Parents and children gaze at Curious George's antics on a movie screen, which is situated amid the same stencil work, pews, and fixtures that have decorated Charter Oak Cultural Center's building since its construction in 1876. Once the first synagogue to be built in Connecticut, it currently hosts the center's theatrical performances, film showings, and gallery exhibits, which all center around the idea that art is sustenance for the mind. With a belief that open and equal access to the arts fosters the community as a whole, it aims to enrich minds through four key activity types—artistic, cultural, educational, and historic preservation—that are often free. Its youth arts institute is endorsed by the Hartford Public Schools superintendent’s office and aims to supplement curricula with programs before, after, and after-after school. In adult-learning workshops, instructors advise on topics such as what to consider before going back to school, while the center's Homegrown Dance movement supports seven local companies.