There is something to do in Hartford every single day.
Get HYPEd: the free casual networking event will be meeting up at TheaterWorks this month from 5:30-8pm and then move onto the ice rink in Bushnell Park from 8-9pm. No registration required. If you don’t have skates, you can rent some (free of charge) at the park.
- Art After Hours at the Wadsworth Atheneum will feature Bollywood dance lessons, yoga demonstrations, and a performance by Rachna Agrawal. The party begins at 5pm; at 8pm, you can watch English Vinglish in the Aetna Theater.
- Looking for something else to do on First Thursdays? Tonight marks the start of First Thursdays Cinema at Cinestudio, a year-round LGBT film festival thanks to OutFilmCT. The film tonight will be North Sea Texas at 7:30.
- Artists are encouraged to pre-register by today for CRT’s National Arts Program.
- GAZE: Monthly Gay Happy Hour at Real Art Ways from 5:30-8:30pm, light refreshments provided. This is described as a free and informal event.
- The Boar’s Head Festival at Asylum Hill Congregational Church will be on January 4-6, 2013, with various times. Like drama? Costumes? Live animals honking and braying inside of a church? Go.
- Free admission to museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society from 9-5.
- Art for Haiti opening reception at ArtSpace (555 Asylum) from 6-10pm. View work from a number of artists: Andria Alex, Andres Chaparro, David Bauer, Joyce Senesac, Paul Baldassini, Phil Ouelette, Pierre Sylvain, and Robert Charles Hudson. There is a suggested donation of $5, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. The entire amount donated will go to Movin’ with the Spirit. The exhibit will be on display through January 29, 2013.
- Also at 6pm, Max Godfrey and Friends will be performing work at the Studio. Billings Forge writes this will be a “raucous, foot-stomping evening of worksongs, food, and infectious laughter.” Free.
- Three Kings’ Day Parade: begins at 95 Park Street, turns onto Park Terrace, and wraps up in Pope Park, where children receive gifts and stand in line to ride on the camels. Nobody ever seems to know when this starts. One source says 9:30, another 10, and the organization affiliated with the parade does not list the event on its site. It has kicked off around ten in past years.
- Misa de Reyes/Three Kings’ Day pageant at the 12:30pm mass at Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church Street). There will be a musical performance by Lorena Garay and Surcari. A reception will follow.
- Opening reception for the Baby Grand Jazz Art Exhibit, featuring artists Maurice Robertson and Andres Chaparro, 1-5pm on the second floor of the Hartford Public Library. Free.
- Baby Grand Jazz Piano Series kicks off at the Hartford Public Library, 3-4pm. Today, pianist Warren Byrd and trumpeter Saskia Laroo will be the spotlight artists. Free.
- Last chance to see the stunning MATRIX 165 at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Ahmed Alsoudani’s work was inspired by the current war in Iraq.
- The Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus is holding auditions from 7-9pm at the Unitarian Society of Hartford (50 Bloomfield Avenue). Rehearsals will be on Monday evenings.
- Free performance at Arch Street Tavern by the Hartford Jazz Orchestra. 8pm.
$8 yoga at the Studio at Billings Forge, now every Tuesday evening at 7pm. Bring your own mat!
Every Wednesday night the Unitarian Society of Hartford hosts a free meditation and dharma gathering from 5:45-7.
- Richard Brettell will be giving a free public lecture titled Outdoor Art: Impressionist Painting Without a Studio from 6-7pm at the Wadsworth Atheneum. There will be a reception in the Loctite Lobby for an hour before the lecture.
- Breath & Imagination, a play about classical vocalist Roland Hayes, opens at Hartford Stage.
- Read It and Sleep: The monthly pajama party for families will feature a reading of Snowzilla by its author, Janet Lawler. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided at this free event; the first 25 families will be able to take home a free copy of the book. This begins at 7pm in the Charter Oak Cultural Center.
- Sea Tea Improv performs at the Studio at Billings Forge at 7pm. Each performance is different. $10.
- Free admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum from 10-1. Creative dance workshop, oil painting demonstration, and more. Children are welcome, but those under twelve must be supervised by parents/guardians at all times.
- Martians & Martinis — a 21+ film series at the Connecticut Science Center gets started this month with Monsters from the Id. Doors open at 6pm for concessions and cash bar; film starts at 7pm. Admission is $10 per film, or $35 for a four-film pass.
The Colbys will be the featured artists today in the Baby Grand Jazz Series at the Hartford Public Library, 3-4pm. Free.
The Hartford Jazz Orchestra will give a free performance at 8pm, Arch Street Tavern.
- City of Hartford — Grants Management Public Hearing from 10 until noon in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library. Free.
