Prepare to be overwhelmed.
- “There’s a Map for That!” — an exhibit organized by Connecticut Explored and the Hartford History Center — will have its opening reception from 6-8pm. State Historian Walt Woodward will be speaking and there will be a demonstration by UConn’s Map and Geographic Information Center. This exhibit will be on display through the end of August. ArtWalk Gallery is on the top floor of the Hartford Public Library at 500 Main Street.
- The 25th Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival begins tonight at 7:30. Most of the films will be screened at Cinestudio, but two are scheduled for the Connecticut Science Center and Wadsworth Atheneum. One of this year’s selections, Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads, was co-written by local Jacques Lamarre. Ticket prices vary, but a single general admission ticket is $10 and a pass for thirteen shows is $75. You can see a full schedule and ticket options at the Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.
- Lez Zeppelin, an all-female tribute to Led Zeppelin, will be playing at Roots Music Hall, a venue that recently opened in April. Roots Music Hall is located in the Design Center Building at 1429 Park Street (enter on Bartholomew Avenue near Barça). See the Roots Music Hall site for ticket info. Although they just started doing music in April, it appears that the Roots Music Hall is no longer doing music. Already.
- Tag sale at the Emanuel Lutheran Church (311 Capitol Avenue) from 9-3. The proceeds from this go to a clean water project.
STREET, an unscripted video filmed in New York by artist James Nares over the span of one week in September 2011 opens today. The artist says, “I wanted the film to be about people. All it needed were magical moments, and there are enough of those happening every moment of any given day” Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth, composed and performed the film’s soundtrack. This film will be on view in the Heublein Gallery of the Wadsworth Atheneum through October 28, 2012.
- Tree Buffs Tour: This is just one of the many free walks offered today for Connecticut Trails Day. From 10-2:45, take a 3-mile guided walk through Cedar Hill Cemetery; pack a picnic lunch!
- The Connecticut Historical Society will be hosting a day of free activities, including basket-weaving and hand-spinning demonstrations from 10-3. There will also be woodworking demonstrations.
- Butler-McCook House & Garden and Bushnell Park Historical Walk will take place from 1-2:30pm, starting at the former (396 Main Street). This is a free, guided, wheelchair-accessible walk. Leashed dogs are welcome.
- From 3-4pm, enjoy a free duet performance of classical and semi-classical Indian music at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street.
- The Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade kicks off near Bulkeley High School on Wethersfield Avenue. It will travel up Main Street and end at Gold Street. Two different start times have been given for the parade– 11 and noon. Following the parade will be the Festival del Coqui at 2pm in Bushnell Park, which is within walking distance from where the parade ends.
- Today marks the start of Hartford Restaurant Week!
Don Bell’s Portraits of Wisdom exhibition opens at the 100 Pearl Street Gallery. This shows through July 13, 2012.
Charter Oak Cultural Center will be hosting a screening of Hot Coffee, a documentary about the lawsuit filed against McDonald’s after a scalding incident in 1992. Writer Susan Campbell will be leading the discussion with director Susan Saladoff. Film starts at 7:30pm; admission: $5.
- Get HYPEd is a monthly social networking event, open to the public. This time, it will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center. It’s free and there is no need to rsvp.
- Panel discussion “Protecting Planet Earth” will include insight from Dr. Mark Mitchell, Rev. Thomas Carr, Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener, and Yahya Michot, Ph.D. This free event will be hosted by the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Refreshments will be served at 6:30p.m.; discussion begins at 7. Please rsvp by contacting email@example.com.
- The Connecticut Business Expo runs from 9-5 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Where We Live will broadcast live for an hour beginning at 9; the show’s topic: “Revitalizing Hartford – Is Small Business the Answer?“. Free event
- Opening reception for La Isla del Encanto at the Pump House Gallery. The art of Harry Rivera-Ortiz and Paul Mercado is a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. Yunie Mojica and UMOJA will perform live at the opening from 5-8pm. The Pump House Gallery is located in Bushnell Park.
