• Jackie McLean - Founder

Where the World of Art is Making a Difference for Greater Hartford

The Artists Collective was founded in 1970 by world renowned alto-saxophonist, composer, educator Jackie McLean as an interdisciplinary arts and cultural institution.

It is the only multi-arts organization of its kind emphasizing the cultural and artistic contributions of the African Diaspora. Programs expose students and the community to great and often overlooked artists of the past and present; offering the highest quality training in dance, theater, music and visual arts.

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Harvard University Project Co-Arts Report: "A Safe Haven"

The mission of the Artists Collective

Is to preserve and perpetuate the arts and culture of the African Diaspora by providing training in the performing and visual arts and by sponsoring special events. It is also the mission of the Collective to develop professional artists, to foster positive feelings of self-identity among peoples of the African Diaspora, and to raise public consciousness about the value of this culture.

What Our Students Say

“The Artists Collective lets kids live their dream. It lets you feel like you can be who you want. It’s my first year here and I already feel like this is home. I love the programs and the chances this program lets kids have. I see a lot of black heritage stuff, posters, artwork, etc. which makes me feel like I’m at my place. I love how proud this place makes me feel, and truly feel like this is the best program ever. I feel like it has everything it needs….Beautiful and fresh!”

Rachelle, Age, 14
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