On September 1st at Infinity Hall in Hartford, CT, I humbly accepted the Connecticut Arts Hero Award. The award was established in 2016 by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and honors CT residents who reaffirm the significant role that arts play in advancing the culture of CT.

ASAP! began as a small, regional, after-school arts program and has grown tremendously in both mission and reach these past 22 years. Today we are an arts-infused education organization dedicated to promoting and supporting curiosity and joyful learning. I am continuously inspired by our participants and have gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside them, our staff, board of directors, teaching artists, and community members to create and provide programs that challenge us to grow and stretch ourselves.

Our projects this year focus on fostering relationships and cooperative practices that build community. We are bringing together students and teachers with varied life experiences and roles to listen, learn, collaborate, and create. We hope that emphasizing varied perspectives will nurture curiosity, communication, and awareness among our participants with the idea that these are foundational to a nurturing, generative and innovative community.

It is our amazing community of passionate supporters, volunteers, and change agents like you that enables us to make a difference. We are honored to include you in our ASAP! Community, and thank you for your help in making our mission a reality.

With gratitude,

JoAnne Torti
Executive Director