Mission, Overview & History
Our mission is to engage the public in building a strong and connected arts and culture community that is integral to the economic development and the collective well-being of our region. We believe that access to arts and culture is a universal human right, meeting both a social and psychological need. Through promotion and advocacy we support a vibrant, vital, and necessary component of our community.
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization, serves both the culture-loving public and the cultural community in its 25-town service area and surroundings by acting as a hub for all aspects of cultural information and resources to ensure that culture thrives in and around our region. We are one of 9 regional cultural service organizations in Connecticut.
The Arts Council encourages all segments of our society to become involved in and to benefit from the wide variety of cultural offerings available. The arts and related cultural focuses are integral contributors to the quality of life in the region, impacting social, educational, and economic elements throughout. The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council aims to help everyone become much more aware of our many cultural assets and the valuable role that they play.
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council serves as a central source of cultural information for its 25-town service area and surroundings. Services include:
- Online and printed Events Calendar
- CultureBEAT newsletter via E-Blast
- Cultural Directory
- Information about Opportunities and avenues for Instruction in the arts & history
- CultureMAX Awards
- Advocacy efforts
- Workshops for the cultural community
- Networking opportunities (CultureMIX events; Round Table discussions, etc.)
- Open Your Eyes studio tour
- Regional Initiative Grants
- Fiscal sponsorship services for artists and emerging nonprofits
Photo courtesy of the State of Connecticut
The region served by the Arts Council includes Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Burlington, Colebrook, Cornwall, Falls Village/Canaan, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Plymouth, Roxbury, Salisbury/Lakeville, Sharon, Thomaston, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winchester/Winsted.
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council was established in June 2003, as the result of a collaborative partnership between the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut (formally the Torrington Area Foundation for Public Giving) and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.
During its first year of operation, the Arts Council conducted and obtained funding for an in-depth Regional Cultural Assessment, the results of which were used to guide the Council as it moved forward in serving the 25-town region. The Arts Council is grateful to the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation for funding the 2004 Cultural Assessment, and greatly appreciates the support it received from the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut (formally the Torrington Area Foundation for Public Giving) and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce for their commitment and support during the very important first years.