Mission Statement

The mission of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day Program is to bring together people of diverse cultural heritage, to develop in all students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to reach their fullest artistic potential, to live productive lives and to contribute to society as creative, engaged citizens.

CREC is an intentionally diverse social justice organization whose members work to acknowledge, respect, and empathize with people of all different identifiers, such as race, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, education, age, ability, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, language, nationality, and religion. We commit to affirm and honor the lived experiences of others, to willingly challenge inherited beliefs and ideologies, and consequently learn, grow and serve.


Falll Showcase The CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half-Day Program is a desegregation magnet arts program that is open through a lottery process to public high school students in the Greater Hartford area. The student body comprises a racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity reflective of Greater Hartford. Through the arts, this program meets a broad regional strategy and a voluntary effort to reduce racial isolation in Greater Hartford area high schools. Our pre-professional arts training program is designed to prepare students to pursue post-secondary studies and/or professional careers in Dance, Music (instrumental and vocal), Musical Theater, Theater, Theater Design & Production, and Visual Arts. Commitment to serious study is the expectation for all students.

The Half-Day Arts curriculum is professionally-focused and academically-rigorous. It’s designed to supplement and expand students’ coursework and activities in their local school districts. Students, who commit to the Half-Day Arts Program, spend 13 intensive hours per week pursuing artistic excellence under the guidance of practicing arts professionals, who constitute the core faculty at the Academy. In addition, the Artist-in-Residency program brings outstanding artists to the Academy for master classes and presentations. These professional contacts enrich the curriculum as well as provide students with a realistic perspective on artistic careers. Attendance at performances and at master classes conducted by guest artists also supplements students’ learning experiences. As a pre-college arts training program, the Academy requires all students who attend or perform at Academy-sponsored events to conform to the standards in the industry.

Academy Beliefs

We believe:

  • Each individual has worth and deserves respect.
  • Each individual is accountable for his/her own actions.
  • Each individual has a right to education in the arts regardless of economics, race, location of residence, or other physical, social, or emotional factors.
  • Education in the arts raises moral, social and ethical consciousness.
  • A diverse multi-cultural environment enhances one’s perspective of self in relation to society.
  • Unity can be achieved through diversity.
  • Self-esteem and a positive self-image are crucial to learning.
  • Disciplined training benefits artistic growth.
  • The creative potential of each student deserves to be developed.
  • Students learn best in a safe, nurturing environment at school, at home and in the community.
  • An individual’s achievement is affected by their motivation and commitment.
  • All people have the innate ability to express themselves artistically.
  • The arts are vital to human development.
  • Through the arts, students enhance and improve their knowledge of basic skills.
  • Training in the arts educates the whole human being, integrating the creative with the analytical.
  • Through cooperation and ensemble work, students can create artistic results that exceed individual efforts.
  • Cooperative group endeavors in the arts develop and enhance social skills and interpersonal relationships.
  • Education in the arts creates opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Education in the arts promotes independence of thought necessary for leadership and creativity.
  • Creativity needs to be shared.
  • Learning is a lifelong process.

Philosophy of the Curriculum

Choreographers' Showcase

It is the goal of the Half-Day Arts Program to enable each student to develop their artistic, creative, and scholastic potential to the fullest. Through its core courses, the curriculum is designed to teach students the concepts and skills necessary to enter college and to become working artists. In addition, the Half-day Arts Program enables all students to work toward achieving the National Arts standards upon completion of our program.

Half-Day Arts courses expose students to work in a variety of genres, both to refine their ability and to provide practical experiences in a range of possible careers. The curriculum also seeks to respect and celebrate the diversity of our students as well as the strength and richness that diversity brings to the school and to society. Courses include material from around the world and from previous centuries as well as from contemporary America. By teaching students about the traditions and achievements of various artists, Academy courses encourage students to be receptive to their own possibilities and to the work of others – including their peers.

It is understood that students progress at different rates. Attention is paid to the individual needs, backgrounds, strengths, and limitations of each student. Nonetheless, all students are expected to meet the expectations of each and every course.

Students completing the programs at the Academy should leave as a viable candidate for a college program as well as create and replicate, on his/her own, that which they have been taught and to prepare and perform any work while understanding the context in which that work occurs as an artist.

Land Acknowledgement

To begin, we ask you to join us in reflection as a measure of honor and respect for the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples who protect this land. Land acknowledgements are rituals common in Native North American traditions, pronounced in front of friends and rivals in times of war and peace, meant to remind the listeners of the interconnected relationships between humans, other-than-humans and these homelands that have existed since long before settlers arrived. 

It is with humility that we acknowledge that the land on which we gather to perform, today known as The Learning Corridor, is located just west of the Kwinitekw [kwin-eh-TEK-wuh] or Connecticut River within Wangunk [WAHN–gunk] homelands. This river valley has sustained countless generations of Wangunk people, joined by other Indigenous communities from across the globe, including within Hartford’s Andean, Central American, and Caribbean communities, many of whom were displaced by the building of the spaces The Learning Corridor now inhabits. As we recognize and celebrate these Peoples – past, present and future – and their contributions to the land, we aspire to match their careful stewardship in our own practices, and we support the sovereignty of these and other tribal nations now and into the future, as we commit to building a more equitable and inclusive space for all.

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