activism

Meet Your City: Holiday Giving Guide

“My Precious Stones” at Connecticut Historical Society during Open Studio Hartford

You could hit the big box stores for all kinds of cheaply-made, totally forgettable gadgets, but why?

Shopping

  • Open Studio Hartford: November 11 & 12, 11 am – 5 pm — Shop arts and crafts at nineteen venues within Hartford, many of which are accessible by free shuttle. Goods include ceramics, wood sculpture, photography, drawings, paintings, hand-woven rugs, letterpress prints, jewelry, tattoos, henna art, quilts, and more. See the program for times and venue locations.
  • Crafted: November 19, 12-5 pm. — Basically, this is a craft fair at 30 and 56 Arbor Street. There are (at time of publication) around 20 local businesses committed to participating in this.
  • Art + Soul: December 10, 11 am – 5 pm. — This is a holiday craft fair intended to benefit Protectors of Animals, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in East Hartford. So far, there are almost 20 vendors signed up for this event at 555 Asylum Street. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door.

Other Giving

  • MakeHartford: December 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. — Meet up for a fiber arts-focused crafting night at 30 Arbor Street. Bring in any project you are working on — crocheting, knitting, spinning, weaving, sewing, embroidery, kumihimo, knotting, braiding — to request help or just have company. Some supplies will be available in exchange for a donation. There will specifically be supplies available for those who want to make fleece scarves that will be donated to local shelters.
  • The Open Hearth: This shelter at 437 Sheldon Street accepts donations of men’s winter coats, hats, interview outfits, and more.
  • ImmaCare: The emergency shelter accepts men’s and women’s clothing, food, medication, and other donations. The offices are located at 168 Hungerford Street.
  • Hartford Catholic Worker: Located at 18 Clark Street, year-round they collect baby supplies (formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, clothes, and toys.) for distribution to families in the neighborhood, along with books for their Little Free Library, and items (tuna, canned soup, pasta sauce) for the food pantry.

What other opportunities for giving exist in Hartford this year?

Meet Your City: It’s Autumn. What Now?

Why live in New England if you aren’t even going to try to do some seasonal things? That does not mean getting “dressed like a fashion blogger” and creating staged moments for Instagram. Here are a few suggestions:

Night Fall
This is a free, annual outdoor performance that marks the change in seasons. It rotates to a different Hartford park each year and is one of those true community events where the hours before the show are as much about socializing with friends and neighbors as they are about buying snacks and claiming your blanket space. I’m going to go right ahead and take a guess that after the horrors in Vegas over the weekend, we can all benefit from more time connecting with others. There is dancing and giant puppets. It may look like an event for children on the surface, but I would not go so far as to categorize it that way. If you are an adult showing up without kids, you won’t be looked at as a creeper. Night Fall is in Bushnell Park on October 7 this year.

Elizabeth Park

Get a chaider
Kick those basic seasonal beverages to the curb. (more…)

October 2017 Events in Hartford

At a loss? Go take a walk. This is the best time of year for that kind of thing.

October 1

  • Head of the Riverfront Regatta: It costs nothing to watch rowing at Riverside Park, 8:30 am – 5 pm.
  • CT Rally for Racial Justice: This meets in front of City Hall at 2 pm. Participants will march from there to Vernon and Broad Streets.
  • Syllable: Starting at 7 pm, listen to readings from Amity Gaige, Jamil Ragland, Julie Choffel, Kathy Czepiel, and Alycia Jenkins. This is at Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue). No cover.

October 2

  • Industry Night returns to Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue), starting at 6 pm. All are welcome. There will be a DJ and all day happy hour.
  • The Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at Arch Street Tavern, 8-9 pm. Free.

