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By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHarford Alliance

MetroHartford Alliance (MHA) Digital Marketing Manager Jennifer Accuosti shares what she enjoys about using social media to encourage people to get out and explore Hartford.

Why Hartford?

JENNIFER ACCUOSTI: I’ve lived in the Hartford Region my whole life. I studied sociology and marketing at the University of Hartford, and I really loved it there. I’ve chosen to remain in Hartford because my family, friends, mentors, classmates, and professors I’m still in contact with are all mostly Hartford-based.

What impact do you hope to make in the Hartford Region?

JENN: A lot of my impact involves bringing to attention the great things Hartford has to offer, which I can do visually through social media. Often, when it comes to finding places they want to go or things they want to experience, people in my age group will see a point of interest on social. Then they talk to their friends about it and it creates a buzz and they plan an outing. So, I want to do that—help create the buzz and draw people to new and interesting places in the Hartford Region.

People in my age group—and a little older and a littler younger—want to go somewhere that has culture and is interesting. A lot of times they don’t necessarily think of their hometown as having those kinds of places. I want to help show them how much is here in the region. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for or knowing how you can nurture those things that interest you.

What makes Hartford unique?

JENN: One thing that’s unique about Hartford is the amount of history in the city. There are so many old buildings and organizations, like the Wadsworth Atheneum, known as the oldest continuously operating public art museum in the United States, and Elizabeth Park, which is on the national register of historic places.

There’s also Pratt Street, where the MHA offices are located, which has been around for more than 200 years. It’s a historic area that’s still seen as a gathering place today. It’s visually appealing and has a lot of great businesses—and an increasing amount of businesses coming with support from the Hartford Chamber of Commerce Hart Lift initiative.

These historic places are interspersed with new initiatives, although even these older organizations are doing a lot to keep things fresh and new. That mix of old and new is truly important.

Hartford is also unique for its involvement in the arts. I absolutely love the arts here. There’s a lot of cool stuff. We have modern and classic art and you can see performances or participate in classes at places like The Hartt School and The 224 EcoSpace, where I recently saw the Artists of Color Accelerate celebrate its inaugural cohort. We also have places to see independent films at Real Art Ways and Cinestudio. If you know where to look, there’s so much here.

Another important thing that makes Hartford unique is the amount of diversity in Hartford. Moving from Southington to living at the dorms at the University of Hartford was big change. I encourage anyone to insert themselves into a more diverse community. A lot of growth happens when you’re meeting and spending time with people who didn’t necessarily live or grow up like you. I enjoy continuing to be part of the Hartford community now.

How do you tell the story of Hartford?

JENN: For me, it’s coming from the point of view of someone who works in digital marketing. I’m fortunate that part of the mission of the MHA is to show that this a is great region to live, work, and play. My current job goes hand-in-hand. It’s built into my day job.

So, I’m looking forward to sharing more about the living and playing aspect, showcasing activities and things to do and building up the tourism aspect of Hartford. Like I said, there’s so much to do if you know where to look. I want to tell our story by making fun things easier to find.

I want to try and collect all of those things so people can follow us on social media and plan their week or weekend knowing there are a lot of really great Hartford-based activities.

MHA Digital Marketing Manager Jennifer Accuosti enjoying the Hartford Taste Festival with MHA Content Manager Nan Price and MHA President and CEO David Griggs