education/schools

Suggestion Box: Ask More of the Chain Stores

There are six CVS stores in Hartford. Only one is in a building with any architectural flair, and that downtown location is set to move into another space in the near future. (The one on Washington Street built in place of an historical building that was torn down instead of reused does not count as having character.) Otherwise, the ubiquitous pharmacy with a penchant for dull, box construction — with an easy-to-reverse-your-car-through façade —  presents opportunity for visual improvement. This is equally true of other chain stores found in Hartford, from gas stations to doughnut shops.

A CVS on the corner of Thayer and Cushing Street in Providence shows that another reality is possible. CVS paid RISD students to create the mural. It has not been without some controversy, partly because everything just has to be controversial these days, but regardless: Artists were paid. (more…)

September 2016 Hartford Events

September 1

Shop one of Hartford’s farmers’ markets. This pic taken at the West End Farmers’ Market.

  • Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge: this market operates every Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the green on Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street.
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday Nights on the Plaza: happy hour, 4-8 p.m. on the Riverfront Plaza. Live music, food, and beer. No cover charge.
  • Connections + Collaborations: opening reception for art reception at 100 Pearl Street Gallery, 5-7 p.m. This free event will feature work from artists involved in the Art Connection Studio.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Elizabeth Park (meet on Rose Garden Lawn) begins at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat/towel and water.
  • Listen to The POSSM and Now For Ages play live at Peppercorns (357 Main Street), 8:30-10 p.m. No cover.

September 2

  • Bear’s is sponsoring a free outdoor screening of The Martian in Riverside Park. The movie will begin at sunset.
  • Ken Morgan’s digital abstracts go up at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street) until September 28, 2016.

September 3

  • Everything I Am Youth Summit: They say that this free event is “designed to enhance, engage and empower youth towards a future of achievement, fulfillment and happiness. Our programs cater to African American, Hispanic and Bi-Racial youth ages 12-19.” There is only room for eight girls, so register. This will be held at Carmen’s Events & Beauty Showroom (942 Main Street) from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Goodwin Park Clean-up: Here’s a chance to give back. Bring your own gloves and bags. Refreshments will be provided. 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Pope Park (meet on lawn near pond) begins at 11 a.m. This will be taught in English and Spanish. Bring your own mat/towel and water.

(more…)

Tiple Construction at Trinity College

For the second time, William Cumpiano is leading a Puerto Rican Tiple construction workshop at Trinity College.

This class of about a dozen students kicked off on Monday and will be finishing their small stringed-instruments this weekend. No prior woodworking knowledge or experience was required of participants who have been using both hand and power tools to make their instruments.

The Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity and Center Church are sponsors of this week-long workshop. (more…)

De-Magnetization: It’s a Thing

On Tuesday, Hartford Board of Education will be considering a resolution to de-magnetize the Journalism & Media Academy on Tower Avenue.

JMA was originally intended as a neighborhood school, as part of Weaver High, just down the road where Tower and Granby Street intersect. In 2013, the Connecticut State Department of Education wanted JMA to become a magnet school to serve the Sheff mandate.

Three years later, the Sheff mandate has not been met, and as a side effect, there are empty seats in the school. There are Hartford kids waiting to get into the school. They are waiting solely because those empty seats are held for white and Asian students.

When the decision was made to magnetize it, the plan was to have 400 students enrolled by this school year. The actual number of students at JMA is around 200. (more…)

In Your Neighborhood: Asylum Hill

This was the rare week and change that brought me into Asylum Hill on multiple days. I was lucky to see the progression of a community mural at the 224 EcoSpace. In a time of seemingly non-stop bad news, this creation was needed. (more…)

Goodbye, Garbage

Friday, June 24, 2016 was the last day that the MIRA Trash Museum (previously, CRRA Trash Museum) was open to the public. The Trash Museum on Murphy Road opened its doors in 1992.

As you would expect, the museum provided information about recycling, upcycling, composting, recovering energy, reducing food waste, along with descriptions of the different types of landfills. The Temple of Trash gave visitors the chance to be grossed out, or to get nostalgic over relics like AOL discs, old cleaning products, toys, and board games. Trashion Fashion outfits were displayed in the gift shop.

Visitors had the chance to go on a scavenger hunt or make arts and crafts. The upper floor included views into the working recycling area; visitors were encouraged to wave at the workers, who would wave right back.

Staying true to the mission, parts of the museum will be packed up and sent to other institutions to be kept in use.

(more…)

June 2016 Events in Hartford

Elizabeth Park

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during June. 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 June 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

June 1

  • The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet will be giving a free lunchtime concert in Liam E. McGee Memorial Park (formerly “HartBeat Park– Garden Street, Frazer Place, and Myrtle Street ) 12-1 p.m. If it rains, this will take place on June 3rd.
  • Community Matters: Wrestling with Public Restroom Use & Other Laws Aimed at Excluding LGBTQsYWCA Hartford Region (135 Broad Street) is hosting a conversation on this topic. Catherine Blinder will moderate. Dan Barrett, Legal Director at ACLU CT, and Cesar Aleman, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at CT Fair Housing Center, will be participating in the discussion. This free event starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Soromundi Room.
  • Free yoga in Bushnell Park at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn between the pond and Pump House.
  • Get HYPEd: gather at Firebox (539 Broad) for this month’s networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs. Show up whenever, stay as long as you’d like. No cover. Bring business cards and money for your own drinks. 5:30-8:30 p.m.

June 2

  • At 10 a.m. take a free tour of the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. Meet at the Cottage.
  • Billings Forge Farmers’ Market is from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Broad Street, between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street.
  • Art on the Streets: from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., check out what Justin O’Brien (Asylum and Trumbull) and Tang Sauce (Phoenix Gateway [you probably know this area as Constitution Plaza]) have to offer. Free. (Can we stop with the Hxxxford nonsense now? Patently false! It never left.)
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park. Drop by from 12-1:30 p.m. Call 860-232-6710 to confirm that rain has not cancelled.
  • Free yoga in Elizabeth Park at 5:30. Bring your own yoga mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn near the rose garden.
  • hARTford Art Show: artwork on the themes of identity, community, and Hartford, created by Hartford middle and high school students, will be on display at Butler-McCook House & Garden (396 Main), 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free.
  • The POSSM and Now for Ages will play at Peppercorn’s Grill (357 Main) starting at 8:30 p.m. No cover.

June 3

  • Witness the Puerto Rican Flag Raising Ceremony at the Connecticut State Capitol at 12:30 p.m.
  • Opening reception for Headstrong by Marc-Yves Regis at ArtWalk Gallery, located in Hartford Public Library (500 Main Street). 6 p.m. Free.

(more…)