May 2016 Hartford Events

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during April. There is no intent to include all events — it’s curated, with preference given to what the widest range of Hartford residents can afford (free or low cost) and what sounds most interesting to us.

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of our knowledge. Keep in mind that events are sometimes cancelled or postponed, and that incorrect details are at times given to us. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by May 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

May 20 is National Bike to Work Day

May 1

  • Secret Garden Tea Party: Tainted Inc. (56 Arbor St., Suite 310A) is holding a “sip & shop tea party” at its studio from 4-6 p.m. Field to Face Organic Beauty and Age into Beauty will have pop-up shops at the location. $10.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 2

  • Stop by the Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.) for a half hour of free meditation starting at 9 a.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Venom Vintage (365 Capitol Ave.) is hosting Tea Through Time, a free evening of art and tea. Lavender Molly is the featured artist for the month. Kristyn Leamon will provide violin music. Visitors are encouraged to wear their “finest threads through time, be it Renaissance, Victorian, 20’s Flapper or 70’s Hippie.” This begins at 7 p.m.
  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 3

  • Morning Bike Ride: Meet at the corner of Boulevard and Prospect (parking lot) at 6 a.m. and head out for a ride to Keney Park, Cigna, West Hartford Reservoir, or Wood Pond. The ride takes about one hour. Helmets are required. Bad weather cancels. Contact jgale@lawlordsofhartford.com or 860-232-9019 for more info.
  • Free Zumba at Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.), 6 p.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Try an all levels aerial yoga class at The LivingWell Centre at The 224 EcoSpace (224 Farmington Ave.). The hour-long class begins at 6:15 p.m. This is $24. Register online.

May 4

  • Stop by the Hartford | West End Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Ave., LL) for Mindfulness in the Morning, 45-minute meditation class starting at 8:30 a.m. Free will offering.
  • Hartford hOur Exchange Social Gathering:  The Hartford hOur Exchange is Hartford’s time bank. They say: “Come join us and share your favorite places in Hartford. We want to hear about where YOU hang out, meet with friends, experience the arts, hear live music, and explore local trails. Join us for a great dinner and lively conversation.” RSVP is encouraged: wdefeo@handsonhartford.org or call 860-706-1537. This event at Hands On Hartford (55 Bartholomew Ave.) begins at 5:30 p.m.
  • Get HYPEd: this casual networking event for Hartford’s young professionals and entrepreneurs will be at The Tavern Downtown (201 Ann Uccello St.), 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free to attend, but bring money to buy your own drinks.
  • MakeHartford Open House: tour the space and learn about membership. Drop in any time, 6:30-9 p.m. This is at 30 Arbor Street.

May 5

  • Tour (or just free range explore) the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m. Free.
  • Get a “sneak peek” Samba Fest performance at noon on the terrace of Hartford Public Library. Free.
  • Opening reception for the spring art show at Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church St.) from 5-9 p.m., with a Cuatro Puntos concert at 7.
  • Tonight’s Salons at Stowe conversation will be about redlining and housing discrimination. They say: “Redlining is a discriminatory practice by which financial institutions refuse or limit loans, mortgages, or insurance within specific geographic areas, especially inner-city neighborhoods. Despite gains, housing discrimination continues today. How can we take a stand against housing discrimination? How can we create inclusive communities?”. Jack Dougherty of Trinity College and Maria Cuerda of Connecticut Fair Housing Center will be the featured guests. 5:30-7 p.m. Free, but make reservations.
  • The Professors of Sweet, Sweet Music (and friends) will perform originals and covers at Peppercorn’s (357 Main) starting at 8:30 p.m. There’s no cover charge.

