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Remarks from Mort Handel - Construction Kickoff

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Remarks from President Walter Harrison - Construction Kickoff
On September 17, Hartford Courant columnist Stan Simpson praises the new Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center in today’s paper. Simpson says the Handel Center will "raise the profile of U of H as one of the country’s top-flight performing arts universities." Simpson also notes the Handel Center’s importance to the city. Read the column in the Hartford Courant.

Two photographs of the September 12 Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center dedication appeared on the front page of the Hartford Courant’s "Connecticut" section on Sept. 13. You can look at the photos in the "Connecticut Week in Photos" slideshow on courant.com.

Reporters and photographers from NBC 30, Fox 61, New England Cable News, Associated Press, Hartford News, Hartford Inquirer, Northend Agents, West Hartford News and West Indian American also covered the dedication.

Mark George, director of The Hartt School Community Division, and Miguel Campaneria, chair of the Community Division’s Dance Department, were guests on the Fox 61 Morning News on Tuesday, Sept. 2. George and Campaneria talked about the new dance classes at the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center. To Watch the interview on Fox 61’s website. click on “Dancing at the Hartt School of Music” under the “Morning News” video player.

The new Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center was the subject of Tom Condon’s weekly column in the "Place" section of Sunday’s Hartford Courant. Condon calls the Handel Center "tremendously cool, a remarkable and counterintuitive reuse of a commercial building." Read the column on the Courant's website.

The Aug. 11 edition of the Hartford Business Journal featured a cover story on the Handel Center and how it will benefit University students and the community. Read the article here.

The August edition of Hartford Magazine features a brief article and photo about The Hartt School Community Division’s move to the Handel Center as well as an ad.

The July and August editions of Connecticut Magazine featured full-page color ads chronicling the building progress on the Handel Center. See the ads here and here.

The July 13, 2008 Guide to Education special supplement in the Hartford Courant included an ad for the Handel Center.

In April and May, The Bushnell’s The Prompter and the Hartford Stage playbill featured full page ads about the Handel Center. See the ad here. (The Hartford Stage production “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore” included The Hartt School senior Amanda Tudor in the role of Simonetta as part of The Hartt School/Hartford Stage Partnership in Training.)

On Wednesday April 30, the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center was featured in the Hartford Courant’s Upper Albany special supplement with an article, an ad and comments from Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez who called the Center ”a combination celebration of economics, education, community support and, of course, a new premiere theatre for arts and entertainment.”

On Thursday April 17, new banners went up on the Handel Center building with the headline "Something's Happening Here" and the web address www.HandelCenter.org. The banners coincide with ads promoting the Center that appear in the playbills at The Bushnell, Hartford Stage and Seven Angels Theater for the remainder of the spring theatre season.

On Wednesday April 30, the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center was featured in the Hartford Courant’s Upper Albany special supplement with an article, an ad and comments from Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez who called the Center ”a combination celebration of economics, education, community support and, of course, a new premiere theatre for arts and entertainment.”

On Thursday April 17, new banners went up on the Handel Center building with the headline "Something's Happening Here" and the web address www.HandelCenter.org. The banners coincide with ads promoting the Center that appear in the playbills at The Bushnell, Hartford Stage and Seven Angels Theater for the remainder of the spring theatre season.

On Sunday, April 13, the Mort and Irma Handel Center was featured in the Blue Hills section of "Keys to the City" in the Hartford Courant.  

On Sunday April 6, Courant columnist Tom Condon referenced the Handel Center as the new home for the dance division of The Hartt School Community Division. Read Tom Condon's column.

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, the Handel Center was promoted in the “Focus on Higher Education” supplement in the Hartford Courant. See the ad.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007, Tom Condon, editor of the "Place" section for the Hartford Courant's "Commentary" pages, wrote about construction progress on the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, which is rising from the former Thomas Cadillac auto dealership on Albany Avenue. Condon took a tour of the project with John Carson, vice president of University Relations and Tyler Smith of Smith Edwards Architects, the lead architect for the project.

On Tuesday July 31, 2007 the Handel Center was prominently featured in the “Business” section of Hartford Courant, with a lengthy architectural analysis, an outline of the history of the site, and numerous photos. “The designs for the arts center pay homage to the old dealership by preserving much of its architecture, which were designed by noted industrial architect Albert Kahn,” the Courant’s Jessica Marsden wrote.

Doug Thomas, co-owner of Thomas Cadillac, which is now located in Hartford's North Meadows, said he was pleased that the dealership’s previous site—which had long been neglected—is being transformed. He praised those at the University who have been shepherding the project.

“They really had some vision to say, out of the darkness they saw something bright,” Thomas told the Courant.

On Monday, June 18 2007, the construction kickoff and naming ceremony for the Handel Center generated a great deal of media attention when Gov. M. Jodi Rell, U.S. Congressman John Larson and Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez all spoke about the importance of this project for Hartt School students and the North Hartford community. President Walter Harrison did interviews about the project on the “Morning Show with Ray & Diane” on WTIC-AM and the “Brad Davis Show” on WDRC-AM.

In addition to coverage of the event by local television stations NBC 30, WFSB-TV Channel 3, and WTIC Fox 61, the ceremony was also videotaped by Connecticut Network (CT-N) for broadcast.

An editorial in the Tuesday, June 19 Hartford Courant said that the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center “combines the best aspects of public policy, private initiative and creative imagination.” It further stated that through President Walter Harrison’s leadership, the project is a “regional asset that combines the best aspects of public policy, private initiative, and creative imagination.”

The construction kickoff event also was covered in Imprint publications, including the West Hartford News, Simsbury Post, and Avon Post. “We started as a music school and now we offer music, theater, and dance,” said Malcolm Morrison, dean of The Hartt School. “We outgrew our space a long time ago.”

The State of Connecticut Department of Economic Development online newsletter included news about the construction kickoff on June 18.