For those just tuning in, every month Real Hartford creates a calendar of events happening in the city. This is not intended to be all-inclusive– you’ll note the absence of “Ladies Nite” events. Activities that have not been given the benefit of a large marketing budget are given priority, as are those that are free or low-cost, as this is intended for Hartford residents first.
Details and times of events sometimes change, so contact the venue first if you’re someone who frets about last minute changes.
- The Podunk Throwbacks, a guitar and violin duo, will be performing at La Paloma Sabanera (Capitol Avenue) from 7:30-9:30p.m.
- The Vagina Monologues will return to the Charter Oak Cultural Center this year for two evenings. Admission is $15 (general), $10 (seniors, Charter Oak and Let’s Go Arts! members), and $5 (students); money raised will be donated to CT Transadvocacy Coalition, Interval House, and My Sister’s Place. Show starts at 7:30.
- The Dirt Salon is hosting The Oh-La-La, “an oh, so French evening of entertainment.” The invite says to “dress evocative Parisian.” There will be music, dancing, and more. 50 Bartholomew Avenue. Suggested donation $10. Start time: 8:30p.m.
- Making Art Work: Art Code is an all-day intensive program at the Hartford Public Library during which participants will be schooled in marketing, grant writing, and networking skills. This runs from 8a.m. until 4p.m. Snacks will be provided, but bring your own lunch.
- Free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society (Elizabeth Street). There will be Valentine’s Day crafts for children and adults. 9-5p.m.
- The Vagina Monologues at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 7:30p.m. (see 2/1 listing).
- Chris Webber will present from his book, Backbone: The Life of James W. C. Pennington, the Fugitive Slave Who Became One of the First Black Abolitionists, in the Cathedral House Auditorium at Christ Church Cathedral, 11:30a.m.
- Nicki Mathis will be performing in the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz series from 3-4p.m. in the building’s atrium. Free. Get there early if you want a seat!
Every year Real Art Ways screens short films that have been nominated for an Oscar. From February 1-14, 2013 Real Art Ways will show documentary shorts, animated shorts, and live action shorts. RAW has been known to extend viewing times if something proves popular. Check the Real Art Ways’ website for updated times and to see the range of ticket prices.
Reveal the Path: It’s not really true that downtown just recently got a cinema. The Wadsworth Atheneum has been showing films in its Aetna Theater for awhile, including those in the biking genre. Tonight, Reveal the Path will be screened there. This film is described as an adventure across four continents. Ticket prices vary. Film starts at 7:30pm.
- Fostering Communities that Attract Young People: CT Main Street Center and YES (Young Energetic Solutions) will be presenting a forum from 3-6pm at the Lyceum on Lawrence Street. There is a $10 registration fee.
- True Colors, the non-profit that advocates for the needs of sexual and gender minority youth, is moving its office from the West End to a space in Parkville. From 2-8p.m. today, the organization is having an open house/housewarming party in this new location at 30 Arbor Street.
- Get HYPEd at Spotlight Theatres: Maybe we should just call today “networkingpalooza.” Show up at the new theater on Front Street (between Prospect Street and Columbus Boulevard) between 5:30-8:30p.m. Bring your business cards to this free event — they often raffle off things you can actually use.
- MATRIX 166 will be opening today, coinciding with the Wadsworth Atheneum’s monthly Art After Hours event. If you’re into zines, ephemera, or conspiracy theories, Deb Sokolow‘s exhibit might be for you. The artist will be giving a gallery talk at 6p.m. AAH begins at 5, with admission prices varying between $5 or free. There will be music and food, along with a film at 8p.m.
- Rachel Swarns, author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama will be participating in a conversation with Pamela Trotman Reid, President of the University of Saint Joseph. This is an Amistad Center event at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Free for members of Amistad Center or Wadsworth, $5 for others. 5:30-7:30p.m. Reservations are required.
- Dennis Barone, Professor of English at the University of Saint Joseph, will be giving a poetry reading in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library from 6-8p.m. Free.
Feeling historical? Yeah, we don’t know what that means either.
The Hartford History Center will be displaying antique Valentine’s Day cards from 100 years ago. If you’re curious how sentiments on this day have changed over time, check this out. The cards will be on display throughout the month beginning February 6th. Why is this listed here if it already opened? Go look at all the action two days ago. Did you really need one more thing to decide about?
The cards will be in the Administrative Gallery on the 3rd floor of the Hartford Public Library.
- This isn’t cheap, but it’s unique enough to warrant a shout out: Hartford Prints! Valentine Workshop. If you have fond memories of playing with a California Job Case, this might be a worthwhile investment. This one-day workshop will allow you to personalize and print 25 cards on a letterpress. This runs from 10-5 and is $150. Registration is required.
