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Hartford Public Library

Problem Statement

How to maximize community engagement and collaboration around the issue of aging in American society through cultural and historical frameworks.


The development of an expansive project that created a symbolic conversation among teens, older community members, visual artists and poets and involved a sequence of activities undertaken by teams that explored the themes of aging through art, history and language and that maximized collaboration with community members by working with them as co-creators.


A program that was both a unique collaboration around historical issues and artifacts as well as a participatory community art project that had many ripple effects and involved diverse participants. Outcomes included: the creation of 12 original poems by noted area poets; a Main Street public art installation that spanned the walkway between collaborating partners; an in-house exhibition; a magazine issue dedicated to issues of age and aging; and, the production of a high quality brochure that reflected individual team participation.