- Art After Hours at the Wadsworth always offers something interesting. This month, they’re having a “Downeaster Block Party,” with a Maine-style clambake, square dancing demonstration, and a watercolor demonstration while the Heirlooms and Waking Elliot provide music. This runs from 5-8p.m. and will be followed by the film Days of Heaven. Free admission this month!
- Pink Ribbons Inc. opens at Real Art Ways. This documentary film explores “how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause,” becomes obfuscated by a shiny, pink story of success.” It runs through June 14. Show times were not posted as of this publication. See Real Art Ways’ website for details.
- This Liquid Lounge is a celebration of the Connecticut Science Center’s third birthday. They are encouraging guests to wear their “favorite cave-gear.” This 21+ party goes from 6-10pm.
Today is the eighth annual Connecticut Open House Day which means lots of free and low cost events across the state. There is a lot going on both inside and outside of Hartford. To see what else is happening in the state, see the website.
- Sporting Chance for Youth Day: from 9-3 youth will have the opportunity to try out activities like rowing, cricket, and orienteering. There will also be fishing, volleyball, football, soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, mountain biking, and a climbing wall. This rain or shine event will be held at Riverside Park.
- Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society & Museum from 9-5.
- Free admission to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center from 10-4. There will be tours, horse and carriage rides, reenactments, and more.
- Juneteenth Family Day is a celebration of African American art, as well as a commemoration of the day when those enslaved in Galveston, Texas learned they now had freedom. This free event runs from 10-5 at the Wadsworth Atheneum. It is presented by the Amistad Center.
- Free admission to the Butler-McCook House & Garden from 11-4.
- Free admission to the Old State House from 11-4.
- Vintage Base Ball: Enjoy free games at “Colt Meadows” in Colt Park. The first game begins at 11a.m.
- From 11-5 there will be chances to watch printmaking demonstrations, as well as make your own at Watermark Press, 30 Arbor Street, Suite 205.
- Hartford City Ballet will give an excerpt performance of The Sleeping Beauty at the Hartford Arts Center (420 New Park Avenue) from 2-4pm; $5 admission.
- So Many Stars will host another house party, this time featuring Ray Mason. There is a suggested donation for this concert to be held in the West End. See website for reservation details. Show begins at 7:30pm. (This is not part of Connecticut Open House Day, though it will be the opening up of someone’s house)
The school year may be ending, but the conversation about what makes for successful teaching continues. The documentary film TEACH: Teachers are talking, is the nation listening will be screened at the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Avenue, from 5-8pm. No Child Left Behind, unequal distribution of resources, and high stakes testing are some of the topics covered in the film. There will also be a discussion and Q&A session with Robert Lamothe (the film’s director, producer, videographer, and editor) and Anne Lamothe (artist and teacher). Pizza and refreshments will be provided; admission is free, but donations are welcome.
The North East Homeschool Conference comes to the Connecticut Convention Center, offering workshops like “Reaching the Reluctant Writer,” “Active Child? ADHD? No Matter What Label – NOW WHAT?,” “How the Brain Works – Using God’s Incredible Design to Inspire Excellence,” and “10 Ways to Stop Defiance, Disrespect & Meltdowns.” Columnist John Rosemond will be one of the many speakers. This conference runs through June 16th; pricing information can be found on the Great Homeschool Conventions website.
- “Can Connecticut’s Busway and Commuter Rail Invigorate the State?” is the question being discussed at the free forum taking place at the Lyceum (227 Lawrence) from 8:30-11:30am. Breakfast and registration goes from 8:30-9; you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-244-0066 to pre-register.
- Opening reception for “Cuba y Santo Domingo: 24x36mm,” an exhibit of local photographer Patrick Raycraft’s work. The reception is from 5:30-7:30p.m.; however, the work will have already been on display since June 8th. The exhibit closes at the end of August in the Park Branch of the Hartford Public Library, located at the corner of Park and Babcock.
