There’s more to July than fireworks and barbecues.
- July is International Zine Month. Abandon Twitter, Facebook, and tumblr for awhile and go make something that matters.
July is jazz month in Hartford. If there is no official designation as such, there should be. In Bushnell Park, starting at 6pm, there will be shows on the following dates:
- July 9: Emery Smith Trio and Winard Harper Sextet
- July 16: Lummie Spann Quintet and Katie Bull Quintet
- July 23: Dave Palla Quintet and Onaje Allan Gumbs Quintet
- July 30: Bob Paskowitz and Latin Quarter; and Ed Fast and Conga Bop
- August 6: Jen Allen Quintet and Dona Carter Quintet
- August 13: Mike Casey Quintet; and Earl MacDonald and the HJS New Directions Jazz Ensemble
In the event of rain, the free concerts will be moved to Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue.
There are three outdoor music series at two venues on Wednesdays:
1) The chapel at Trinity College will be hosting the chamber music series this summer. These will run from 6-7pm.
- July 4: Paul Bisaccia, piano
- July 11: Trium, soprano trio
- July 18: Scandia Duo, violin and organ
- July 25: Arpello Duo, cello and harp
Each of these will be followed by the carillon music series, also at Trinity, from 7-8 pm
- July 4: Trevor Workman
- July 11: Ellen Dickinson
- July 18: Adolph Rots and Auke deBoer
- July 25: Joey Brink
2) Another option for Wednesday night music is over at Elizabeth Park. Also free, these concerts are held on the lawn of the rose garden from 6:30-8pm.
- July 4: First Company Governor’s Footguard
- July 11: River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs
- July 18: Fiesta del Norte
- July 25: Latanya Farrell
Firebox is now hosting an LGBT happy hour every Thursday (not just in July) from 4-7pm as an effort to promote Hartford as a friendly city for the queer community. Decidedly not free, unless you’re really cute and someone buys you a drink.
You can catch a game of Vintage Base Ball every Saturday at 11 and 1 at Colt Meadows in Colt Park. Free and fun. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
How big of a grand reopening does the Isham-Terry House warrant? Enough, apparently, to get a few days of events out of it. Today’s will go from 11-4. There will be walkthroughs and refreshments for the public.
Connecticut’s Troubadours will be giving a musical performance at the Albany Branch of the Hartford Public Library from 10:30-11:30am.
Board games at Real Art Ways from 6-10pm. This free event takes place the first Tuesday of each month.
Cinestudio will be screening the 1964 Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Film starts at 7:30pm each day, with an additional 2:30 show time on Sunday. Ticket prices vary, but it’s always cheaper than those chain theaters and there is a balcony.
- The Hartford Project Gospel Choir will be performing for an hour beginning at noon at the Old State House. Free.
- Monstrous: Children (ages 6+) are invited to make monster art from their thumbprints at the Park Branch of the Hartford Public Library from 2-3pm today. Free.
Author Michael Downs will give a free reading/talk from and about his book, The Greatest Show, about the 1944 circus fire in Hartford. This event begins at 5pm at the Mark Twain House and Museum.
- Free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society from 9-5.
- Riverfest: free activities down by the river from 4-9:30pm. Among the activities: face painting, hoop dancing, and — parallel structure be damned — bounce houses. There will be live music, including tunes from River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs. The fireworks are set for 9. Stop worrying about parking by figuring it out in advance.
- The Real Ride: Join other cyclists between 6-8pm at Real Art Ways to drape your bike in lights and decorations. The ride (it’s not a race) leaves the Real Art Ways lot at 8 and will weave around 7.5 miles of the city, stopping to watch the Riverfest fireworks. Kids are welcome, but this goes late. Free.
- Opening reception for Hammered & Nailed 2, an open art show at ArtSpace (555 Asylum). This is free and goes from 6-9pm.
If Riverfest was rained out on Saturday, then today is the make-up date for that.
Did you know there is a bicycle-themed film series? Why wouldn’t there be? We have lots of racks now, improvements being made to streets so that cyclists might be better respected, and several bike rides: Critical Mass, Real Rides, Discover Hartford Parks Tour, the Greater Hartford Graffiti Tour, and more. Tonight at La Paloma Sabanera, there will be a screening of Klunkerz, a film about mountain biking. This starts at 7:30. Free.
Center Without Walls is partnering with Billings Forge to bring Las Peliculas DIVEDCO on several evenings. These may be shown outdoors; bring a blanket or lawn chair. All films are in Spanish, no subtitles. Tonight’s screening will include: Juan sin seso, Una voz en la montaña, y Modesta. An introduction will be given around 7:30pm; films start at sunset. Free.
Cultural Cocktail Hour at the Butler-McCook House & Garden will feature music by the Sawtelles. Art by Ethan Boisvert will be on display. This free event runs from 5:30-7:30pm.
- The SAND/Ropkins Branch (1750 Main Street) of the Hartford Public Library is running a short story or essay event where patrons can pick up prompts on Mondays, then spend the week creating something based on that theme. On Fridays, writers can share (maximum five pages) what they wrote. If you don’t like the prompt, you can come up with your own ideas. Sharing time on Fridays is from 2:30-3:30pm.
- Five Corners: Reception and Special Screening at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Producer, director, and actor Tony Bill will sign his book Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Movie Set and will give a talk before screening his film Five Corners. Ticket prices vary for this cocktail reception and screening, which starts at 6:30pm.
