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Hygienic Art named Champion in Action in arts and culture category

Citizens Bank and WTNH News 8 provide $35,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

NEW LONDON, CT (July 25, 2013) – Citizens Bank and WTNH News 8 named Hygienic Art, Inc. as the second 2013 Champion in Action® in the category of arts and culture. Hygienic Art will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work.

For the past 35 years, Hygienic Art has served, supported and worked with more than 10,000 artists in southeastern Connecticut to encourage cultural artistic expression and the support of emerging artists. Stimulating economic development and tourism, the Hygienic has received local, state and national awards for historic preservation, community development and urban beautification. The grant will be used to expand the Hygienic’s Do the Write Thing afterschool literacy program for inner city youth, as well as to create an Artist Entrepreneurial Academy offering a twelve-month professional development program series on operating small arts businesses.

"The Champions in Action program is about boosting an organization and helping it step to the next level. We are excited to see this grant give the Hygienic that boost – helping it to serve more individuals, as well as to grow and strengthen its surrounding community," said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Connecticut. "This award will help the Hygienic to grow its after-school programs and stimulate small businesses in the region by educating artists in core aspects of small arts enterprises."

"WTNH News 8 is proud to recognize Hygienic Art for its dedication to creating an enriching cultural experience in Connecticut," said Mark Higgins, Vice President and General Manager of WTNH/WCTX. "The expansion of the Hygienic’s literacy program for inner city youth, and the business development which will result from its Artist Entrepreneurial Academy, will make a real and impressive impact on neighborhoods and families in our state."

Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and WTNH News 8 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Connecticut communities. To date, the program has awarded 41 nonprofits more than $1 million in grants and promotional support in Connecticut.

Hygienic Art provides a wide array of programs and services that are reflective of the rich diversity of the region, including:

  • An artist cooperative that pairs affordable housing units with low-income artists;
  • Creative literacy and visual after-school programs for New London youth;
  • Expansive free exhibitions, concerts and films that attract thousands of visitors to New London’s downtown historic waterfront district.

As a Champion in Action, Hygienic Art will receive:

  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation;
  • Volunteer support from Citizens;
  • The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a "president-to-president" mentorship with Citizens Bank Connecticut President Ned Handy;
  • Extensive public relations support;
  • Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action on all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs;
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WTNH websites.

Prior Connecticut Champions in Action include:

Fairfield County
The Center for Women and Families
Mutual Housing Association of Southwestern CT
Women's Business Development Council, Inc.
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust
New Neighborhoods
Operation Hope of Fairfield, Inc.

Hartford County
Broad-Park Development Corporation
The Open Hearth
Mercy Housing & Shelter
My Sisters Place
Urban League of Greater Hartford
Guakia, Inc.
Co-opportunity, Inc.
Connecticut Association for Human Services
Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO)
The Community Farm of Simsbury

Middlesex County
Oddfellows Playhouse
Alderhouse Residential Communities
North End Action Team (NEAT)

New Haven County
AIDS Project New Haven
Christian Community Action
Marrakech Day Services
Hispanos Unidos
Junta for Progressive Action, Inc.
Youth Rights Media
Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen
New Haven Home Recovery
The Diaper Bank
Fellowship Place, Inc.
All Our Kin, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, Inc.

New London County
New London Community Meal Center
Women's Center of Southeastern CT
Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities
Centro de la Comunidad, Inc.
Martin House
High Hopes Therapeautic Riding, Inc.

For more information about the Citizens Bank / WTNH News 8 Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community/champions or www.wtnh.com . To learn more about how to contribute to Hygienic Art through donations or volunteerism, call 1-860-443-8001.

About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 47 branches and 125 ATMs in Connecticut.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $132 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,400 branches, approximately 3,600 ATMs and approximately 18,950 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

About WTNH News 8
WTNH News 8 continues to set the standard for news coverage excellence in Connecticut. News 8 provides news, weather and information around the clock through its television newscasts, WTNH.com website, and digital and mobile platforms. WTNH News 8, an ABC affiliate, and WCTX MyTV9, a My Network affiliate, serve more than 871,000* households.

*Estimate according to Connecticut Nielsen Station Index (NSI).



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