- Queers Without Borders presents “No Pride In Apartheid,” a panel discussion about “pinkwashing Israel and the occupation of Palestine.” Doors to the Metropolitan Community Church (155 Wyllys Street) open at 6; potluck at 6:30; discussion begins at 7:30pm.
- Grace Parks Mitchell will lead a tour through Cedar Hill Cemetery highlighting the accomplishments of several notable women buried there, including Virginia Thrall Smith, Elizabeth Jarvis Colt, Anne Tracy Morgan and Katharine Houghton Hepburn. The tour is $5; free for CHCF and Let’s Go Arts members. It begins at 10 a.m.
- Michael Korman Fundraising Concert: solo and collaborative works by Poulenc, Chaminade, Schubert, and Brahms will be performed by Michael Korman (piano), Rebekah Butler (violin),
Allison Holst-Grubbe (soprano), Mary Matthews (flute), and Michael McDermott (baritone). This is hosted by the Unitarian Society of Hartford (50 Bloomfield Ave) from 2-4p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome and will support Korman’s tuition at the American Institute for Musical Studies.
- The Veterans Yoga Project says “Yoga does not cure Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Yoga practices are, however, a valuable complement to professional treatment for post-traumatic stress and other trauma-related psycho-emotional difficulties.” Proceeds from today’s screening of The Welcome at Cinestudio will go to the Veteran’s Yoga Project. Film starts at 2pm. Admission is $20 (general); $10 for vets.
- William Laramie Memorial Benefit Concert: You’ll have to leave the city for this, but it’s a good cause. Laramie, a cyclist, was killed after being struck by an intoxicated driver in East Hartford in 2011. This memorial benefit concert will raise money for both Bike Walk CT and music education programs in the East Hartford school system. Music across many genres — rock, blues, country, jazz, R&B, and folk — will be represented during the concert. This family-friendly event is slated to run from noon until 4pm at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center, 50 Chapman Place, East Hartford.
- Head over to the Firebox (539 Broad Street) for some Honky Tonk with Girl Howdy starting at 5pm.
$8 yoga class starts now! Francesca will be teaching these Monday night classes at The Studio at Billings Forge from 7-8. Bring your own mat. If you’re someone who needs to bribe yourself to do yoga, keep in mind that this is right next door to Firebox, where there are tasty margaritas and cheese plates.
She is going to be at Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus, from 7:30-9pm. There will be a chance to get your book signed. Ticket prices vary.
- Now, see the other blooms. June 23 and 24 is Rose Weekend at Elizabeth Park. From 10-4 there will be music, dancing, and other cultural activities, including a farmers’ market on Saturday.
- The Hartford Phase Shift, an experimental music series, will be featuring Use Other Door, The Dream Team, and Crystal Pascucci at La Paloma Sabanera (405 Capitol Avenue). Music starts at 7:30pm; suggested donation $5.
- Local musician Margaux Hayes will be doing a tribute to Nina Simone at Royal Masala (387 Main Street) at 8pm. Admission is $10.
Celebrate Connecticut Historic Gardens Day by taking a free, guided tour through the garden behind the Butler-McCook House, 396 Main Street.
The monthly entrepreneur meetup is a little different from Get HYPEd. It is an opportunity to network, but it is a more organized way for people to get and give professional advice. This is at Vito’s on the Park from 6-8p.m. Free, no registration required.
- Funnyface (Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire) will be playing at Cinestudio from June 27-July3, 2012; shows at 7:30pm all days, with one 2:30pm screening on July 1st.
While some set out to remove graffiti immediately, others might prefer to celebrate it. At 5:30pm cyclists will set out from Bushnell Park to view graffiti in the Greater Hartford area. Part of the ride will be part of the monthly Critical Mass ride; from there, the trip will go outside of Hartford. It is expected that riders will go 20-30 miles, including off-road and over railroad tracks in some places. The early part of the ride through Hartford should last for only about five miles, so people who want a shorter trip can participate. Cyclists will gather near the carousel in Bushnell Park before departing on the Greater Hartford Graffiti Tour.
This list is already huge, but I know there is more. What other interesting things will be happening in Hartford this month?