About the Community Engagement Initiative

Mission Statement

The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) welcomes and inspires new and existing audiences while ensuring the Wadsworth is a vital part of the City and greater Hartford.

Impact Statement

Participants embrace the Wadsworth as their place and come together to experience the power of art.
May Museum introduces the Community Engagement Initiative under the leadership of the new director, Susan Talbott
September Various constituent groups are invited to the museum to participate in feedback sessions called the ChatBacks, which were held through February 2009
October Last Saturdays for Families launches, adding free family programming to pre-existing free admission hours First exhibition in the Connections Gallery opens, featuring the artist Mark Dion
November Publication of the Phase 1 Final Report on the ChatBacks
April Pilot of Museum on the Move begins, continuing into June
May First Summer Pre-collegiate Program scholarships awarded
July Summer Community Studio introduced
October First Artist Residency with MATRIX artist Kim Schoenstadt
July Last Saturdays for Families transitions to Second Saturdays for Families
April Masterplan for new museum directional signage completed by C&G Partners, a project for which the museum was later awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant
May Artist Residency with Jan Tichy and The Amistad Center’s Teen Advisory Group culminates in a series of teen-created public artworks in Hartford’s North End
June First Summer Diversity Internship offered at the Museum
September New bilingual permanent collection audio tours launched at the first Envisionfest Community Day
February The Wadsworth is named a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service The first comprehensive evaluation of CEI is published
June An interdepartmental staff team completes an evaluation of the Connections Gallery as a part of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Building Evaluation Capacity course
September Launch of the Community Arts Program
June American Sign Language video tour is introduced in collaboration with the American School for the Deaf
November The museum holds bilingual focus groups to gather feedback on family materials
December Engage! microsite launches
January The museum opens the newly renovated Post-War and Contemporary Art galleries and special exhibition spaces, including an Experimentation Gallery inspired by the success of the Connections Gallery
June The Wadsworth holds a focus group with staff from LGBTQ youth-serving organizations to inform in-gallery interpretation for Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls
September Morgan Great Hall and the newly reinstalled European collection open to the public on Envisionfest Community Day, including the launch of the museum’s new mobile tour
October Launch of the bilingual Great Chain Game, available through the mobile tour The museum publishes “Collecting Audience Feedback,” a guide to conducting focus groups
December Susan L. Talbott retires as Director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum; Thomas J. Loughman is named her successor
January The museum is awarded the W.E.B. DuBois Talented-Tenth Award by the Scribe’s Institute for “your dauntless commitment to the children, to innovative practices, and to your commitment to the Greater Hartford community at large”
March Anne Butler Rice is named the new Georgette Auerbach Koopman Director of Education, following the departure of Johanna Plummer in October 2015
August The museum launches Wadsworth Welcomes, which allows Hartford residents free admission any day that we are open

Education and Visitor Services

Anne Butler Rice · Georgette Auerbach Koopman Director of Education Lindsey Fyfe · School and Teacher Programs Manager Marisely Gonzalez · Youth and Community Programs Manager Jama Holchin · Education Assistant Janna Israel · Adult and Academic Programs Manager Angela Parker · Docent and Tour Programs Manager Aqua Drakes · Head of Visitor Experiences and Services Courtney Hebert · Manager of Groups & Visitor Services Adriana Pulit · Visitor Services Robert O’Brien · Visitor Services Heidi Adams · Visitor Services

Education Committee

Michael Klein · Chair, Trustee Marta Bentham · Trustee Mally Cox-Chapman · Trustee Carol Urick · Docent Council President Philippa Feigen Malkin · Trustee Laura Harris · Trustee Merrill Mandell · Trustee Michelle McFarland · Branch Manager, Mark Twain Branch Library Eileen Pollack · ex officio Trustee Ricardo Reyes · Edith Dale Monson Gallery Curator and Director, Hartford Art School Hy Schwartz · Trustee Barbara Ward · Trustee Thomas Loughman · ex officio, Director William R. Peelle, Jr. · ex officio, Trustee President