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Editor's Letter

iQuilt and Spring

Spring is about taking advantage of the warm weather and enjoying outdoor spaces. So what better time to talk about iQuilt, a “culture based urban design plan,” designed to entice people to  Downtown Hartford? The centerpiece of iQuilt is a one-mile patch of parks and plazas referred to as a greenway, which would lead visitors from Bushnell Park to the waterfront.

“What’s motivating us is the fact that people keep driving past us from Hartford to Boston, or to New York,” says Connecticut’s First Lady Cathy Malloy, who also is the chief executive officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. “And yet we are so rich in the arts. We are loaded with culture here.”

Patricia Hickson, curator of contemporary art and Matrix at the Wadsworth Atheneum, has a keen eye for reconfiguring spaces. “I think the possibility of pulling together all the cultural  institutions through a greenway is very exciting,” Hickson says. “It will enliven the downtown.”

Although not on the iQuilt greenway, Hartford Stage would also benefit, says Michael Stotts, the theater company’s managing director. “Right now, people come to Hartford for individual institutions. Through the efforts of iQuilt, there will be a more coherent story about the assets the city has.”

David Fay, president and chief executive officer of The Bushnell, is one of the leaders behind iQuilt. “We have targeted the end of September to sponsor the first Hartford ‘Invisionfest,’” says Fay. “It will celebrate Hartford’s historic leadership in both scientific and cultural innovation, and will unveil more of the promise of a fulfilled iQuilt to the public. Mark September 28 and 29 on your calendar!”