Letter from Daniel Salazar Jr.
After twenty consecutive years, Guitar Under The Stars will be taking a year off from our Hartford event and returning with renewed energy in September 2015. Riverfront Recapture, our event producer, has experienced serious financial challenges and changes in sponsorships that have directly affected the production of Guitar Under The Stars.
When I started Guitar Under The Stars in 1993 I had no idea that twenty years later it would grow to become of Connecticut’s most popular outdoor music events attended by thousands of people. From that humble beginning, my goal was always to share the beauty of the guitar and its music with as many people as I could. At that time I did not know what the program would lead to. What I did know, was that the enthusiastic group of musicians that played for a very small fee crammed into a portable stage and the large crowd that came to that first concert all shared in a very special evening of music under the stars. At that first September 1993 concert I saw how all of us involved made new acquaintances that turned into friendships and even genuine relationships. Musicians connected with colleagues, audience members met like-minded people and many made it tradition to meet again the following years.
That is really what Guitar Under The Stars is all about: the indelible power of music to bring people together for a special moment in time.
Another reality is that an event like Guitar Under requires a production budget of approximately $25,000.00 to make it happen. Throughout the years we have been fortunate to count on the important co-sponsorship of Riverfront Recapture with support from various organizations and corporations such as The Connecticut Guitar Society, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, The Roberts Foundation, Lincoln Financial Foundation, The Travelers, MDC, and many others including the prestigious National Endowment For The Arts.
Now, many of those funding sources have greatly diminished or have been cut completely. From it’s beginning, my original goal included making the concert an event that anyone could attend. I am proud to say that every year Guitar Under The Stars has been free and open to the entire Greater Hartford community and beyond. This is an event that belongs to our community and now as we look ahead, Guitar Under The Stars will need your help to return in 2015.
We will soon be seeking your help with fundraising. I would like you to consider getting involved in any way that you can. We’ll be posting news and more details here very soon.
In the meantime, we are asking that you submit your thoughts on your experiences at Guitar Under The Stars, ideas for fundraising or suggestions that you may have. Please visit our Facebook page to submit your comments or send us a message on the Contact page.
Finally, I want to thank the thousands of you that have come to our concert over the past twenty years. Although this news is disappointing, I know that working together we can again all plan to meet again in September 2015 for another magical evening of guitar music under the stars at the Hartford Riverfront!