May 6

  • Art reception for Joe Fig’s drawings at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl), 6-8:30 p.m. Free.
  • Peacemaker, the Musical: Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.) will be hosting this performance at 7:30 p.m. They say “The story of Peacemaker focuses on an ancient tribal community…the “tribe of the two-legged,” on a child, “Humanity’s Child,” the family that deeply loves her, and the community in which she will live. It asks the question that every parent has had to answer, “What shall I teach my child?” While fully acknowledging the reality of war, sorrow and the squandering of nature’s resources, (as Spider Woman sings: “…for the humans may be nature’s mistake!”), PEACEMAKER urges us to teach peace; to nurture tolerance, love, joy, kindness and compassion in our children, –  to show them, how to “participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world”, while recognizing our responsibility to preserve the planet for future generations.” Tickets range from $20-25.

May 7

  • There will be a tree-climbing competition in Colt Park, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Participant registration has already closed, but anyone can go to watch. Qualifying events to watch: the foot lock, throw line accuracy, belayed speed climb, work climb, and aerial rescue.
  • Free admission to Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth St.) galleries, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The family programming (10:30-12:15) features Ugandan music workshops.
  • Stuff a Cruiser: drop off non-perishable food items at UMC (571 Farmington Ave) from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Donations benefit the West End Food Pantry.
  • Cricket Fun Day at Global Communications Academy (85 Edwards St). This family event features free food and games from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Try a yoga dance class at Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.) from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Free. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Samba Fest: enjoy music and Brazilian culture from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Riverfront. Free. Rain or shine!
  • Trinity Film Festival: Red carpet at 4 p.m., screenings begin at 5. This is the fifth year of the event for undergraduate film makers from around the world. This is located at Cinestudio (300 Summit St.).
  • The Art for Bernie Show: ArtSpace Gallery (555 Asylum St.) will be hosting an opening reception from 6-10 p.m. Admission is free (but be warned, this is a fundraiser for the Bernie Sanders campaign). Besides that chance to look at and buy art, some of which has been inspired by the presidential candidate, you can graze the food from It’s Only Natural, Fire and Spice, and Common Bond Market. There will be liqueurs to sample. Bill Curry will be speaking to promote the candidate. Expect the speechifying to begin around 8.
  • Last chance to see Peacemaker, the Musical at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $20-25.

May 8

  • The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (77 Forest Street) is offering free admission and tours “for moms” today, 12-5 p.m. No word on what type of identification is required to prove motherhood, but we assume you can show your woman card at the front desk.
  • Sea Tea Improv’s free Mother’s Day Comedy Show starts at 7 p.m. in City Steam Brewery’s Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club (942 Main St.). Call ahead to reserve your seats (860) 525-1600.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 9

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, president of Trinity College, at Samba Fest in 2015. This year’s festival is on May 7.

  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 10

May 11

  • Hartford Opera Theater and Hartford Public Library present selections from Robert Ward’s opera, The Crucible, at noon. This free performance will be in the library’s atrium. Patrons can bring their lunches.
  • Come by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (77 Forest Street) for an author talk and book signing with John Norris, author of Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism. This free talk begins at 6 p.m. Reserve your seat: 860.522.9258, x317
  • Dark Glamor: free reception and Gothic to Goth exhibition viewing at 6:30 p.m., with talk by Dr. Valerie Steele, author of Gothic: Dark Glamour and director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, at 7:30 p.m. This is at the Wadsworth Atheneum.
  • Sigourney Square Park: They say that this play by Jeffrey Kagan-McCann “tells the story of the Perry family, four brothers who have lost touch each with other because of their busy lives, families and careers. When their elderly father summons them to come home for the Labor Day holiday weekend, they agree but with some reluctance. Once they are together sibling rivalry makes it difficult for the men to let go of years of conflict. The play is told in flashbacks where you see the men as boys and the point in their lives when they change forever and family secrets begin to unfold.” 7 p.m. at the Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Ave.). $20.

