Hartford’s Free Center awarded a total of $329,500 to 36 art projects — visual arts, theater, podcasts, dance, video, fashion, music, publishing, etc. — as part of the center’s Independent Artists Fund, which seeks to support work from artistic communities of color.

Richard Hollant, director of Free Center, said projects were chosen from 143 submissions. Originally, the fund planned to distribute $120,000, but Hollant said the quality of the submissions led the center to increase the cycle to $329,500. Across the 36 projects, about 250 artists of color are involved, he said.

The scale of the funding, he said, reflects a desire to showcase the entire BIPOC artist community.

“It’s not about creating a community. The community is already there. It’s about lifting up that community so it can be seen as a whole as opposed to just seeing breakout folks in the community, which undermines the scale of how

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