- Planning for this summer’s Movies in the Parks. Stop in the cafe at the Hartford Public Library to take part in the community program, 6-7:30pm. MECA says this meeting has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
- The first of four class dates for the free Videography course is this morning from 9-11, following an 8:30 breakfast. This course is part of the Beat of the Street Center for Creative Learning, a program open to all, held at the First Church of Christ/Center Church (60 Gold Street). This course will continue on January 18, 23, and 25.
- Faithiest: There will be a free book talk and conversation by Susan Campbell and Chris Stedman at the Mark Twain House and Museum Center at 5pm. Registration is requested.
- Last chance to see Central Park Five at Real Art Ways. This documentary shows how innocent people did time for a crime that was exacerbated by media sensationalism. The film began screening on January 11, 2013.
- Every Thursday Firebox hosts the Gay (and those who love them) Happy Hour from 4-7pm.
- Identity: An Exhibit of You! opens today at the Connecticut Science Center. They say, this is a “a highly personalized experience that allows you to look at your own fingerprints, see your personality as a musical spectrum, investigate where your brain stores your identity, map your social connections, and see yourself from new perspectives.”
- The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra will be giving a free performance at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph at 8pm. Donations are accepted.
Youth program at the Hartford Public Library from 1-2:30 today: Reviving 5,000 Years of Civilization — A Taste of Chinese Traditional Culture. This will be held in the youth program room. Free.
- Free acupuncture for veterans and their immediate family members at the Studio at Billings Forge, noon.
- Today’s Baby Grand Jazz Series will feature the Survivors Swing Band, 3-4pm at the Hartford Public Library. Free. While here, go upstairs and check out the ArtWalk Gallery. Today is the last time to catch the Hog River Revival Collection.
- Sea Tea Improv will be at City Stream Brewery’s Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club at 7pm. There is no cover charge; since this is a drinking establishment, rugrats under 21 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
- The Rabbi’s Cat will be playing at Real Art Ways from January 18-24, 2013. Tonight there will be a post-film discussion with Sharon Straka and the Alliance Français.
- Free tours of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House all day from 9:30-4:30.
- Free events for Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day at the Wadsworth Atheneum from 10-5. There will be children-centered interactive performances, tours, art-creating, and more.
- Last day to use the free outdoor ice rink in Bushnell Park for the season. Noon until 8pm. Don’t despair! There continues to be public skating hours in the Koeppel Community Sports Complex at 175 New Britain Avenue, with skates and helmets available for rental. The website lists public skate times as noon until 1:30 on Monday-Thursday and Saturday; 1:45-3:15 pm on Friday; and 4:30-6pm on Sundays. Call first to verify accuracy of schedule at Koeppel: 860.297.4230.
- Free performance by the Hartford Jazz Orchestra at Arch Street Tavern, 8pm.
Boyz Night at Tisane, every Tuesday, from 10pm until close. Call for the cover charge specifics.
Free meditation and dharma gathering at the Unitarian Society of Hartford from 5:45-7pm.
- Opening reception for Collect & Transform, paintings by Daniel Bohman, at 100 Pearl Street Gallery, 5-7pm. Free.
- Black Pain: Eradicating Health Disparities in the Black Community is a free conversation in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library, 5:30-8pm.
- Impressionism Night at Tea Haunt Canvas. Stop by for a discussion of Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, and Van Gogh and their techniques. 6-9pm, free.
- Almost, Maine opens at TheaterWorks.
- Free, live jazz by Ed Fast at the Hartford Public Library from 3-4pm.
- Live Bluegrass in the Tavern at the Firebox. This goes from 5-8pm. If you want an actual seat in the tavern, get there well before 5. No cover.
Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at the Arch Street Tavern, 8pm. Free.
- The IForum (yes, we’re completely over the “I”-everything fad too) is a public series organized by the Partnership for Strong Communities. The first event for 2013 will explore the question: “What makes a strong community?” This will be held at the Lyceum (227 Lawrence Street). There is breakfast from 8:30-9, the program from 9-11, and an informal chat following the program until noon. Kaid Benfield will be this event’s keynote speaker; expert panelists will include Lee Cruz, Mario Cruz, Scott Jackson, and Andrea Pereira. They ask that you register for this free event.
- Holy Mole: The Kitchen at Billings Forge offers cooking classes periodically. Julie Carrion Rich will teach basic techniques for making Mole Poblano, Mole Verde, and Mole Rojo. The two hour class begins at 5:30pm and is not free.
Pop-Up Story Time — in an effort to defend wasteful gadgets, every argument seems to have been made to promote the eReader. Here’s one that proponents of All Things Bright and Shiny and New will lose each time: pop-up books do not work on an eReader. Children are invited for pop-up book story time at the Dwight Branch of the Hartford Public Library from 10-11am.
The Billings Forge Farmers’ Market continues through the winter, but is held inside of the Studio. Every Thursday from 11-2 there will be fresh, local produce; NoRA Cupcakes and the Whey Station; and more.
Is there anything in the realm of free, cheap, or particularly different that did not make it into this month’s events listing? Leave a comment here.