(more…)

September 2017 Events in Hartford

Peace, Love & Music Together

DISCLAIMERS

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of my knowledge. Events are sometimes cancelled or postponed. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

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

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford, kinda expensive, sketchy, or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

September 1

  • Enjoy free live music on Pratt Street, 12-1:30 pm.
  • Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) offers Zumba classes on Fridays from 4-5 pm. This is free, but a $5 donation is welcome.
  • A one-hour Tai Chi class follows at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) at 5:30 pm. Suggested $5 donation.
  • The Beguiled screens at Cinestudio. They say: “Sofia Coppola’s new film brilliantly flips the 1971 film about an injured Union Army deserter (Clint Eastwood in the original) who hides out in a Southern girls school. Originally a tale of male titillation, it is turned to one exploring the ‘female gaze,’ still rare on the big screen. In non-film-school talk, this time it’s all about the female students (Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence), teachers (including Kirsten Dunst) and headmistress (a magnificent Nicole Kidman), and their barely concealed erotic fascination with the charmer in their midst.” This begins at 7:30 pm. General admission: $10. Some discounts available.
  • The Penniless Wild plays Arch Street Tavern at 10 pm. This show is 21+. $7 advance/$10 door.

September 2

  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9 am – 5 pm. Free admission to the museum galleries all day.
  • Coltsville Walking Tour: Free walking tours begins at 10 am and 2 pm by the Colt monument inside the Wethersfield Avenue entrance to Colt Park. No tours are given during bad weather.
  • Full Moon Meditation: The Hartford Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Avenue, ground floor) is hosting this free event from 3-4 pm.
  • Tee Tee Soul performs at Night Owl Pub (130 Ann Street), 8-10 pm. Free.

(more…)

Rally Against White Supremacy at Capitol

With little notice, a few hundred people came together on Thursday morning to unequivocally oppose white supremacy following last week’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin started the rally by saying that “It’s become difficult over the last year and a half to be shocked by the man who now sits in the Oval Office. But this past week was shocking.

A number of elected politicians followed with speeches on the north side of the Connecticut State Capitol. The rally was peaceful and without incident.

Besides this rally, at least eight vigils were held in Connecticut since Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville while speaking out against the racism. (more…)

August 2017 Events in Hartford

Daymark performs at Connecticut Historical Society on August 17, 2017

DISCLAIMERS

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 or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

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

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford, wicked expensive, sketchy, or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

August 1

  • People under age 18 are invited to the Parker Memorial Community Center (2621 Main Street), 10 am -1 pm, for free lunch and Track & Field activities. No paperwork or preregistration needed.
  • Get your grocery shopping done at the West End Farmers’ Market on Clemens Green (385 Farmington Avenue) every Tuesday, 4-7 pm. SNAP/EBT is accepted and doubled.
  • National Night Out: Child-centered event with games and food at Cronin Playground (490 Granby Street), 4-7:30 pm. Free.
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Blue Hills branch (649 Blue Hills Avenue).
  • WIP Into Shape: Free bootcamp-style fitness class at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 6-7 pm. The class is described as being accessible to all levels.

August 2

  • Asylum Hill Walking Tours: check out the latest NINA project at 94-96 Ashley Street. 12 pm. Free.
  • Midday Meditation: Experience a half hour of free guided meditation at the Riverfront, 12:30 pm. This is on the lower level near the Amie sculpture.
  • Potter on the Plaza: Listen as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is read aloud on Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 12:30-1:30 pm. Free.
  • Get HYPEd: The casual monthly networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs will be at Chango Rosa (1 Union Place) from 5:30-8:30 pm. No registration necessary. This is free. Bring your business cards and money for drinks.
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Goodwin branch (460 New Britain Avenue).
  • Yoga Flow on the River: A free “accessible to all bodies” yoga class meets at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 6-7 pm. Bring your own yoga mat or towel.
  • Enjoy a free concert by Mass-Conn-Fusion in Elizabeth Park, 6:30-8 pm. This will be on the Rose Garden Lawn. If there’s bad weather, the concert will be reschedule for August 3rd.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy will be screened outdoors at the stadium, 7-9 pm. This is free.

