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February 2016 Events

February 1

  • Witnesses to Hunger opens at 2 p.m. today in Conference Room 1B in the Legislative Office Building. They say this is a “project that uses photographs taken by Connecticut residents to bring visibility to their everyday struggles to make ends meet. These powerful images and the stories behind them reinforce the need for substantial policy change to ensure health, success, and hope for all of our neighbors. The exhibit is comprised of over 50 photographs taken by 15 witnesses from towns across Connecticut.” Some of the witnesses will be at the opening to participate in a discussion about hunger in Connecticut, along with possible solutions. The exhibit, in the lower concourse, will be on view through February 11. Free, open to the public.

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January 2016 Events

Looking for a resolution? Here’s one: if you are an event organizer or the communications and marketing person for an organization, submit events with complete information and on time.

What does the calendar look like when people miss deadlines and I do not spend upwards of one full day putting together information for readers? This:

January 1

January 2

  • Free first Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society, 9-5. This free admission is for the galleries, but not for the Waterman Research Center.

January 3 (more…)

Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2015

Best Low-Expense Improvements Award

Best New Dining: Little River Restoratives, 405 Capitol Avenue

PARK(ing) Day: Forget, for a moment, that these improvements were temporary. Pavement, usually reserved for parked cars, was covered with sod for a few hours. These tiny parks were populated with musicians, improv performers, and artists. In some cases, these were simply places to sit. The appearance of these spots changed the mood of passersby on their lunch breaks. No need to construct stadiums or monuments. A few square feet of green can be enough to make a difference, if not financial, at least emotional.

Reducing the thing people seem to believe there is not enough of actually boosted the quality of street life in downtown Hartford for part of one work day.

Sweetest Under-the-Radar Event Award

This is a tie between Cranksgiving and Sharing the Warmth.

The former is the local edition of a widespread event that is basically a scavenger hunt and food drive combined. It engages children and cyclists of all levels, and the benefits go right back to a food pantry in our community. Given its start at Trinity College, it also acts as a way of encouraging positive interaction between students and the community.

Sharing the Warmth was a one-day clothing drive and giveaway, but done in a way that allowed those in need to gather up what they need while maintaining dignity. Coats, gloves, hats, and scarves were brought to where those who’d benefit from having them could be found. (more…)

Leadership in Transition

Carlos Hernandez Chavez reads his prepared remarks at the Youth Engagement Town Hall on Saturday // Photo courtesy of Allison Holst-Grubbe

Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin recently announced that he would forgo the glitz and expense of an inaugural ball, favoring a reception only, following the swearing-in of all other elected officials in early January. In past administrations, there have been both the light refreshments and meet and greet in City Hall, and the evening wear on display in a much larger facility. The plan is for Bronin to be sworn into office following the midnight First Night fireworks.

This weekend Bronin held a Youth Engagement Town Hall at Wilson-Gray YMCA, where Hartford’s strengths, such as already existing youth services programs, were touted. Here, a resident urged others to get involved with the dozens of municipal boards and commissions, and to support the incoming mayor and provide him with ideas of what we need, saying that if we don’t advocate for ourselves, we can’t get mad at the leader for not knowing what needs attention. The takeaway from this meeting was that many residents felt that City and community resources are disconnected from each other.

A few weeks ago, Bronin created several committees and policy working groups. Essentially, these perform as ways to add oversight and transparency, along with provide more opportunity for comment from members of the public. (more…)

December 2015 Events

December 1

  • Free ice skating in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free skate rentals are available until 7:15. Youth under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Real Art Ways hosts its monthly board game night starting at 6. Free.
  • Natural Hair Happy Hour at M Lounge, 942 Main Street. They say: “Come mix and mingle with other beautiful naturals! This event is perfect for catching up with family and friends, meeting new naturals and learning more about the Brown Skin Women network.” 6-8:30 p.m. Free.
  • Happy, Healthy Holiday Party: This is a healthy potluck with music by the Sacred Sorrow Singers. For the potluck, include a list of all ingredients for the dish you bring. Also, bring your own plate, utensils, and cup so that the event creates minimal waste. There is a suggested $5 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds. 7-9 p.m. at Toivo.

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Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour Returns

Joey Batts. Photo courtesy of 86hour photo

This December the Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour returns for its second year. Over 40 local musicians and DJs will participate in the six shows, with two of those venues being open to all ages.

Joey Batts, a public high school teacher in Hartford, wanted to raise awareness after working with youth who were experiencing homelessness. The teacher-by-day, musician-by-night plans to collect canned goods, personal hygiene products, and clothing at each of the venues on the tour, where the audience can hear live music by Ceschi Ramos, Joey Batts & Them, Chumzilla, Jose Oyola, and others. (more…)

2015 Holiday Anti-Shopping Guide

GIVING

Venom Vintage, Whitney Street

I hate Giving Tuesday. It goes: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. What? So, only after you have shelled out money everywhere else should you consider charitable giving? False. For this reason, we list giving first.

 

  • ImmaCare — emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, outreach, education and employment.

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