December,  2017 

Your copy of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association 'News & Views' has arrived!   You will find that you can easily go to any subject in the table of contents by just clicking on it or just browse through the articles as you wish. Please have a look. 


Next Meeting 12/04/2017



The next meeting is Monday December 4th, 6:15 P.M. at The 224 Eco-Space, 224 Farmington Ave .  


From The Chair

Thoughts from the Chair

As we move from 2017 into 2018 with great expectation and hope, let us reflect on our failures and successes of 2017. Let us consider ways of doing things better by creating new disciplines for ourselves and sticking to them. We all have areas in our lives that can be improved on.  None of us are perfect. My thought this month is a question. How can we individually, as a part of a wonderful neighborhood make, more room for more joy in our lives?  

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HouseFrom the House

Greetings to my friends and neighbors in Asylum Hill!

By Rep. Matt Ritter
Connecticut families, currently on the waitlist, can start enrolling in the Care 4 Kids program, the state's primary child care support program. Care 4 Kids helps low- to moderate-income families in Connecticut pay for child-care costs. Across Connecticut, 98 percent of towns have families that receive Care 4 Kids funding.

This is a column I wrote on Care 4 Kids back in January that I wanted to share.


HawksHawks Eye View
West Middle Community School: an update
For the last several years, the West Middle School "family" has come together just before Thanksgiving Day to celebrate their own Thanksgiving dinner with the whole WMS Family. All the students and their families, all the faculty and staff and their families come together for this annual Thanksgiving Feast. And it really is a feast. 

Asylum Hill Then And Now

Asylum Ave. and Spring Street Intersection

While the title of this photo from the Hartford Public Library Hartford History Center Collection says "Asylum at Spring St," a quick look at a current map shows that Spring St. ends more than 100 yards north of Asylum at the I-84 West exit 48 ramp. But before I-84 was constructed, Spring St extended to Asylum. This street in the foreground is most likely Hopkins, which was the site of the previous Hartford Public High School. From available land records, it doesn't appear that this gas station lasted very long. The west view of 555 ArtSpace and the railroad overpass in the background help identify this location.
The site is likely to change again as plans for I-84 Hartford move forward.




Volunteer of the Month
Laura Essick, Art Therapist 



Most people in Asylum Hill know that Youth Challenge has been dedicated to helping people change their lives for decades here. The change they focus on is going from drug and alcohol dependent to clean and sober. The main tool they use is faith in God. But there are a lot of ways to accomplish this goal and a lot of other tools that can be applied to the task. The one that Laura Essick knows and uses is called Art Therapy.


Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center to Open at 43 Woodland Street

Individuals and families in Asylum Hill will have access to an array of behavioral health and primary care services at Wheeler Clinic's new Family Health & Wellness Center, opening at 43 Woodland Street in January 2018. Services for adults are currently provided at Wheeler's 999 Asylum Avenue location in Hartford and will be moved to the new expanded health center location when renovations are completed. The new center will feature pediatric and adult primary care services, dental care and behavioral health services delivered in an integrated, trauma-informed setting. 

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Human Centered Design at Hartford Public Library

By Michelle R. McFarland

Last October Library CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey sent four HPL managers to Chicago to attend a conference on Human Centered Design.
We learned a great deal but most importantly the resounding message was libraries have evolved into more than a building that places books on shelves. This conference reminded me of the awesome outreach Hartford Public Library has provided for many years.
Libraries are redefining themselves as places that are specifically designed to accommodate the needs of the customers in an intentional way.
This concept is called Human Centered Design. It is a creative approach to problem solving in real time for real people. The process involves designing public library space to suit the needs of the people.
This process allows creative ideas to flow from both staff and the public. It is a guaranteed way to build empathy for all people and improve patron service delivery as well.

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Hartford Blooms Christmas Tour

The Hartford Blooms Christmas Tour will be Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from 550 Farmington Ave., Hartford (Tangiers).  Visit the Governor's Residence, decorated for the holidays with musical groups performing; visit two historic churches, with knowledgeable guides (stained glass windows, architecture, history); tour Pratt Street; lunch on own; and shopping with a downtown Hartford twist, with items only found in downtown Hartford. Return to Tangiers.

$20 (with checks made out to 'Hartford Blooms/K of C, 140 Farmington Ave, Hartford CT 06105).  Include phone number and email address. Unless weather is dangerous, the trip is on rain, snow or shine.  860-296-6128,

Arts and Music on the Hill

Hartford City Ballet's The Nutcracker  

The annual performances of the Nutcracker, are all around us once again, but the one with the closest connection to Asylum Hill is still the Hartford City Ballet's sixth annual performance. Dartanion Reed and Keiko Nakamura, the husband -wife team who founded Hartford City Ballet are residents of Asylum Hill, and until recently, HCB was located here.  
Finding rental space with the right combination of size, access, parking and affordability is never easy, so at least for now they are rehearsing in Bloomfield. T his year's performance will be at Kingswood Oxford School, and the students have been   practicing for weeks. 



Open Studio Hartford

Hartford hosted it's 28 th annual Open Studio this past month and Asylum Hill was well represented.  For those who go every year you know that the kick off event as well as the concluding Ekphrasis and After Party were held at ArtSpace 555 Asylum Ave.   The main  hall just inside the front door has one item from every exhibiting artist, and the floors of hallways and apartments are filled with resident and non-resident artists and their work.   Some are returning artists displaying what they have done since last year as well as some of their most popular work from the past, others are new artists displaying for the first time.   Another 25 artist were on display at the Great Hall at Union Station, which is in itself a work of art. 

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Events Calendar


Please click on the following link to go to our online Events Calendar.

From The Editor
If you have any comments, suggestions or submissions please contact me via email at 
Paul O'Mara Communications Committee Chair
Contact Us
Send emails directly to AHNA at

To visit our website click on the following link.   AHNA Website

To visit our Facebook page go to 'Asylum Hill Living' group page.