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CFGNB engages arts guru Ken Kahn to assess potential for New Britain’s creative economy

During the past 40 years, Kenneth (“Ken”) Kahn has led arts, culture and heritage organizations and agencies in New York, Baltimore, Miami, Fort Worth, Hartford, and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In each community, he’s unified efforts to address the needs of diverse arts and cultural organizations. He’s created excitement for countless exhibits and performances. And he’s dramatically increased individual, corporate, government and foundation support for the arts, even during tough economic times.

“Cities that flourish creatively also succeed on many other fronts: business and employee recruitment, technological innovation, income and overall quality of life,” said Kahn. “While every city is unique, creative communities that work share a united vision, memorable brand, broad community participation and solid, year-to-year financial resources.”

For the past two months, Kahn has been listening to New Britain residents, community service providers, arts, culture and history organizations, school, corporate, civic and government leaders.

The topics? How to better unite and support the city’s artistic and cultural assets. How to engage more residents and build pride in the city’s artists, art institutions and events. How to leverage New Britain’s creative personality in ways that can help the city’s businesses.

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) commissioned Kahn to begin conversations on how to improve administration within and coordination among the city’s arts and cultural organizations.

The outreach will inform “a series of thoughtful, practical and doable ideas the city may consider to unify, manage and promote its cultural assets over the next few years,” said Kahn, who will provide a summary of his conversations and ideas in a report to CFGNB’s board of directors by year-end.

“Ken’s vast experience and successful track record as an arts organization leader made him the perfect choice to tap community sentiment and offer sound ideas for New Britain’s arts, cultural and heritage scene,” said CFGNB President and CEO Jim Williamson. “By better connecting and mobilizing our incredible historic, cultural and artistic gems, we have the potential to not only engage the city’s residents but also elevate New Britain as a business and tourism destination.”




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