ConnectiCon: Every year someone asks why people are roaming around Downtown dressed up like foxes and the Joker. There’s no reason to ask that any longer. ConnectiCon, founded in 2002 by students at the University of Hartford, has been held at the Connecticut Convention Center since 2005; in other words, if you have not noticed the Sailor Mercury and V clones in years past, you must not have been getting out of your cubicle much.
Those into this kind of thing probably already know that it’s happening, and know about all the panels, workshops, roleplaying games, screenings, introduetc. Those who are just SciFi-curious, there is no charge to wander through the convention center to see what this is about, though not all areas will be open to those who have not registered.
- The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will host free music from 12:30-4:15 on the lawn. Musicians will include Angelica Ellis and Company, Nina Romanenko and the Quarry Cats, Horizon Blue, and Nerissa and Katryna Nields. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors.
- Indiefest and the Really Really Free Market at Charter Oak Cultural Center. The free market goes from 2-6pm and is a place to bring and take things — all for free — but it is not a place to just leave unwanted stuff. If nobody takes your items, you will be expected to take them back home with you. Music will be electric after 7pm, so those wanting a quieter experience should plan to arrive earlier in the day. Admission is free.
- From 6-9pm there will be a free breakdance open jam at the Hartford Arts Center, located at 420 New Park Avenue.
- Samuel Amadon and Timothy Donnelly will read poetry at the city launch of Amadon’s The Hartford Book. To be held at Real Art Ways, the organization writes: “The Hartford Book, the second collection of poetry by Hartford native Samuel Amadon, reads like a series of monologues. Amadon takes the reader on a tour of Hartford’s underbelly, street by street (many of the poems are named after specific streets and main roads), visiting its piers, its harbor on the Connecticut River, and its North Meadows neighborhood.” Starting at 7pm, Writers and Readers Poetry Night at Real Art Ways is $5 for members, $10 for the general public. Real Art Ways is located at 56 Arbor Street.
- Heat. That is the theme of this month’s Syllable reading series at La Paloma Sabanera. Pieces have ranged from serious to silly. It’s free to listen and participate, but a small donation is requested. This starts at 7 (usually promptly) and goes until 8:30pm.
- Another night of free films at Billings Forge (see July 11 listing). Tonight will feature: Juan sin seso, El cacique, and Doña Julia.
THEM: Images of Separation exhibit and salon at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. After viewing the exhibit guests are invited to listen to a panel discussion. Panelists will include Dr. Salome Raheim, the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Williams, Rabbi Donna Berman, and another to be determined. This is intended for those ages 13+. The free event will run from 4:30-7pm.
- Artists’ Reception for the Illustration MFA Thesis Show at Joseloff Gallery, 5-7 pm. This gallery is on the campus of the University of Hartford. Free.
- Outdoor screening of It Happened One Night at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Supper and live jazz begin at 6; film is scheduled to begin approximately 8:15 (or whenever it is dark enough). No price listed. That means free, right?
- Sea Tea Improv’s Longform Showcase starts at 7pm at the Studio at Billings Forge. If you have not seen this professional comedy troupe in action yet, it’s your loss. $10.
2012 Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz: Three days of free music in Bushnell Park. For the best experience, come prepared with a hat, sunblock, lots of water, and an umbrella. This is as much an experience for jazz lovers as it is a long picnic with a soundtrack. If you don’t bring your own food, bring cash: there are always vendors.
- The Hartford Public Library will be hosting a Trinity and Tobago Festival from 9-5 today in its Center for Contemporary Culture.
- Also starting at 9 today is an opportunity to be active and beautify the community. Join The Greater Hartford Green Team (Knox Parks) in adding new plantings at the corner of Homestead Avenue and Garden Street. There will be music and food. Call (860) 951-7694 ext. 14 if you plan to attend this free event.
HYPE on Salsa Dancing: Get a salsa lesson at 7:30 from the folks at Downtown Yoga, then cross Pratt Street to have dinner at Rio. For more information about registration, see the HYPE website.
- During part of the noon hour, Center Church will continue with its free “Play It on the Portico” concert series. Today there will be music by The Jolly Beggars, a Hartford-based Celtic ensemble. If it rains, the music will be moved indoors.
- Screening of John Sayles’ film Matewan, at the Mark Twain House and Museum at 7pm. This is part of the Race, Rage & Redemption Film Series. Free for museum members; five dollars for everyone else.
- Free screening of Los peloteros at Billings Forge (see July 11 listing).
Youth (ages 10-18) will have the opportunity to learn about Henna art. An artist will decorate one hand, letting the library patron decorate her other hand. Goodwin Branch (460 New Britain Ave.) of Hartford Public Library, 2-3pm.
Tonight is the start of the Hartford Parks Free Movies After Dark series. Anchorman will be shown in Bushnell Park at sunset. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. This film will be shown on Sunday, July 29th due to rain.
The annual Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival goes from 5-10pm at the Riverfront. Free!
In the Wallace Stevens room of the Hartford Public Library there will be a discussion for ex-offenders. The HPL writes: “The U.S. Probation Office in partnership with the Library will offer ex-offenders the opportunity to read and discuss the book, How to Escape Your Prison. They will learn skills and strategies to enhance self-image, achieve a positive identity, and develop a higher level of reasoning. Seating is limited. Registration is required by calling 860-695-6354.” This event runs from 4:30-6:30pm.
Is there anything missing from this list? Let us know in the comment section.