2014 Ignition Grant Recipients

Learn more about this grant program. 

Connecticut Landmarks
Initiative: Facility Marketing (Adaptive Capacity)
Award: $15,000
Date(s): February 2014 – December 2015
Connecticut Landmarks inspires interest and encourages learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully. The Ignition Grant will enable the organization to seek key external advice for how to most effectively market their historic sites for weddings and special events. A more robust rental program will enable the organization to increase unrestricted earned revenue, the most important, yet difficult funding to raise, and apply these funds to implement new interpretation plans and public programming. A successful rental program will also assist the organization to reach institutional goals such as exposing to new and diverse visitors to the property and increase paid hours for part-time site administrators and interpreters.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Initiative:Refreshing Stowe for the 21st Century (Adaptive Capacity)
Award: $15,000
Date(s): January 2014 – December 2015
The Stowe Center preserves and interprets Stowe's Hartford home and the Center's historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change. Refreshing Stowe for the 21st Century will allow the organization to develop and fully optimize technology and digital communications in order for the Stowe Center to achieve organizational growth, visibility, program development and audience engagement. With 60% of visitors coming from out-of-state, it is essential for the organization to allow their site to be optimized for tourists using tablet and mobile devices, and continue to engage visitors through on-line interactive programming.

HartBeat Ensemble
Initiative:Carriage House Theater: Rental Program (Adaptive Capacity)
Award: $9,000
Date(s): January 15, 2014 – December 30, 2014
HartBeat Ensemble is a Hartford-based performance company that creates theater drawn from contemporary life in Connecticut.The Ignition Grant allows the organization to develop a comprehensive rental program at the Carriage House Theater, which offers rehearsal and theater space to artists, companies and other non-profit cultural organizations.This program is intended to establish a new earned revenue stream for HartBeat Ensemble, provide a service to the Greater Hartford artist community (a fully-equipped theater to create and present their work in an affordable place), and increase the presentation of high quality arts programs in the Greater Hartford community.

Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium 
Initiative:Design and Implementation of Strategic Plan (Adaptive Capacity)
Award: $15,000
Date(s): January 2014 – June 2015
Sankofa Kuumba introduces and encourages the cultural values of the African Diaspora by means of traditional music, dance, visual arts and drama. This grant will enable to the organization to work with a consultant to lead a strategic planning process, craft a multi-year strategic plan and implementation guide. The strategic plan will provide the agency with a clear vision for the future, and create guideposts to assist in decision making. A strategic plan will also prove to potential funders that the organization has a formalized “road map” and business strategy for the future, allowing for greater trust that funding will be utilized effectively.  

Unified Theater
Initiative:Spotlighting Our Story (Catalyst)
Award: $9,000
Date(s): January 2014 – April 2014
Unified Theater dissolves typical barriers between youth through transformative, school based performing arts programming. Spotlighting Our Story will result in the development of a Marketing Plan, including outline brand strategies, graphic standards, creative brief and key story elements. The organization uses the arts to support students with disabilities in a way that emphasizes ability and rejects pity, paternalism, and hierarchy, and encourages others in the arts and education arena to do the same. Being able to better share their story will help influence even more change and inspire others to act more inclusively. Effective marketing will also enable the organization to retain new partner schools, increase audiences, grow the revenue base, and attract high-profile Board members.

The Vernon Community Arts Center
Initiative:Marketing and Technology for a Diverse Community (Catalyst)
Award: $11,000
Date(s): January 2014 – December 2014
The Arts Center is committed to enriching lives and enhancing economic development by bringing art to the diverse community “east of the river.” Designed to continue the growth of its exhibits, events, and performances, this initiative will create greater exposure through integrating cutting-edge communications platforms and traditional media to meet the needs of a growing and diverse regional community.

Windsor Historical Society
Initiative:Improving the Strong-Howard House experience (Adaptive Capacity)
Award: $6,500
Date(s): January 2015 – December 2015
Continuing their commitment to inspiring public awareness of the diverse people, places, and events that contribute to Windsor’s evolving history, this initiative will expand on programming at the Strong-Howard House allowing visitors to engage with actors and experts in period dress and create a hand-on experience of the historic home. By combining heritage with theater in the authentic setting of the historic home, the organization sees this initative as a way to raise their public profile and broaden their interpretive capacity for school audiences and museum visitors.

Women Composers Festival of Hartford
Initiative:Women Composers Festival Organization Development (Incubator)
Award: $4,500
Date(s): January 2014 – June 2014
The Women Composers Festival of Hartford provides an enriching platform for the promotion of music by female composers. Its goals include fostering music by women composers, living and historical, through performance, outreach, and development. The festival began in 2000 as a concert series presented by students, faculty, and alumni of The Hartt School. In its thirteen years, programming has broadened further to highlight as diverse a mix of genres as possible, such as orchestral music, electro-acoustic music, and choral works. In order to draw upon new financial resources and grant funding to support its growing programming, the organization will use Ignition Grant funds to incorporate as a non-profit organization. The organization will work with a law firm to facilitate the development of bylaws, procedures and business practices and train Board members about their roles and responsibilities.

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