By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance
MetroHartford Alliance Director of Strategic Events Margot Early enjoys the vibrancy and diversity Hartford has to offer.
MARGOT EARLY: I lived outside of Connecticut for about 11 years and moved back to be closer to family. Coming back home, I could feel the energy in downtown Hartford and I’ve seen the shift. You can tell Hartford is on the verge of something.
In terms of working at the MetroHartford Alliance, I live in Hartford, so working in downtown Hartford just feels right. I love being right on Pratt Street. It feels like we’re like in the epicenter of everything happening. And I’m happy to be working for an organization that’s doing wonderful things for the region.
Being from the Hartford area, it’s important for me to work, live, and play here.
How have you become a part of Hartford and how has Hartford become a part of who you are?
MARGOT: Hartford is in my blood, which I didn’t realize until I left and lived in three other cities. Before I left, I was getting involved in the arts here. When I moved back, I signed up for a class at Hartford Stage and I’ve volunteered at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture. So, I’ve been finding my way back into the community and looking for opportunities to engage with other organizations where I can make an impact.
What makes Hartford unique?
MARGOT: Once you’ve lived in other cities, you come to appreciate some of the unique things about Hartford, like our little neighborhoods, our diversity, and our sense of community. I love where I live in the West End of Hartford. There’s vibrancy.
Our food makes us unique, too. When I was away, I missed the Jamaican food you can get in Hartford! We have some of the best Jamaican food in the area. Another thing I missed in the last city I lived was the diversity in Hartford. I went for weeks without hearing Spanish, whereas here, you can’t go a day. So, there are things I took for granted and I didn’t realize how great Hartford was until I left. Coming back, I have a whole new appreciation.
One of the things that’s exciting for me is seeing people who want to live in Hartford. It’s become a destination. I also enjoy seeing all the new businesses that have popped up since I moved back. It’s a sign of future growth. It shows that people are investing in the future of Hartford.
How do you tell the story of Hartford?
MARGOT: Many people don’t realize how special Hartford is because we tend to focus more on the negative. When we tell our story, we need to focus on what we’re doing well and what we have that makes us special, like how our diversity creates such an interesting environment.
We can also share about things we have that attract people to the city, whether it’s the Hartford Yard Goats or Hartford Athletics, our arts scene, or some of our great restaurants. They bring people to Hartford and hopefully, over time, they start to realize how special this place is.