University of Saint Joseph ArtsMentor Program Awarded Funding from National Endowment for the Arts and Richard P. Garmany Fund

Monday, December 10, 2018

WEST HARTFORD, CT -- The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) today announced that ArtsMentors, a community engagement program for underserved youth, has received $10,000 in funding support from both the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Program and the Richard P. Garmany Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

In its third year at USJ, ArtsMentors offers a special opportunity for teachers, scout leaders, church youth group facilitators, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and other mentoring programs to provide access to high-quality performances by guest artists at USJ’s Autorino Center for the Arts & Humanities. In addition, the mentors/mentees interact with artists, USJ faculty, and other professionals through dinners, discussions, and workshops. 

“Serving the community is at the heart of USJ’s mission, and we are very grateful for the support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Richard P. Garmany Fund to continue our program which, through shared joy in experiencing the arts, builds strong mentor-mentee relationships and enriches the lives of all involved,” said USJ President Rhona Free, Ph.D.

ArtsMentors has partnered with Hartford-based Dream Support Network and its founder Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad, as well as current USJ MSW student Hector Amaro, to recruit approximately 20 to 30 mentor/mentee pairs to attend designated arts events during the Autorino Center's performance season. Upcoming ArtsMentors events include:

  • February 8, World Premiere of “Frequency,”
  • March 29, “Mercy Suite:”
  • April 12, Amirah Sackett, “Al-Qalb:” The hip-hop dancer and choreographer of “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic” returns to USJ to create a brand new piece! “Qalb” is an Arabic word for heart, with the root word meaning “something that turns around, something that changes easily.” “Al Qalb” is a movement piece based on the poetry of Rumi, exploring the mysticism of the heart and its importance in the human quest for the divine. The performance is followed by a panel and audience discussion moderated by Kenneth Long, Ph.D., USJ professor of Political Science.
  • April 17, Afro-Cuban All Stars:
  • May 25, Arts Day:  This will be a four-hour day of hands-on workshops and showcase performances. ArtsMentors will also enjoy a tour of the campus and learn about life as a college student.

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) offers a wide range of coeducational undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs that combine a professional and liberal arts education with opportunities for mentored research, community service, clinical field work, and internships. Programs are taught on the University’s two campuses in West Hartford and Hartford, Connecticut; at off-campus locations throughout the state; and online. Founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy, the University of Saint Joseph offers degrees with value and values. To learn more, view our website at



Diana Sousa
Office of Marketing and Communications
University of Saint Joseph

Tom Andrea

Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations


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