Gene Solon passed away on October sixth.
I met Gene when I first moved to Hartford. We ran into each other where one could often find Gene, up front at a concert, digging the sounds and issuing commentary. Gene did with me what he did with many of us - quickly got to work weaving connections between me and people that I “just had to meet.”
Gene turned me on to much over the years. In Hartford, he mentored me by bringing me on board as a grant panelist at the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, where he worked. Much of what I know today about grant writing came through that ten year experience. Gene was part of something we have lost at the Commission, where he was part of a group of arts administrators, many of whom were either artists themselves or might as well have been, who were so passionate about the arts and those who created and presented it (Betsy Mahaffey comes to mind!).
Gene’s sensibilities and manner of inhabiting the world, personally and professionally, were infused by a deep and abiding love of family. He raised three children as a single parent. As his son Kendall put it, “my father was good for people.” Gene was certainly good for me.
I love you, Gene. I really miss you!
Image of Gene Solon by Sanda Schuldmann