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Tribute to a Community Legend : Keith L. Carr, Sr., O.M. Retires – May 5, 2007, Hartford, Connecticut

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A retirement program to honor Keith L. Carr, Sr., O.M., for his many years of continuous service to the West Indian American Community, will be held Saturday, May 5, 2007, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the West Indian American Centre located at 3340 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The program will feature music and entertainment by local artistes. Many special guests have been invited to attend

Mr. Carr joined the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Inc. in 1963, and has since served in many capacities including President (for three years), Secretary (for 13 years), chairman for the Publicity and Public Relations, Planning and Development Committees, and Assistant Manager of Operations.

A former Executive Director of the West Indian Foundation, Inc (WIF), from 1985 to 2005, Mr. Carr has also served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the WIF from 1980 to 1994. As Executive Director, he was responsible for grant writing, fundraising, fiscal management and overseeing of the daily activities of the Foundation in coordination with the Board of Directors.

In keeping with the mission of the WIF, Mr. Carr spearheaded efforts to collaborate, produce and sponsor performances and workshops by the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, Cultural Dance Troupe of the West Indies, Caribbean American Sports and Youth Movement (C.A.S.Y.M.) Youth Steel Orchestra, Randy Brewster, costume maker, Hartford Steel Symphony, Los Pleneros del Coco, Tony Acosta y Sus Tipicos, Humano, the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band, Hatfield Folk and Cultural Group and the University Singers from Jamaica, Dairy Dairy Desh Preme Dance Group from Trinidad, Everybody’s Magazine 1996 World Calypso Monarch Semi-Finals which featured “Shadow” world renown calypsonian.

In cooperation with Milla Riggio of Trinity College and the Caribbean Carnival Connection, he assisted with the presentation of “Chalkdust,” the World Calypso Monarch in Concert featuring Panazz Steel Orchestra and Malick Folk Performing Company from Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Carr also assisted with the presentation of a Comedy Festival featuring Oliver Samuels and Paul Keens-Douglas and much more.

Mr. Carr also worked with the established “Caribbean Showcase” who presented a series of Caribbean Art Exhibitions including the works of Michael Escoffery, Elton Braithwaite and Stanwyck Cromwell here in Hartford as well as artists based in New York. Carr also collaborated with the Amistad Foundation in cooperation with the Wadsworth Athenaeum to present a Symposium in recognition of the exhibition CARIBBEAN VISIONS Contemporary Painting and Sculpture featuring more than 80 works by 56 artists from island nations in the Caribbean. He also assisted with the presentation of works of visual artists and sculptor ROY CROSSE entitled “Visions and Spirits” in cooperation with the former CRT Craftery Gallery.

Recently resigned from that position, Mr. Carr now serves as a Consultant to the Foundation focusing on community outreach.
A former chairman of the West Indian Independence Celebration Committee of Hartford, Mr. Carr also served as the Secretary and Coordinator of the Committee for the Greater Hartford West Indian Parade.

Mr. Carr has given many years of service to the community through a variety of organizations including the Upper Albany Merchants Association, where he served as Merchant Coordinator in Hartford, from 1984 to 2001. In this position, he helped to strengthen existing businesses and encouraged the establishment of new businesses, which resulted in the creation and maintaining of jobs for low to moderate income Hartford residents.

As a Recruiter for Connecticut Migratory Children’s Program in Hartford, he interviewed families of recently migrated students in the Greater Hartford area, assisted with the transfer of school records, ensured all medical requirements were met and made recommendations for medical and tutorial programs.

Mr. Carr has received many awards in recognition of his work including The Order of Merit from the Government of Jamaica, Lifetime Achievement Award from the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Civic Award from the Hartford Chapter of the NAACP, Community Development Award from the City of Hartford – CDBG Program, and the Generations of Services Award from the Caribbean American Inter-Cultural Organization in Washington D.C.

He has served on a variety of Boards, including Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Development Board; Employee Relations Committee, Urban League of Greater Hartford; Health and Human Services, Central Connecticut State University; Caribbean Studies Program, University of Hartford; Focus Group on Economic and Community Development of the Upper Albany Neighborhood, Upper Albany Neighborhood Collaborative; Economic Development, Artist’s Collective; Grassroots Fundraising Committee and the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Hartford Chapter.

Representing the West Indian Foundation, he assisted in the planning of a major History Project entitled “Finding A Place, Maintaining Ties: Greater Hartford West Indians” at the Connecticut Historical Society and is presently working with the Arcadia Publishing Company in cooperation with Fiona Vernal, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Connecticut with assistance from Trinity College’s English Department and representatives from the community to produce a pictorial documentation of West Indian in the Greater Hartford area 1920-1970’s.

Mr. Carr is presently working with the West Indian Community Group representing over 15 West Indian/Caribbean organizations from the Greater Hartford region that have been meeting in association with the West Indian Foundation, Inc., to develop strategies to manage more effectively ways of meeting our cultural, social, educational and economic goals.

Donation is $55.00 per person. For tickets and table reservation contact the West Indian Foundation at (860) 241-0379, Joy Chance – Blake (860) 680-1555, West Indian Social Club of Hartford (860) 247-5659, Phyllis Airey (860) 236-9996, Dynamic Electrical Contractor (860) 246-2501 or e-mail: [email protected] Visit our Website: www.westindianfoundation.org.

For more detailed information call (860) 680-1555, (860) 236-9996 or (860) 241-0379.

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