Where ART Thou?
About "Where Art Thou?"
Searching for Connecticut’s Cultural Identity
Connecticut is a state rich in arts, history and culture. Tucked within the boundaries of all of Connecticut’s 169 towns are not only traditional arts organizations and programs, but enclaves of culturally diverse communities, and a long, rich history that extends back to pre-colonial times.
Too often these arts and cultural “gems” are overlooked and underappreciated. With Connecticut’s unique town government system, it can be easy to be familiar with a group or artist in your own town, but not those in just the next town over. Where ART Thou? is your answer to crossing artistic and cultural borders, giving you a chance to catch Connecticut artists in the process of creating their craft.
Take a front-row seat to artistic expression with your host Ray Hardman as he tours the state’s artists, cultural groups and arts-related businesses throughout Connecticut. Each episode will profile two artists -- anyone from a sculptor at work in their studio to a group of singers bringing colonial tunes to life. Go explore with Ray as he introduces you to the artists’ history, influences and motivations that lead them to create.
In March 2020, Ray Hardman was named Connecticut Public’s first Arts and Culture Reporter. Since then, he has reported extensively on the impact coronavirus has had on Connecticut’s arts community, including hosting and producing a one-hour special for CPTV, Connecticut Conversations: Art and Resiliency in the Time of Coronavirus.
Arts reporting has been important throughout Hardman’s career at Connecticut Public. As the host of Connecticut Public’s Morning Edition, and later All Things Considered, Hardman has profiled many notable artists and performers including actresses Olympia Dukakis and Carrie Fisher, and documentarian Ken Burns.
Hardman has also been laser-focused on Connecticut’s rich arts and culture sector. Through the years, as Hardman reported on one particular arts organization, he would discover many similar organizations whose good work went unreported. Often, nestled inside Connecticut's 169 towns are artists, performers, museums and ensembles whose stories go untold. Hardman was curious about these people and institutions, and that became the basis for Where ART Thou?.
Hardman says “As the show’s title suggests, I’m on the lookout for art. In this series I want to seek out and learn about these creative Connecticut people – what inspires them, what motivates them? How does their past connect to their art? Does their town or personal surroundings have an impact on their creativity? But even more than that, I want to watch them as they create and go into their 'flow,' to find out in a personal way what the creative process means to them.”
Hardman also hopes to become part of the process with the artist or performer. “If there is an opportunity to jump in and join in their passion, all the better! I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and try something new.”
Ray is an award-winning journalist, but he is no stranger to the arts. He’s a classically trained baritone who has been a soloist with Connecticut groups like Chorus Angelicus, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Bristol Symphony and the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He also is the front man for The Sparkomatics, a Bristol-based garage rock band.
WHERE TO WATCH
New episodes of Where ART Thou? premiere Sundays, September 20-October 25, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. on CPTV. Episodes encore on CPTV the following Mondays at 11:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., and on CPTV Spirit the following Fridays at 8 p.m.
WHERE TO STREAM
Funding provided by the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Julianne Varacchi and Ray Hardman are the producers.
Catie Talarski is the supervising producer.
Email the producers at firstname.lastname@example.org to share suggestions for artists and organizations in your community who are creating or performing interesting and unique works of art.
For general inquiries and questions, contact Connecticut Public's Audience Care team at 860-275-7550 or email email@example.com.
Interested in sponsoring Where Art Thou? Contact our Corporate Support and Underwriting team at 860-275-7202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.