May 12

  • Tour the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m. Free.
  • Riverfront Plaza Clean Up: HYPE’s Community Involvement Committee will be beautifying to Riverfront Plaza, 5-7 p.m. Email klundy@metrohartford.com to register as a volunteer.
  • KNOW GOOD Market: If you want to dine from a few different food trucks and listen to live music, stop by Bartholomew Ave. (block between Park and Hamilton) from 5-8 p.m. No cover charge.
  • Sigourney Square Park: They say that this play by Jeffrey Kagan-McCann “tells the story of the Perry family, four brothers who have lost touch each with other because of their busy lives, families and careers. When their elderly father summons them to come home for the Labor Day holiday weekend, they agree but with some reluctance. Once they are together sibling rivalry makes it difficult for the men to let go of years of conflict. The play is told in flashbacks where you see the men as boys and the point in their lives when they change forever and family secrets begin to unfold.” 7 p.m. at the Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Ave.). $20.

May 13

  • Hartford Catholic Worker on Clark Street serves the community by engaging local youth, feeding the hungry, and housing the homeless. They will be holding a fundraiser to support their summer camp program. The fundraiser event is just over the city line, at Hooker Brewery (16 Tobey Rd., Bloomfield). 5-8:30 p.m. Give what you can.
  • Last chance to see Sarah Paolucci’s Elements of Creation at ArtWalk Gallery. This is in Hartford Public Library (500 Main St.).
  • Trashion Soiree: live music, dance, food and drink, and select designs from the 2016 Trashion Fashion show. This is in the Pond House at Elizabeth Park. Admission prices start at $50.
  • Read It and Sleep: monthly children’s book reading event at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.). 7-8:30 p.m. Snacks and hot chocolate will be provided. Free.
  • Sigourney Square Park: They say that this play by Jeffrey Kagan-McCann “tells the story of the Perry family, four brothers who have lost touch each with other because of their busy lives, families and careers. When their elderly father summons them to come home for the Labor Day holiday weekend, they agree but with some reluctance. Once they are together sibling rivalry makes it difficult for the men to let go of years of conflict. The play is told in flashbacks where you see the men as boys and the point in their lives when they change forever and family secrets begin to unfold.” 8 p.m. at the Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Ave.). $20.
  • Every month Sea Tea Improv has a longform showcase at The Studio at Billings Forge (563 Broad St.). Tickets are $10. Show begins at 8 p.m.

May 14

  • Feathered Friends Walk: Jay Kaplan of Roaring Brook Nature Center will be leading a bird walk in Cedar Hill Cemetery starting at 6:30 a.m. Meet at the bridge by the entrance. It’s recommended that you bring binoculars and wear hiking shoes. Free.
  • Tag Sale: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at UMC (571 Farmington Ave.).
  • Admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum is free from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. Today’s theme is steampunk. Joey Marsocci of Grymm Studios will be leading a hands-on Steampunk Makers’ Session. There are family activities and tours. You don’t need to leave at 1, you just have to arrive before 1 to get in free.
  • Tree Tenders: KNOX Executive Director Ron Pitz and CT DEEP Urban Forestry Coordinator Chris Donnelly will lead this free workshop that answers questions like when to prune, how to identify damage, and how to prevent damage to trees. Meet at the Maple Avenue entrance of Goodwin Park, 10:30 a.m. RSVP to emilyp@knoxhartford.org or (860) 951-7694 ext. 28.
  • Sigourney Square Park: They say that this play by Jeffrey Kagan-McCann “tells the story of the Perry family, four brothers who have lost touch each with other because of their busy lives, families and careers. When their elderly father summons them to come home for the Labor Day holiday weekend, they agree but with some reluctance. Once they are together sibling rivalry makes it difficult for the men to let go of years of conflict. The play is told in flashbacks where you see the men as boys and the point in their lives when they change forever and family secrets begin to unfold.” 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Ave.). $20.
  • Kimberly Cannon presents “HOT SAUCE IN MY BAG” at Mark Twain House & Museum. They say: “Kimberly Cannon takes her time to tackle and celebrate the complexities of the topic we can all relate to – The Human Condition. Kimberly creatively titles each component starting with her own family which she affectionately calls “A Box of Vanilla Wafers,” continues by addressing the heartache of love with “Relationship Chips and Dips;” religion with “Do These Beliefs Make Me Look Fat;” and aging with “Time To Lick The Bowl.” Written, produced and performed by an illustrator and mixed media artist, Kimberly Cannon holds nothing back as she brings her characters to life!” Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $15-20.

