Special Programs

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. In 2015, this innovative program was recognized with a Champions of Change award by the Obama Administration. 

For more information or to register

Hartford All-City Youth Orchestra

Hartford’s first all-city youth orchestra enables Hartford’s young people to experience the exhilaration of making music together.

It is well-documented that students who learn to play an instrument are more likely to achieve academic success and develop self-esteem, confidence and creative and critical thinking skills.  Music education in the Hartford school system is sparse, at best. After three years of providing instrumental music lessons to Hartford inner city students, we now offer Hartford’s first All-City Youth Orchestra, entirely free to underserved Hartford youth.

For more information about HACYO contact Susan Mazer, Managing Director, Hartford All-City Youth Orchestra at or (860) 310-2590.

Good Vibrations

Awarded Obama White House Champions of Change

In the spring of 2015, Charter Oak launched Good Vibrations in partnership with The Hartford Police Department. Twenty-five middle school boys were selected to take either a free guitar class (and receive a free guitar) or a rap poetry class, in which students learn to rap and make CDs of their work. The youth and officers made music together, under the supervision of Hartford master musicians. Led by facilitators from Everyday Democracy, they engaged in dialogue about police-community interactions, taking a step toward building a positive relationship with each other.

Music Matters

Music Matters is the first comprehensive after-school instrumental music program in Hartford. If offers 4th and 5th grade students private and ensemble music instruction four days each week. Students also have classes in music theory, bucket drumming, and music listening.

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.

Support for Youth Arts Institute music programs at Charter Oak Cultural Center provided by:

Lip Sync Battle!

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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