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As the extended community of learning evolves, it will be essential to encourage fresh thinking and to ensure that innovative ideas, once tested and proven successful, find their way into the mainstream of College activity.

The College-Community Innovation Fund encourages faculty, students and members of the neighborhood community to partner in innovative projects to be incorporated into curricular and/or co-curricular models. Proposals are solicited from both the college and the neighborhood community. Multi-disciplinary proposals are strongly encouraged, with particular emphases on arts in community, science in an urban context, and education in the city.

The review panel consists of the Vice President for Community and Institutional Relations, the Assistant Director for Community Development, the Director of Information Technology, and the Coordinator for Urban Learning Initiatives.

Faculty, students or members of the community interested in developing a proposal should contact Elinor Jacobson, Coordinator for Urban Learning Initiatives for further information.

The following proposals have been funded:

  • A $6000 grant was awarded to the A City Celebrates! project, a continuing Trinity College collaboration with several city partners. The project, conceived by Trinity Professor Milla Riggio, brings together community groups and Trinity students and faculty to study and celebrate the carnival traditions of many cultures. A group of Trinity students are studying at the University of the West Indies in Port of Spain this semester (Spring '99). In addition to their studies, students will be meeting with national and city officials, artists, civic organizers and others to find out about the celebratory traditions of Trinidad. Educators and performing and visual artists from the Hartford community joined the students for a week in February, touring the country and participating in a variety of activities. These community educators will assist Trinity College and local organizations in the ongoing A City Celebrates! project, with the eventual goal of mounting an annual carnival event.
  • $4000 was awarded to the "Byrd/Borders Project" for development of new dance work examining immigrant experiences in this country. Donald Byrd's dance company, The Group, was in residency at Trinity College for one week, developing the piece with input from students, faculty and community people. On four successive weekday evenings, from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., the company invited community and campus collaborators to open, working sessions as the dance piece evolved. The performance of the work in progress was held at the Austin Arts Center on March 20, 1999.
  • A grant of $37,000 has been awarded to Professors Hebe Guardiola-Diaz (biology) and David Henderson (chemistry) for a project called the Urban Environment Fellows Program. Students will be engaged in a project helping to solve the urban environmental problem of how to reclaim contaminated parcels of land. Under the professors' direction, students will develop and implement methodologies to remove contaminants. Throughout the project, Trinity will collaborate with the City of Hartford's Redevelopment Agency, the State Department of Environmental Protection, neighborhood groups and local schools. (Funding approved March 1999)
    Please see web site at
    (Rhythm of the People)
    The Kellogg College/Community Innovation Fund awarded $25,000 for the Ritmos de Pueblo project, $5000 toward performance costs and $20,000 toward the production of a video documentary of the project. The documentary covers the events and performances of the festival, including interviews with the planning committee, performers, community members, Trinity students and Hartford school children. Workshops and performances were held at Hartford schools, in the neighborhood and on the campus. We anticipate the video will be aired on Connecticut Public Television and will be made available to community and public access television stations throughout Connecticut. In addition, it will be distributed to schools, libraries and art organizations.
  • “Life Histories and Community Trajectories in Hartford’s Low Income Neighborhoods: 1970-2000” received $15,000 for the first phase of the two-year study. Dr. Janice Perlman, the Professor of Comparative Urban Studies, is the principal investigator for the study. The study explores the contextual, policy, and civil-society conditions, which enable individuals and families in Hartford to break out of the intergenerational perpetuation of poverty and social exclusion. The study aims to: (1) inform and transform policy and practice through a longitudinal analysis of which factors assist individuals and families to break out of poverty; (2) model how rigorous research can change mental paradigms and action strategies; and (3) enable community members, faculty, and students to work together. The first phase has consisted of a feasibility study and exploratory research during summer/fall 2000 to determine the degree of difficulty in identifying people interviewed 25-30 years ago and re-locating them or their descendants within or beyond the Greater Hartford Metropolitan area today. Dr. Perlman will ultimately compare the findings of her study in Hartford with a similar study she is conducting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A $15,000 grant was awarded to the Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum for a conversational Spanish project that is a collaboration between the Department of Modern languages at Trinity College and the Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum. This is an intense, 10-week program geared to create a marked improvement in the practitioner’s conversational Spanish. The goal of the project is to provide an opportunity for English speakers to learn some practical Spanish that will enhance their ability to work effectively in Spanish-speaking communities. While both Trinity College and the Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum have provided this service in the past, it is anticipated that the joint venture will provide increased opportunities to maximize the resources of the individual institutions. Trinity will provide students and interns for teaching and laboratories for individual learning. The Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum will provide experienced teachers and labs.
  • The Kellogg College/Community Innovation Fund has awarded a grant to the Hartford Studies Project for a college/community collaboration entitled Documentary Film Project: Hartford 1969-70. The project was conceived when a Hartford resident came forward with a documentary filmed shortly after the 1968-69 disturbances, portraying a community meeting held in Hartford in the wake of the riots and depicting efforts for reform in education, housing and public policy. It was filmed as part of the war on poverty and civil rights initiatives. Hartford Studies Project director, Susan Pennybacker, realized that many of the original participants were still around and invited them to a viewing, which resulted in two intensive weekends of interviewing and filming the original participants 30 years later. The Hartford Studies Projects plans to produce a 90 minute documentary on Hartford in 1969, using the original documentary project, and weave it together with the recent interviews, examining ways in which that era influenced the evolution of Hartford during the final three decades of the 20th century.
  • $21,000 awarded for a community public art project, a collaboration between Trinity students and faculty and students from the Learning Corridor's Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. A large mural will be installed on the exterior wall of 1283 Broad Street, facing Allen Place and the Frog Hollow community. Working under the leadership of Pablo Delano, professor of Studio Arts, Marcelina Sierra, teacher at the Learning Corridor and Nitza Tufino, arts educator and activist, students will create a work of art that visually enhances the neighborhood and also reflects the struggles and concerns of area residents. The subject matter and design of the mural will grow out of consultation with neighborhood residents and out of class discussions.

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