August 3

  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch Tours: take a free tour any time between 12-1:30 pm. Climbing steep stairs is involved. This is the arch in Bushnell Park.
  • Thursday Nights on the Plaza: POSSM will be playing originals and covers at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. The Brasato food truck is schedule to be there. 4-8 pm. Free.
  • Art After Dark: The Wadsworth Atheneum is hosting their traditional Caribbean Block Party on the museum lawn, 5-8 pm. Expect steel drums, stilt walking, dominoes, art activities, docent-guided tours, and dancing. There is some complimentary food, but drinks are extra. At 8 pm, Hidden Figures screens indoors. $10 general; $5 for museum members.
  • Neighborhood Studios Film Festival: Free public screening of students’ film projects. Director Q&A and pizza reception follows the screening. 5:30-7 pm at Real Art Ways (56 Arbor Street).
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Mark Twain branch (927 Asylum Avenue).
  • Stowe Prize Book Club: Read (in advance) and discuss March: Book One, 6-7:30 at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (77 Forest Street). This is free, but the Stowe Center likes reservations to be made.
  • Parkville Studios: Homebound — opening reception for the works of multiple Parkville artists. This free reception is at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.), 6-8 pm.
  • Breakdancing Shakespeare: As You Like It — Watch students give a modern hip hop treatment to Shakespeare’s play. Admission is $10. This begins at 7 pm at Hartford Stage (50 Church Street).

(more…)

Meet Your City: Outdoors Walking Tours

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

 

What’s included: Informational tours that take place outside on a recurring basis and involve walking as the primary mode of movement.

What’s not: Tours that have you sitting on a bus, boat, or bicycle; tours that are (probably or definitely) on hiatus; tours that are only self-guided; general walks; private tours that require your membership for participation; campus tours intended to attract students. (more…)

June 2017 Events in Hartford

June 1

  • Everyone knows it stinks when events are canceled because of funding problems. Instead of complaining, why not get creative and look at another way to fund events? Attend an information session for the new Hartford Community Access Grants program. They say: “These grants, which are designed to improve access to the arts for all citizens of Hartford, fund small, public events including concerts, celebrations and performances by local organizations with operating budgets of $100,000 or less.” Today’s session is 10-11 am at the Greater Hartford Arts Council (100 Pearl Street, 2nd floor). Register for the free event.
  • Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) offers affordable yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11 am. They say: “Heartfelt and explorative classes. Students will experience fluid vinyasas combined with longer holdings to build strength, flexibility and improve balance. These Hatha style classes also incorporate meditation, centering and breath work. Every student is encouraged to find their own expression of each pose.” There’s a suggested $5 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 pm. The tours are flexible, so drop by any time. This involves climbing 96 steps. Bad weather cancels.
  • Eat, Drink & Donate: Fundraiser at The Flying Monkey Grill & Bar (20 Lindbergh Dr.) to benefit Friends of Keney Park. Food and cash bar. Live music provided by Live Music will be provided by Alvin Carter and Friends. 5-8 pm. Requested minimum donation is $10 per person. Contact Ms. Lyons at 860-729-2444 or friends_of_keney_park@yahoo.com for more info and/or to confirm your attendance.
  • Art After Dark: Mood Room. This Wadsworth Atheneum (600 Main Street) event celebrates the opening of Mika Tajima’s MATRIX 177 installation “After Life.” Music, activities, free snacks. Cash bar. Free admission for Hartford residents enrolled in the Wadsworth Welcome program. Not signed up yet? You can do that on-site. For everyone else, admission is $10 general or $5 for members. 5-8 pm. This also gets you admission to the film Mood Indigo which screens at 8 pm.
  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 5-10 pm at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • Why Preserve? Digitizing Stories: CT Latinos in WWI — This free event is from 6-7:30 pm in the Hartford History Center, located inside of Hartford Public Library. They say: “Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey, will discuss opportunities for CT-based Latino WWI veterans and/or their families to bring memorabilia, photographs, and their oral stories to be collected, digitized, and interviews recorded at the Hartford History Center for incorporation into the Connecticut State Library’s digital collection. He will discuss why it is important to preserve this information and offer suggestions of what to bring to the digitization day that will take place at the Hartford History Center of Saturday, June 10. This program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).
  • Nails and Wagging Tails: $5 nail trim for dogs at Naturally Dogs and Cats (10 Trumbull Street), 6-8 pm.