May 15

  • Bluegrass jam at Half Door (270 Sisson Ave.), 5-8 p.m. No cover.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 16

  • Take a Basics of Social Media workshop at University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (1265 Asylum Ave.). This free class is from 9:30-11:30. Register online or 860.768.5681.
  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 17

  • Drum Circle: participate in an all-ages drum circle at Unitarian Society of Hartford (50 Bloomfield Ave.), 6:45-7:45 p.m. They say “all (or no) abilities” welcome. Bring your own drums/percussion instruments or use what’s available. Free.

May 18

  • Wednesday Garden Get Together: Evergreen Community Garden (158 Evergreen) will be the meeting spot for snacks and conversations with neighbors at 6 p.m. Bring a dish.
  • MakeHartford Open House: tour the space and learn about membership. Drop in any time, 6:30-9 p.m. This is at 30 Arbor Street.
  • Ride of Silence: Wearing helmets and riding slowly, this bicycle event “aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.” Participants are asked to wear dark colors and remain silent for the duration of the ride, with the exception of safety call outs. The memorial ride starts at 7 p.m. sharp by the Pond House in Elizabeth Park and is scheduled to go for 5-7 miles. Cyclists should expect to travel at speeds of 8-12 mph.

May 19

  • Tour the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m. Free.

May 20

  • Take a Yoga Nidra class at Hartford | West End Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Ave., LL), 7-8:30 p.m. Class is $15.

May 21

  •  Help the Greater Hartford Green Team clean and beautify Colt Park, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. RSVP to nicolaa@knoxhartford.org or (860) 951-7694  ext 14.
  • hARTford: Connecting Creators: Come view the creations of Hartford youth at Parker Memorial (2621 Main) from 1-3 p.m. This is organized by Public Allies.

May 22

  • Lady Roll: BiCi Co.’s Belles — a women’s bike group — will be hosting a slow bicycle ride at 2 p.m. starting at 1429 Park Street.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 23

  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 24

  • Basic Laser Cutting & Engraving: learn laser skills at MakeHartford (30 Arbor), 6:30-8:30 p.m. $25.

May 25

  • MakeHartford Open House: tour the space and learn about membership. Drop in any time, 6:30-9 p.m. This is at 30 Arbor Street.
  • Center Church (675 Main St.) will be hosting a Meeting House Dialogue, “Honest Conversations with Muslim Neighbors.” They say: “Hear a panel of Connecticut Muslims share their stories and respond to your questions, such as:
    Why don’t we hear moderate Muslims speak out against extremism?
    Why do some girls and women wear Muslim dress, and others do not?
    What does the Qur’an really say about people of other religions?
    While American Muslims do not have all the answers, our panel will respond from their own faith experiences, raising issues concerning them as well as us.” Free to attend.

May 26

  • Tour the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m. Free.

May 27

  • Katie Howle, a student at the Hartt School Community Division, will give a free guitar recital in Alfred C. Fuller Music Center F Berkman Recital Hall at University of Hartford. 7-8:30 p.m.

May 28

May 29

  • Transport Hartford started facilitating a monthly slow-walking group in September 2014, with outing leaders being whoever feels inspired to volunteer. The purpose of the walk is to see the city at human speed and to have a chance to socialize while doing so. This is not a fitness group. Anyone who feels she can keep up is welcome to participate. Walk Hartford resumes today at 10 a.m. sharp. See the event page for updated details on this month’s route. Free. Will cancel for extreme weather, but not a little rain.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 30

  • Last chance to see Joe Fig’s artwork at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street).
  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 31

  • Students in the Hartt School Community Division will perform a spring recital of chamber music. This will be in the Alfred C. Fuller Music Center F Berkman Recital Hall on the University of Hartford campus. 7:30-9 p.m. Free