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16th Annual Vision Awards Gala

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Our 16th Annual Vision Awards Gala will be held on Monday, May 15, 2017 at the Hartford Mariott Downtown. The Cornerstone Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to all Gala attendees. The Gala begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Gala are $175.

Our 2017 Vision Award Honorees

The Charter Oak Temple Restoration Association Founding Board
Vision Award in Jewish Heritage
This year, our Jewish Heritage Award goes to the courageous, visionary men and women who saved our historic building from destruction in the 1970s. They called themselves “COTRA,” the Charter Oak Temple Restoration Association. They fought an uphill battle to preserve the ϐirst synagogue built in Connecticut as an historic site—and won! They dreamed of turning the space into a multi‐cultural arts center that would serve the people of Hartford and honor those who, in 1843, fought equally hard to win the right to build a Jewish house of worship. Because of the dedication of those who formed COTRA, their dream became a reality—the building still stands, is about to undergo a major renovation and is the beloved home of free multi‐cultural arts programming for over 1300 underserved Hartford children, members of the homeless community and all who wish to learn about other cultures through the magic and power of performances and exhibits that teach understanding and inspire hope.

Marvin McNeill
Vision Award in Arts and Education
Marvin McNeill, the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at The University of Connecticut, holds a B.S. in Music Education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Connecticut. At UCONN, Marvin also serves as Director of the University Concert Band, works with the University’s Pep Bands, as well as the Funky Dawgz Brass Band. Marvin teaches Instrumental Techniques courses within the School of Fine Arts Music Department and has created Hartford’s first all‐city youth brass band at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.

Melvyn Colon
Vision Award in Social Justice
Melvyn Colon is the Executive Director of Southside Institutions Neigborhood Alliance (SINA). Before coming to SINA, Melvyn served as Director of the Community Building and Organizing Initiative at NeighborWorks America, as the Loan Fund Director of YouthBuild USA and as the Executive Director of Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation in Roxbury, MA. Melvyn also has teaching and administrative experience at Tufts University, University of Massachusetts and served a, as an assistant dean at Yale University, largely focused on supporting the minority student population. Melvyn earned a BA from Yale College, a Masters in City Planning from MIT and is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Studies Program at MIT.

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