This Is My Hartford is a new series from the MetroHartford Alliance where we connect with local business owners, community drivers, residents, and employees to find out how the Hartford Region has shaped them throughout their career, and what they have done to shape our city and region.
By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance
Next in our series, Mallory Mason, Connecticut Public Broadcasting.
WHY HARTFORD? WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
MALLORY MASON: Hartford is like the rose that grows in concrete and underneath (unbeknownst to many) exists a rich fertile garden. Emerging and headed toward a tipping point, Hartford is the perfect city to seed, nurture, and grow new ideas, connections, and businesses.
For visionaries, makers, originals, trendsetters, and go-getters—those who are inspired to create and lead, rather than fit and follow—Hartford is the perfect place to establish roots. With ample space creates ample opportunity for those who have the foresight and pioneering work ethic.
HOW HAVE YOU BECOME A PART OF HARTFORD?
MALLORY: After running the streets of Hartford as a teen in the mid-late 90s I returned to Hartford in 2007 and finally settled in 2013. Never imagining I would stay in Connecticut, in 2013 I recognized that the Greater Hartford area specifically was a place that not only was accessible and affordable for a 20-something like me who had ambitions to own property, but a place that offers an intimate sense of community.
With that insight, through my work at Connecticut Public, I was able to embed myself in the Hartford community working in media education with high school students. This experience gave me purpose and direction. Working with young people from Hartford inspired me to discover ways in which I could do more to nurture the promising young talent residing in Hartford. If nothing else, to just to contribute to the light as the city continues to transcend.
As a result of working with the students of the Journalism & Media Academy, when asked in 2016 who am I’m passionate about working with to develop new products and services I knew this was the moment of convergence. Providing direct service to the young people of Hartford by way of co-producing media and events afforded me the opportunity to genuinely and deeply connect with the people of Hartford by listening to their stories. Since then, I have been compelled to make it my personal mission to do whatever I can to amplify the people, passions, and stories of those living in Hartford.
HOW HAS HARTFORD BECOME A PART OF WHO YOU ARE?
MALLORY: Like the underdog spirit that characterizes the undercurrent of motivating energy here in Hartford, I feel similar. I’m compelled to contribute to the come up of Hartford in any way I can. It feels important to connect with as many people as possible and do what I can to help connect the dots—people to people, people to resources, people to opportunity. This feels like more of a calling than just a simple mission, one I take on both professionally and personally. With a focus on the small things, and the small wins, I think the simple act of paying attention is the first investment needed to support the advancement and acknowledgement of the community.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL UNIQUELY MAKES HARTFORD…HARTFORD?
MALLORY: It’s a small city with a big heart. Sometimes it can feel like we are the David to the Goliath—but we all know how that story ends, creative solutions and determinism wins the day. We got that!
WHERE DO YOU SEE HARTFORD IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?
MALLORY: I believe Hartford is going tip onto the national scene by way of the creative energy cooking. From fringe to mainstream, ushered in by the likes of cultural cultivators who put a face and brand to the scene. I think of people such as, Power of Connecticut, Snowprah, The Breed, Free-WiFi, Chill Shump, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Kulture Magazine, La Sala Femme, Chion Wolf, Conscious Collective, New Neighbors, Fresh Few, Aislin Mag, Brittney Crush, The Photo Plug, Bars on I-95, Now You Know Entertainment to just name a few…and so many more!