December,  2015 

Your copy of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association 'News & Views' has arrived!   You will find that you can easily go to any subject in the table of contents by just clicking on it or just browse through the articles as you wish. Please have a look. 


Next Meeting 12/07/2015

The next meeting is Monday December 7th, 6:15 P.M. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue.   We will be having our 'end of  year' holiday season celebration at this meeting and the business portion of the meeting will be shortened to accommodate this event. 

From The Chair
The hymn, "Let There Be Peace on Earth", was written in 1955 by Jill Jackson-Miller and Seymour Miller. After Jill Jackson Miller suffered the effects of divorce, she lost hope and became suicidal. During her years of recovery, Jill met Seymour Miller who was a gifted musician and song writer whom she married. Together they wrote the hymn "Let There Be Peace on Earth." 

HouseFrom the House
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends and that you enjoy the remainder of the holiday season as we close out 2015.


AHThenAsylum Hill Then and Now
Then - early 1960's
By the time this photo had been taken, this beautiful Victorian home was already converted into the Aetna Tailor Shop and the Queen City Barber Shop and judging by the sign in the front giving notice of a zoning application, it was likely about to change again.
Its address was 201 Farmington Ave, which would put it about where the Police Sub-Station is now and about where the last iteration of the Queen City Barber Shop was as well in the '90s.


Pictured above is that strip of retail storefronts that are the north side of the Lincoln Culinary School. They are currently empty and once again are ready for a new purpose.
Exploring Asylum Hill:
Kari Nicewander
Now that Rev. Nicewander's installation ceremony is behind us and she is officially the permanent Senior Pastor at Immanuel Congregational Church, it seemed a good time to sit down and have a talk with her so all of us can get to know her a little bit better.

Asylum Hill Volunteer of the Month: AHCC
As part of their celebration of their 150th anniversary, and as a reminder of their historic ties to West Middle School and the Asylum Hill community, Asylum Hill Congregational Church has begun a campaign to establish a Volunteer Resource Center at West Middle School when they return to their newly renovated campus in June.

Village for Families and Children - Woman of the Year Award

Award presented at Girl Within Luncheon, Dec. 4
   The Village for Families & Children's 2015 Woman of the Year award will be presented to Carle Mowell of West Hartford. Carle has been a dynamic and successful community volunteer in greater Hartford since 1973, active with the Junior League of Hartford, Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and American School for the Deaf, among others. She has also personally mentored a young woman and now her daughter, as well.

AHNA Interns and Academic Partners

This has been a really busy Fall semester for AHNA as our partnerships with local Colleges and Universities bear fruit. It started with Trinity College, first with our intern Rachel Rossetti who has been working with Jennifer Cassidy and the Welcoming Committee. Also their Community Learning Initiative program, with student researchers: Kaitlyn Sprague & Emy Farrow-German under Faculty Sponsor: Rasha Ahmed took on the task of assisting the Welcoming Committee's Multi-cultural Center Committee to find other places in the US where similar projects were undertaken in order to learn what might work and what should be avoided. They'll be presenting the results of this research on December 15th from 5:30 -7:00 pm at Hallden Hall North/Gallows Hill Commons Room at Trinity College. The public is welcome.


CT FasTrak Tour for Asylum Hill
On the Saturday morning of November 7th, nearly twenty Asylum Hill residents met at the Sigourney Street Fastrak station to a take a free ride. The Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association in cooperation with the CT DOT organized a free tour of the new Ct Fastrak Bus service. Residents met with Randal Davis of the DOT to learn about the new buses.

Fresh Start Pallet Project

Fresh Start Pallet Products, LLC was conceived in the backyard of Grace Lutheran Church here in Asylum Hill. It was meant to be a training and employment initiative after listening to stories of hungry people with little hope, and too many lost dreams. "Let's build furniture out of used shipping pallets, and, in that way, invite people to a new start, a second chance." This is an update on what's happened in the last and few months.

South Marshall Community Meeting
Following up on several successful events on S. Marshall St this past month, parents, children and a coalition of neighbors including, AHNA, Salvation Army, Immanuel Congregational and Grace Lutheran Churches, Hartbeat and Habitat for Humanity met at the Sandy Berry Room at Marshall House to talk about life on the street and what would make it better.

Open Studios Hartford

Once again the Open Studios Event in Hartford has proved to be a big success, and a big part of it is ArtSpace in Asylum Hill. The Kick-off Reception and Group Show on November 5th started things off and were followed by Ekphrasis on November 7th in the afternoon. This was an interesting event where musicians, dancers and poets created works inspired by specific works of visual art.

Read More
Harvest Market at Knox
On Saturday, November 21st several dozen vendors gathered at the Knox Inc. facilities on Laurel St just south of the railroad tracks to celebrate this year's harvest as well as the wide variety of healthy, local homemade and handmade things available in the area.



