Write to the Point! at The Mark Twain House & Museum, the newest member of the wonderful Neighborhood Studios program of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. The terrific work these teen writers did at Twain Studios this summer wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a lot of people who truly care.
The Arts Council is filled with talented people who are committed to the idea that music, photography, dance, theater, film and writing are crucial to a vibrant community. I’d like to especially thank Ashley Sklar for skillfully helping Twain Studios navigate through its inaugural year.
Supporters of the arts are true heroes. Without them, programs like this wouldn’t exist. That means these apprentices wouldn’t have had the tremendous opportunities they had all summer at The Mark Twain House & Museum. They wouldn’t have been writing, meeting fascinating visitors like Stephen King or, equally important, acquiring new friends throughout the Greater Hartford area. So I offer my deep gratitude for the generosity of Travelers, the Bank of America and all of the sponsors, but especially to our studio sponsor, The Hartford. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Finally, a huge debt is owed to The Mark Twain House & Museum for opening its doors to young people this summer. The entire staff put up with an energetic group of teenagers moving in and being mildly disruptive for six weeks and went out of their way to make us all feel welcome and at home.
As experts on all things Twain, Publications Editor Steve Courtney and Chief Curator Patti Philippon cheerfully answered an endless stream of questions. And Patti provided us with precious photos of our brief encounter with Stephen King. Manager of Communications and Special Projects Jacques Lamarre, who is wonderfully inclusive of young writers, arranged for apprentices to interview the governor of Bermuda and the world’s strongest librarian. Julia Pistell, a public relations pro at the Twain House, made sure the apprentices got to see Stephen King and took them to WNPR to record some of their writing with Senior Producer Catie Talarski, who kindly took the time to work with each of them. I am grateful to each of them for all they did to help me and support these young writers.
Such a warm and writer-friendly atmosphere wouldn’t exist without stellar leadership setting the tone, and at the Twain House, that’s the enthusiastic Executive Director Cindy Lovell.
Because all these people cared, a diverse group of terrific young people filled their summer with learning, adventure, fun and friendship. I’m honored to have served these amazing teens.
— Jackie Majerus, Master Teaching Artist