Hill-Stead Receives “We’re Pulling for You” Grant from SBM Charitable Foundation

Grant Affords East of the River Students Free Educational Opportunities

FARMINGTON, CT—November 30, 2022 

The SBM Charitable Foundation (SBMCF) has awarded Hill Stead a “We’re Pulling for You” grant for $34,466.94 in support of the “Art, Poetry, and History at Hill-Stead Museum” program for area students in East Hartford, Vernon, and Manchester. This program, in partnership with the SBM Charitable Foundation, has provided valuable Fine Arts, Language Arts, and World Languages themed educational programs for thousands of underserved students since 2006.

Hill-Stead’s Executive Director Dr. Anna Swinbourne notes: “SBM Charitable Foundation’s generous funding is the backbone of our educational programs here at Hill-Stead. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation for its devoted support of our efforts to bring thought-provoking and inspiring experiences in the arts and humanities to increasing numbers of young people throughout the Central Connecticut region.”

For the 16th year running schools participating in the “Art, Poetry, and History” program choose from three basic tours: At Home with the Impressionists, Highlights of Hill-Stead, and French Language Tours, with the option to customize according to classroom needs and learning goals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic when schools alternatives to in-person programs, Hill-Stead quickly pivoted by enhancing our technological capabilities to bring “Art, Poetry, and History at Hill-Stead” to students in new formats. The enriching program now includes virtual options for all levels of students, kindergarten through college, both pre-recorded and live via each school’s preferred virtual platform.

For either format, in-person or virtual, the program offers hands-on activities to supplement the instruction and lessons. Further, the in-person sessions have the option to explore the expansive outdoor grounds at the museum, either by adding a specific activity or free period to the scheduled itinerary.

Teachers looking to book a program and field trip as part of  “Art, Poetry, and History” can do so here:  or by contacting Margaret Vaughan, director of education (vaughnm@hillstead.org or 860-677-4787 ext. 140).

The SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc., perpetuating the vision of the former Savings Bank of Manchester, is committed to bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly East of the River in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham Counties. Priorities established for the Foundation’s giving are Health, Human Services, Education, Housing, and the Arts.

Hill-Stead was the first architectural project of founder Theodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946), one of the first licensed female architects in the U.S., and an early proponent of historic preservation. Designed as a country home for her parents, the Colonial Revival mansion has welcomed over a million visitors since opening to the public in 1947 and is one of the nation’s few remaining representations of early 20th-century country estates with 152 acres of gardens and grounds.

More inviting and intimate than the typical museum, Hill-Stead gives its visitors a close-up, personal view of renowned masterpieces, textiles, and decorative arts in situ, creating the sense that a significant historical era has not been cleverly recreated, but rather carefully and creatively kept true and relevant.

The museum’s collection of paintings by Monet, Degas, Whistler, Manet, and Cassatt rival artwork found in major art museums around the world.