September 9 - 16, 1998

Southside Media Homepage

This Week's Hartford News

Hartford News: 9/9 - 9/16

Hartford News ARCHIVES

El Reportero

Hartford Tonite!

Advertising Information


Hartford's "Dot Man" Headed for California

by Andy Hart

Robb Hankins, the flamboyant Executive Director of the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC), has resigned his position to take a job as head of the Public Corporation for the Arts in Long Beach, California.

In his five-year stint with the GHAC, Hankins rejuvenated the 27-year-old agency through increased funding and recognition. He is best known as the founder of the "Connect the Dots" program, which highlights the GHAC's numerous member organizations (each one being represented by a dot). His vigorous promotion of the campaign led to his being known around town as "The Dot Man."

Hankins also created the "First Thursdays" program in Hartford, which combines numerous shows, performances and other activities throughout the city on the first Thursday of every month.

Hankins, who will leave for his new job next month, described his departure from the GHAC as "firing" himself. "It's something I've done five times before. It's part of a process of stepping aside so that new leadership with new skills and new energy can come in and keep the momentum going," he said. Before coming to Hartford, Hankins worked on arts councils in Wisconsin, Texas, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Michigan.

Gordon Kreh, President and CEO of Hartford Steam Boiler and President of the GHAC's Board of Directors, said Hankins' decision was "an inevitability we all knew was coming because Robb completed everything we asked when we hired him five years ago."

Kreh said that as a fundraiser, Hankins had helped boost revenue for the GHAC's annual United Arts Campaign from $1.5 million to $2.5 million, an increase of about 66 percent (well above the national average of four percent). He also praised Hankins as the creator of "Culture 200," which has been adopted by the Hartford Millennium Project as its official arts and entertainment strategy.

The GHAC will begin a nationwide search to replace Hankins and hopes to have a new director in place by January. Hankins said the search should be relatively easy because the GHAC is now "one of the ten best in America and because now everything in Hartford is on the upswing."

Austin Lydon, Chairman of the GHAC's Board of Directors agreed, saying, "Sure we'd love him [Hankins] to stay for another five years, but we are so strong now that this transition will be an easy one."

Top of Page

The Southside Media Web Site is a creation of...

Town USA Eagle

"Your One Stop Source for Community and Business Information"