Although Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, paradoxically, Hartford is among the poorest cities in the nation. The arts are an important way for all people to connect with their community, learn, grow, and expand their world. As such, the core of Charter Oak's mission is to provide access to the arts for those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to engage in them. We present multi-cultural artistic programming that we make accessible to our inner-city community for free or at a very low cost, we provide completely free classes in the arts to nearly 1,000 underserved Hartford young people, we work extensively with the homeless community, and we present performances and exhibits that address issues of cultural, political and social relevance. Charter Oak's unique programming is housed in an equally unique, beautiful historic property built in 1876 as the first synagogue in Connecticut.