NEW BRITAIN - Thursday was the last day on the job for Stephen Hard, executive director of the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance for 13 years.
Hard gave two reasons for his decision to step down.
First, he said, much what the alliance does is now done through its website and that website requires maintenance and frequent updates. Those are tasks that Hard says he is not particularly interested in performing.
“I’m an idea person rather than a maintenance person,” Hard said. “I don’t really enjoy managing things or maintaining things, I like to come up with new ideas and implement new things.”
Hard said he feels that he has taken the organization to a place where it can function without him.
Hard also cited his responsibilities elsewhere. He is a psychology professor at Central Connecticut State University and chairman of the New Britain Commission on the Arts. He is also active with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
He said he will continue to manage the Stockman Gallery and he will be working with the city on the Bees Across New Britain project.
“I’m going to continue to work with the Arts Alliance, but I’m not going to be executive director,” Hard said. “I’m not going to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization.”
Hard said that although he finds delight in working in the arts, money is always a concern.
“The most challenging thing is funding for the arts, and for the things that we do,” Hard said. “It has just gotten worse and worse and worse.”
One of the things that Hard enjoyed the most about his job is meeting many people who share his dedication to the arts in the region, he said.
“That has been incredibly rewarding. Their passion, their energy, their enthusiasm, their willingness to do things,” Hard said.
One of those people is Donna Veach, marketing and special events planner at the New Britain Youth Museum.
She has worked with Hard since 2006.
Veach said that Hard has made an “extremely positive” contribution to the arts in the city, and she will miss him, she said.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.