Participatory Budgeting
Have you ever wished you could have a voice in determining how money is spent in your city?  Now's your chance!  Get involved in Participatory Budgeting where citizens will propose ideas for spending and then vote on their choices.  This is real money, $1.25 million to be exact, and a real chance to take part in the decision making process.  Don't let this amazing opportunity pass you by.  Get involved, let your voice be heard and bring your ideas to the table.  See your ideas and suggestions take seed and blossom into projects that actually get done.  This is a first for Hartford and could set a precedent for future decision making by it's citizens.  Everyone is welcome, please take part.
I84 Hartford Project
The I-84 Hartford project continues to move forward with the CT DOT hosting frequent meetings in Hartford and neighboring towns. The most recent meeting was held here in Asylum Hill at the Mark Twain Branch Library at Hartford Public High School on November 16 th from 12:30- 7:00pm

Carol Sing in the Park
Come out and join the Friends of Sigourney Park and your neighbors in a festive seasonal carol sing in the park on Friday December 18th at 5:00 P.M.


Winter Fest Hartford
Free ice skating and skate rentals returned to Bushnell Park when Winterfest Hartford opened on November 22. Click on the link below to see calendar of events and more information about this wonderful winter time event.

Chrysalis Center Annual Christmas Tree Sale
Chrysalis Center will be having its Annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale on Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th from 9 am to 2pm. This year's event will also include a Holiday Bazaar in our Green Door Gallery! Hand crafted pottery and jewelry will be available for sale as well as many other hand crafted items.
This event is generously underwritten by The Hartford.
All trees are $25.00 each and wreaths are $15.00 each. Cash, Check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express payments are gladly accepted. The sale will be held in the upper parking lot, Chrysalis Center, 255 Homestead Avenue, Hartford.
Please plan on stopping by to purchase your tree and wreath and meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves! There will also be pictures with Santa and a bike raffle!
This is a fundraiser for the organization and your participation will be greatly appreciated. Bring your family and friends!
For further information, please contact Ellyn Laramie at 860.263.4419 or

Salvation Army - The Right Place

The Right Place offers Nationally Accredited Early Childhood Education to children, ages three to five, at two Centers in Hartford, and helps children to acquire the skills they need to be successful learners when they enter kindergarten.  Enrolling now.

Hartford Blooms Bus Tours

Hartford Blooms, in coordination with the Cathedral of Saint Joseph's Knights of Columbus will offer two tours during the Christmas season of Hartford's religious sights on December 15th and 16th, 2015. 
Tour Details

Passages Gallery Events Calendar
The next concert in the music series scheduled for Saturday December 5th will feature 2nd Line Jazz.  Click on the following link to see the calendar of events and the concert flyer for details. 

VOCE Christmas Concert

By popular demand Voce will present their very first Christmas Concert!
There are two Opportunities to Hear A VOCE CHRISTMAS!
Voce will be performing seasonal favorites at

St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Simsbury, CT
December 18th at 8:00pm
and at
Immanuel Congregational Church
Hartford, CT
December 19th at 7:30pm


VOCE Website




Hartford News AHNA Supplement

As part of our communications efforts we publish our newsletter 'AHNA News and Views' as a supplement in the Hartford News monthly.  To cover the printing costs we need to secure ads generating $500.00 dollars each month.  This provides us with four pages with color.  If you, an organization you work for or belong to would like to help support this effort please see the order form below.  Please contact the editor at  if you know of anyone or business you think we might reach out to for support.  Thank you.


Ad Order Form

Company Hartford Public Schools
Title Fundraising Events Specialist Night Custodian Lead Person
Responsiblitlities Develop fundraising strategies Oversee/participate school maintence
Education  Bachelor's degree GED
Experience Three to five years - good track-record Three year building cleaning/maintenace
Key Skills Proficient with Microsoft programs, etc Able to maintain working relationships
Other Full-time hourly position Capital Preparatory Magnet school
more info more info

Events Calendar


Please click on the following link to go to our online Events Calendar.

BriefsCommittee Briefs
Communications Committe e
Communications Committee met on November 16th to discuss the upcoming N&V as well as advertising for the print issues. CT Fastrak is potentially an advertiser.
Friends of Sigourney Square Park
Friends of Sigourney Square Park met on Nov 9th to further plan the annual Carol singing in the Park. This year will also include the Youth Challenge choir, a visit from Santa, and possibly Mrs. Claus, as well as Rep. Matt Ritter. There will be candy canes and hats for the children and hot cocoa for everyone afterwards at Glory Chapel.
Quality of Life  
Quality of Life Committee met on Nov 18th and again discussed the issue of tractor - trailers parked overnight on Asylum Hill streets. They are looking for additional methods of reducing these occurrences besides ticketing by HPD. Additionally David Corrigan provided members with a document from Public Works explaining the procedure for requesting a speed hump on a particular street. It can be found here
Welcoming Committee
Welcoming Committee met on Oct 22nd with the main focus being about the challenges around rental housing for new arrivals. Jennifer Cassidy, Martin Sronvi and Georges Annan-Kingsley have agreed to meet with Mutual Housing and Catholic Charities to look into solutions and report back.

From The Editor
If you have any comments, suggestions or submissions please contact me via email at 
Paul O'Mara Communications Committee Chair
Contact Us
Send emails directly to AHNA at

To visit our website click on the following link.   AHNA Website

To visit our Facebook page go to 'Asylum Hill Living' group page.