GRANT 71:

BOTS POTS

02/21/2014

The Charter Oak Cultural Center's BOTS Pots program is getting at the root of Connecticut's homeless problem – with innovation, and fresh vegetation.

Despite its status as one of our nation’s wealthiest states, Connecticut’s capital is among the poorest. With thousands in Hartford suffering from homelessness and a lack of relevant social services, Charter Oak is applying the power of arts and culture to reinvigorate their city. One of their programs, BOTS Pots, meaning Beat of the Street, Charter Oak’s “street” newspaper written by individuals experiencing homelessness, provides both food and job opportunities for the unemployed. BOTS places large potted vegetable plants throughout Hartford, for which homeless citizens are trained and hired to tend.

The vegetables become free meals to feed those in need, and the pots? Eye-popping public art, thanks to the gracious hands of local artists. Helping someone get back on their feet doesn’t cost anything, but those huge pots sure do! With the help of this AWB grant, the group will be able to sponsor additional pots. Even two pots translate into more work for locals, and more work means more growth for Hartford as a whole.

Take a gander at BOTS Pots’ living masterpieces on Facebook, and see what the shrub’s all about.