June 2

  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 11 am – 11 pm at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • Art on the Streets is back for a few weeks at lunchtime in downtown. From 11:30-1:30, check out interactive and artistic experiences. Go to State House Square on Tuesdays and Pratt Street on Thursdays. Free.
  • Welcome New American Citizens: at 1 pm the Polish National Home (60 Charter Oak Avenue) is hosting US Federal Citizenship & Immigration Services for a naturalization ceremony for 60 new Americans. A buffet ($26.95 per person) follows the ceremony. Make reservations Call: (860) 247-1784 or email: asha@hartfordpnh.com
  • The 30th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival starts today! Center of My World screens at 7:30; opening gala reception at Trinity College follows the film. This is at Cinestudio (300 Summit Street). Admission is $20, with discounts available. A festival pass is $75.
  • CT Cage Match Finals: two improv teams — KnucklePuck and Winnipeg — compete. The audience votes to decide the winner. 8-9:30 pm at Sea Tea Comedy Theater (15 Asylum Street). Tickets: $10.

June 3

  • Free admission to Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9-5. Today’s family program is the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo. Try out different musical instruments! Those sessions are at 10:30, 11, and 11:45.
  • Tree Walk: John Kehoe leads this walk through Cedar Hill Cemetery to feature its notable trees. 10 am- 12 pm. Free. Meet by the bridge along the entrance driveway. This is a Connecticut Trails Day event.
  • On the other side of Hartford, join walks in Keney Park for Connecticut Trails Day, 10 am – 12 pm. They say: “We will travel along the Leadership Trail through the Hemlock Gorge on former sheep paths and carriage roads, which lead to remote scenic features. See landscapes preserved since 1898 within this urban forest. Sights will include remnants of the Sylvan Court and fernery in Ten Mile Woods, sand dunes, wildlife and bird habitat. Sponsoring group leaders will share historic and contemporary images and maps to encourage discussion on the past, present and future of this extraordinary 694-acre historic park. The Project is actively working with community volunteers to restore trails. Please be prepared to walk on and off trail. Our adventure will conclude with fresh garden vegetables snacks at the greenhouse constructed by Keney Park Sustainability Project.” It can’t be said enough — this is a very wooded area, so dress appropriately to avoid bringing home ticks, etc. Rain will postpone the event. Meet up at the Keney Park House (use “183 Windsor Ave. Windsor, CT” as address for location). This is free, but call or email to pre-register– 860-333-8711 or keneyparksustainability@gmail.com.
  • The National Park Service offers free Coltsville Walking Tours at 10 am and 2 pm. Meet up with the park ranger at the monument in Colt Park inside the Wethersfield Avenue entrance. Tours do not happen if the weather is bad. Call (717) 856-9629 to have your questions answered.
  • Hartford Deportation Defense Boot Camp: This is a free event, with donations accepted. 10 am – 3 pm at 77 Huyshope Avenue. They say: “Come join neighbors in the Greater Hartford area to learn about defending our communities against deportations. Join a network of immigrants and allies working to make our communities safe for all. Information about Know Your Rights, the Hartford Rapid Response Network, accompaniment, and ways that folks can get involved in work happening locally to fight deportations. All are welcome to attend the event, immigrants and non-immigrants. Interpretation into Spanish will be provided for the event. Light lunch will be served!”
  • CPR/AED and First Aid Training: Learn to potentially save lives! This one-day training course will grant or renew certifications through the American Red Cross. Register, as there is limited space. The $65 registration fee also covers lunch. 10 am – 4:30 pm at MakeHartford (30 Arbor Street).
  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 11 am – midnight at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • One World Market hosts “family day.” They say that OWM is “multi ethnic food court at the CTfastrak Parkville Station.” We say that this is a fun, authentic, and non-hipster event. Taste food from Brazil, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Laos and Thailand. Today’s market features face-painting, Nepalese dancing, soccer & tennis coaching, and a bouncy-house. 12-4 pm. Free. This is at 24 Francis Avenue.
  • The Connecticut LGBT Film Festival continues today with A Million Happy Nows, A Date for Mad Mary, and Handsome Devil. Ticket prices vary. This is at Cinestudio (300 Summit St.).

(more…)

Pro-Immigrant Rally

Photo courtesy of Andy Hart

Photo courtesy of Andy Hart

 

A dancing giant Trump puppet joined the crowd at the “Here to Stay” rally on Saturday at the Connecticut State Capitol. In what seems like an unrelenting series of protests, this latest was organized by 32BJ SEIU to “defend the rights of Connecticut immigrants, and celebrate the richness of our diverse state.” (more…)