There are various venues to enjoy and create music in Hartford. Gaukía, for example, is a Latina art, culture, and music organization. It was founded in 1983 to help the Puerto Rican youth appreciate and understand their roots. It now serves the entire Latina community in Hartford. Guakía offers music, arte, dance and reading programs. Children, adolescents and adults may take music composition classes or guitar and piano lessons. The center also offers ballet, folklore, salsa and hip-hop classes. You can find a schedule for classes here: http://www.guakia.org/schedule.html
Hartford has many clubs and restaurants where you can dance and listen to live Latina music. La Casona specializes in Latin food and has salsa classes every Thursday, from 7 until 10 pm. Friday nights are Happy Hour with Latina music and a disc jockey. DJ Louie East works Saturday nights with salsa, meringue, bachata, regatón and freestyle. Cick here for more information:
Alisa’s House of Salsa is located through Connecticut, in New Haven, Waterbury, Meriden and Hartford. This business offers salsa for all levels. There are bellydancing classes in the Hartford location. Visit the webpage to see the schedule: http://www.alisashouseofsalsa.com/
For a different atmosphere, visit http://www.hcdance.org/, the Hartford Community Dance website. This organization offers the following types of dancing: contra, cajón/zydeco, swing and waltz.
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Art in Hartford
Although Hartford is a smaller city than Boston and New York, there are many artistic venues and museums like Real Art Ways, the Charter Oak Cultural Center and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Real Art Ways is on 56 Arbor Street in Hartford. It has a gallery of contemporary visual art. The website, http://www.realartways.org/visualarts.htm, has a gallery calendar with a list of upcoming exhibitions. Real Art Ways hosts a diverse group of artists and art; for example, Sabrina Marques has an exhibition between April 19th and May 13th about her conversations with Cuban artists living in Miami. In the two weeks following this show, there will be arte about the image and identity of the Mexican conquistador and Asian myths. There are also activities for children. Family Fest happens each February, when children enjoy films and workshops on performance and art.
Charter Oak Cultural Center has a rich history in the city of Hartford. Charter Oak is a non profit organization which serves as a center for exploring the diverse cultures of Hartford and the entire world. It presents theater and visual art from all over the world. Since 2002, Charter Oak has hosted theater in Spanish with English subtitles. It attracts theater groups from New York and other parts of New England. The Cultural Center serves as an example for how we can understand and enjoy such a diverse city. Like Real Art Ways, it has programs for children. It is located on 21 Charter Ark Avenue. Please visit the website: http://www.charteroakcenter.org
Lastly, there is an organization in New Haven that promotes Latino art and culture whose reach extends into Hartford, called Arte Inc.