- If you want to make cards, but don’t have $150 in the budget right now, adults have another option. Mixed media artist Robert Charles Hudson will be on hand to help the grown folks make Valentine’s Day cards in the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library. This is free, but registration is required. 10-noon.
- Local artist Tao LaBossiere is in need of open heart surgery. To help defray the cost of this procedure, there will be a benefit art exhibition, with 20% or more of sales going toward his medical expenses. Artwork on display will be by over 100 local artists. There will be food from Salute, Ginza, and Fire ‘n’ Spice, wine from Two Guys and a Lotta Wine, and music by DJ Jon Eastman. This event will be held from 6-9p.m. in the ArtSpace Gallery (555 Asylum Street). Suggested donation is $10. There is an online donation form for those who would like to contribute but can not attend the exhibit.
- Martians & Martinis is a monthly Sci-Fi film series at the Connecticut Science Center. The doors open at 6 for concessions and drinks, the film begins at 7p.m. This month’s film is TiMER, a romantic-comedy in which an implanted device informs people when they will meet their soul mates. What ever could go wrong with that scenario? This is a 21+ event. Tickets are $10.
- The Sawtelles, a drum and guitar duo, will give a free performance in the atrium of the Hartford Public Library at 1p.m.
- Mark Dover is this afternoon’s featured musician in the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz series. Begins at 3 and is free.
Chasing Ice played at Real Art Ways in January, but if you missed it there or want to see it again, Cinestudio, on the campus of Trinity College, will have it from February 10-12, 2013. What is this? Time-lapse photography of glaciers disappearing. 7:30p.m. today, ticket prices range.
- Vine Street Blockwatch meeting at 5:30p.m. on the first floor of The Vine/Hartford City Mission, 280 Vine Street.
- CT Health Foodies organizes a monthly potluck dinner at ArtSpace. They say, “We are a diverse group. People follow all different types of diets: gluten-free, vegetarian, omnivore, raw food, Ayurvedic, Weston A. Price. We respect everyone’s choices.” Participants are asked to bring their own plates and utensils in an effort to keep this as a zero waste event. They ask that participants write ingredients down on a card to affix to the container of food being shared, as many have dietary restrictions. The dinner begins at 7:15; from 7:45-9 there will be a discussion on a topic to be announced. There is free parking in any of the spaces behind ArtSpace (555 Asylum) during the event.
- Youth ages 12-17 can check out The Avengers at the Hartford Public Library. Pizza and other refreshments will be served. There will be time for film discussion. 1:30-3:30p.m in the Youth Movie Room. Free.
- The Trouble Begins at 5:30: Dr. Kerry Driscoll will reconstruct the time that the Clemens family spent touring New Zealand in 1895. This free lecture — “Mark Twain, the Maori, and the Mystery of Livy’s Jade Pendant” — begins at 5:30 following a reception at 5, Mark Twain House & Museum.
- Ash Wednesday Jazz Worship at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. This church regularly hosts jazz services. 7p.m. in Drew Hall. Free/donation.
- A Farewell to Arms: Community Conversation About Gun Control. December 14, 2012 was not the first time our nation has had heated discussions about gun laws, but the mass shooting on that day hit such a nerve that these conversations began to happen in all communities. The talks have not always been civil or productive. Tonight at 7, the Charter Oak Cultural Center will play host to a panel of legislators, researchers, and law enforcement. The conversation is intended to be a “thoughtful discussion about the future of guns in America.” This is a free event and is presented in partnership with Hartford 2020. 21 Charter Oak Avenue.
- On the two month anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, there will be a March for Change at the State Capitol. CT Against Gun Violence will be demanding “common sense gun laws” beginning at 11, on the side of the building near Bushnell Park.
- Also in the area today, and topically related: One Billion Rising. From noon until 1, people are invited to gather at the Legislative Office Building to bring attention to the widespread problem of violence against girls and women.
- In the evening, the Beat City Beauties will be performing at The Hartford Room at East Coast Dog (corner of Asylum and Ann Street). Come by early for a meet and greet with the burlesque performers at 10; show begins at 11:30. $10.
- It’s a Valentine’s Day tradition at Cinestudio. From February 14-16, 2013, you can catch a screening of the 1942 classic, Casablanca. Showtime today is 7:30p.m. Times on other days vary, as do ticket prices.
- Trinity College will be playing Wesleyan University at the Koeppel Community Sports Center Williams Rink from 7:30-10p.m. That’s women’s ice hockey.
