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'Hartford has heart' | Capitol Hearts project makes a comeback

The project had a simple goal in 2021: showing support for essential workers during the pandemic. Now, the project is returning with more hearts to give.

HARTFORD, Conn. — As part of the return of the Capitol Hearts project, the milling machine at MakerspaceCT has been steadily humming for the past few weeks cutting out wooden hearts. 

In the spring of 2021, Jazna Stannard was inspired to create the 8-by-8 foot giant hearts to show support for our essential workers during that stretch of the pandemic.

The hearts, all with inspirational messages on them, showed up on the Capitol lawn, at the Wadsworth and at Hartford Hospital.

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“Last year it was to thank essential workers and bring some light and love and unity all together through the strength of love," said Stannard. "But this year we’re doing it again to the point of a celebration of life. 

Stannard calls herself the entrepreneur and community organizer of the Capitol Hearts project. 

This year, there will be hearts of every size, including hundreds of smaller ones, created by volunteers from all over the community. 

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“Businesses are picking up on it, college campuses are picking up on it – it's really great to see the community come together to move this idea forward,” said Mark Colbert, the CEO of MakerspaceCT.

Stannard, who has a GoFundMe page for the Capitol Hearts project, noted that there are other cities that are interested in bringing her idea to their state capitals – Providence, Rhode Island and Raleigh, North Carolina for starters.

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“Everyone and anyone can get involved and make a heart,” she said.

On Saturday, May 21, the newest Capitol Hearts will be put up on the Capitol lawn, and on May 28th hundreds of more hearts will go up during a ceremony at Bushnell Park.

To learn more about the project head to their website. 

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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