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Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz facing cancellation due to city budget cuts

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HARTFORD -- Hartford’s budget troubles are now forcing the city’s major cultural events to find other ways to pay their way.

The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz is the latest event to find itself facing cancellation, according to its organizers.

The popular music festival has been running in Hartford’s Bushnell Park for the last 25 years. Its organizers say the event draws thousands of people into the downtown area and brings in musical acts from all over the country.

"Music is an art form that unites different cultures right and it's so awesome and you look out into the audience and you see everyone coming together,” Tiana Correa, board member for the festival.

The event has always been free to the public, but that may change this year as organizers are no longer getting financial support from the city.

"It’s a little disheartening and times are changing so you have to do an extreme amount of recruiting as well as fundraising from private entities to make sure that these things are still happening,” T.J. Clarke, Hartford’s City Council President said.

He explained, the city’s event funding allotment went from $1 million to $100,000 last fiscal year, but as of July 1st it’s been zeroed out.

"As it was indicated to us the Mayor's office is working to solicit private donations to replace that $100,000,” Clarke said.

In the meantime, the music festival’s organizers need the public’s help. They’ve been running roughly a dozen fundraisers throughout the year to have the money to put this year’s festival on and build up funds for future years, but they still don’t have enough.

They now have a crowd funding page to collect donations. They will make their decision July 1st as to whether the event will happen July 14.

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