- Hartford Art Sled Derby: The attraction of certain northern cities is that their inhabitants understand the importance of actively warding off boredom, especially during the months with less daylight. In Fairbanks there are sled dog races, several winter festivals, and bets placed on when the river ice will break up. Edmonton has a number of winter festivals with events like snow sculpture workshops and curling. Now, Hartford has one more option for keeping spirits up while the temperatures are low: an art sled derby. Here’s the deal: buy, find, or build a sled. Decorate that sled however your heart desires. Show it off at Elizabeth Park’s Sunrise Overlook and take it for a ride down the hill. This starts at 11a.m. and costs only as much as you feel like sinking into your art project. You will be judged and possibly awarded for your efforts.
- Shag Frenzy: Since 2004, the indie dance party has been going strong in Hartford. Doors at 9p.m., things get going around 10. It’s $5 and 21+ at the Arch Street Tavern.
- Anne Farrow, co-author of Complicity: How the North promoted, prolonged, and profited from slavery, will be speaking in the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library today from 2-2:45. The author and independent historian “followed a set of slaveship logs from New London to Sierra Leone, West Africa, and rebuilt a long-missing chapter from the story of Connecticut,” which will be the subject of her talk and upcoming book. Free.
- At 3 this afternoon, Theresa Wright will be giving a free performance as part of the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz series.
The Hartford Jazz Orchestra gives a free performances at the Arch Street Tavern on Monday evenings, beginning around 8.
Exploring Frederick Douglass, a book talk with Stan Simpson will take place in the Hartford History Center
this evening from 6:30-8. Simpson will lead an informal discussion on The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Books are available on a first come, first serve basis. This is a free event, but requires registration.
Subway art is awesome. Since we don’t yet have one in Hartford, the youth will have to learn about the mosaics another way. The Mark Twain branch of the Hartford Public Library will show children ages 5+ samples of mosaic artwork from the New York City subway and let them make their own to bring home.
This is free, 4-5p.m.
- Charter Oak Cultural Center will host a lecture and radio documentary about Malaga Island, a small, interracial community which was evicted by the government of Maine in 1912. This begins at 7p.m. and there is a $5 admission.
- Mikhail Baryshnikov will be featured in Man in a Case at Hartford Stage, beginning today.
Got cabin fever? The Park Branch of the Hartford Public Library will be providing Checkers, Chess, Connect Four, Uno, and more for folks ages 5+ to play with from 3-4p.m.
- Secrets of the Veeder House at Connecticut Historical Society: free 45-minute tours for ages 12+. Free for members, $4-8 for non-members. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Black History Month Celebration at the Center for Contemporary Culture at the library, 1-5p.m. Free.
- One Night Stand: from 6-10p.m. visitors can check out art from ten emerging artists and be entertained by three bands at the Dirt Salon. Artists will include Alivia Atwood, David Borawski, Anne Cubberly, Shannon Gagne, Ann Hodgdon-Cyr, Jenn Jacobs, Alexia Lalande, Gus Mazzocca, Phil Morgan, and Rob Silcox. There may be “adult content” displayed. $10 suggested donation. The Dirt Salon is located at 50 Bartholomew Avenue.
- John Brighenti is today’s featured musician in the Baby Grand Jazz series at the Hartford Public Library. The music begins at 3, lasts an hour, and is free.
- Sea Tea Improv has a live comedy show every month at City Steam Brewery. The doors open at 6p.m., improv starts at 7. This is free, but those under 21 must be accompanied by a legal guardian because alcohol is sold on premises.
Shark Week has, well, jumped the shark.
Get ready for Bear Week!
Our only complaint? This is just for the kids.
The Dwight Branch of the Hartford Public Library says “learn about the Asiatic Black Bear, Black Bear, Brown Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, and Sun Bear. Get to know their habitat, diet, physical characteristics, behavior, and interactions with people. Create your favorite bear habitat.”
Since this is Bear Week, this happens on days besides today. Monday-Thursday: 3-4p.m.
This calendar is supposed to be for events specific to Hartford-proper, but sometimes I have to break the rules. Since much of Hartford’s Jewish population left for the suburbs, there are few public venues consistently offering Jewish cultural events in Hartford. So, heading out for an evening is the other choice.
Pleasantville will be screening at Cinestudio, 7:30pm.
- Opening reception for Revealed: Images of Women Leaders at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. As part of the Girlcott Campaign, thirty female leaders in the Greater Hartford area posed for the camera without makeup. Photography in this exhibit was done by Nilofer Haider, Lena Stein, and Nicolette Theriault. The opening reception is free, 6-8p.m. and this exhibit runs through April 13, 2013.
- The Isaac Young Quartet will be playing at the Arch Street Tavern. $7 advance tickets/$10 at the door. 9pm.
Is there anything not on this list that should be?