The Citizens Research and Education Network (CREN) honored
five people and two organizations at its 15th Annual Hartford
Heroes Awards ceremony last Friday, October 16, at the ArtSpace
Gallery on Asylum Street.
This year's winners are Mildred Torres Soto, Dollie and Jackie
McLean, Jonathan Bruce, Linda Bayer, Weaver High School's WQTQ-FM
and Our Piece of the Pie.
Soto was one of the first Hispanic women elected to Hartford
City Council. Her service to the community began back in 1970
when she worked as a community organizer for the Community Renewal
Soto later worked as Director of Planning and Development at
La Casa de Puerto Rico and now is Manager of Community Affairs
at The Hartford Courant.
Dollie and Jackie McLean are co-founders of the Artists Collective
on Clark Street. The Collective, which provides classes in dance,
music, drama and the visual arts with a special accent on the
culture of the African Diaspora, will soon be moving into a brand
new facility at the corner of Woodland Street and Albany Avenue.
Dollie serves as Executive Director of the organization. Husband
Jackie is known around the world as one of the all time great
jazz alto saxophonists.
Bruce has worked at the Community Renewal Team's Craftery Gallery
for 15 years and currently serves as its Executive Director.
He also serves on a number of boards and commissions, including
the Connecticut African American Affairs Commission, the Board
of Electors of the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Board of Directors
of the Amistad Foundation.
Bayer is Assistant City Manager of the City of Hartford and,
among her many duties, is in charge of coordinating the city's
Neighborhood Revitalization Zones (NRZs) and also provides assistance
to Hartford 2000, a group made up of representatives from the
Our Piece of the Pie, which is housed at Southend Community Services,
received the "Breath of Fresh Air" award for its work
on youth employment and teaching business skills to city youngsters.
Among other achievements, the organization has founded the Junior
Art Makers and Your Heart's D'Lite programs.
Weaver's WQTQ-FM, which can be found at 89.9 on the radio dial,
is one of the few radio stations in the state run by high school
students. The nonprofit station provides a variety of programming
and helps introduce students to the world of mass communication.