education/schools

Deadline Approaches for School Choice Lottery

Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year lottery are due by the end of this month. The lottery is managed by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Any families needing assistance completing applications can attend a session on February 23, 4-7 p.m., at the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center (444 Albany Ave.). Call (860)713-6972 with any questions about the Regional School Choice lottery.

February 2017 Events in Hartford

February 1

  • Origami Presentation: Paper sculptor artist Benjamin Parker will give a demonstration at the giant bench inside of Hartford Public Library. This is located near the new books on the library’s main floor. Free. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Get HYPEd, the monthly casual networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs, will be at Black-Eyed Sally’s (350 Asylum St.), 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free event. Bring your business cards!
  • MakeHartford Open House with Show & Tell – check out the space, speak to makers, show what you’re doing – 6:30-9 p.m. at 30 Arbor Street, B7.

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January 2017 Events in Hartford

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during January. 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. If we think an event sounds convoluted, disorganized, or offensive, we are not going to list it.

January 1

  • The Half Door (270 Sisson Ave.) is serving brunch from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. today.
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

January 2

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at Arch Street Tavern at 8 p.m. Free.

January 3

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Natural Hair Networking Meetup: This event is at M Lounge (942 Main St.) from 6-8 p.m. They say: “Come mix, mingle and learn with the Brown Skin Women (BSW) Network full of beautiful natural living women and professional service & product providers, while having a wonderful time! At this event we feature our signature express networking that allows you to connect with ALL guest before the night is up. If you own a business or offer a product or service, don’t forget to bring your business cards. If you are attending solely to enjoy the amazing energy and natural hair & beauty inspiration this event offers, you too are in for a treat. We will offer raffles from our sponsors and partners with our partners. Warning: Our events are known to build lasting friendships, unity and love.” This is free for BSW members and $5 for non-members.
  • Game Night: Real Art Ways (56 Arbor St.) is hosting a free community game night, 6-10 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

January 4

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Get HYPEd: free and casual networking event for young entrepreneurs and professionals. Bring your business cards. This month’s event is at Ted’s Montana Grill (35 Front Street), 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • MakeHartford Open House with Show & Tell: check out MakeHartford (30 Arbor St. #B7), speak to makers, show what you’re doing, 6:30-9 p.m. Free.
  • Loving: Cinestudio screens this film at 7:30 p.m. They say: “Like many landmark choices that opened a door to freedom, the Supreme Court decision to legalize interracial marriages in every state began with ordinary people who wanted the protection of the Constitution to apply to them, too. In 1967, those people were Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple who were arrested for the crime of ‘miscegenation.’ Without much education, connections or money, they started a case that would change their lives, and so many more. A subtle film that allows for complexity while holding out hope for humanity.” General admission: $10.

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Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2016

Winner of the Weirdest Award

Winner of the Weirdest Award

This has been, in countless ways, a crap year.

In terms of Hartford-specific issues, it hasn’t been so bad, but that has gotten drowned out by the presidential election, all of our crushes from the 80’s dying, and a billion other things like plane crashes, environmental racism, Muhammad AliAleppo, Orlando, and Princess Leia.

Still, our ridiculous awards must go on. If it helps, imagine us shoving a fiery dumpster down the red carpet. Because there is nothing more appropriate to round out this year. (more…)

43rd Annual Festival of Trees and Traditions

Creatively decorated trees and wreaths are on display as part of the 43rd Annual Festival of Trees and Traditions, currently at the Wadsworth Atheneum through December 11, 2016. The trees and wreaths are available for purchase to either take home or donate to a charity at the end of the event. (more…)

December 2016 Events

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during December. 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. If we think an event sounds convoluted, disorganized, or offensive, we are not going to list it. 

December 1

  • Without You: A World AIDS Day Public Art Action — The gallery space at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.) will have blank panels on the floors and walls from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to stop by and make art. They say: “Commemorate the loss of a loved one to AIDS. Respond in art to the AIDS epidemic. Share the experience of living with AIDS. Each blank space becomes a monument to both the history of the disease and the future we look towards without it.” Free.
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Opening reception for “Fellowship” at the Gallery at Constitution Plaza. The exhibit will feature art by Johannes DeYoung, Joe Fig, Kayla Gibbons, and Terrence Lavin. 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Nails and Wagging Tails: Does your dog act like you are going to literally amputate one of her feet every time you grab for the clippers? Throw some money at the problem and outsource that task. Nail clipping at Naturally Dogs and Cats (10 Trumbull St.) from 5-8 p.m. today. $5.
  • Night of Illumination: this is the opening night of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s (600 Main) 43rd Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions. Besides viewing the trees, wreaths, and other decor, there will be live music and a DJ to enjoy. This part of the evening is 5-8 p.m., with a free screening of Love, Actually at 8 p.m. General admission is $8. Admission is $3 for Hartford residents, members, college students with ID, and youth under 17.
  • Champagne and Chocolates: Shop the museum store at the Stowe Center (77 Forest St.), sample chocolates, sip champagne, and tour the Katharine Seymour Day House, 6-8 p.m. $20 suggested donation.
  • The Art of Mindfulness: The Antidote to Digital Stress: Dr. Brian Luke Seaward will be facilitating a presentation on reducing stress. They say: “In a world filled with perpetual bombardment of sensory stimulation and a dependency on screen technologies, the human mind has become locked in fight or flight, more commonly known as monkey-mind. If screen addiction is a toxin to the spirit, then mindfulness is the antidote.” This will take place at the Toivo Center (399 Franklin Avenue), 6:30-7:30 p.m. There is a $5 suggested donation, with nobody turned away for lack of funds. 
  • Into the Night: The Enduring Legacy of Elie Wiesel — an evening of readings and performances at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.) from 7-9 p.m.
  • Stop by Peppercorn’s Grill (357 Main) for live music by Professors of Sweet Sweet Music, 8-10 p.m. There is no cover.

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E.J. Dionne Receives Journalism Award, Talks Election at Trinity

“Bombast and bullying mistaken for strength,” is how Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne described the climate that enabled the recent presidential election.

Dionne delivered the talk “After 2016: Can a Divided Country Heal Itself?” last week at Trinity College while accepting the Moses Berkman Memorial Journalism Award.

In his talk the writer described what makes this election and this president-elect different from all others. Trump, Dionne said, is a “special case…a scary case.”

It is the way in which Trump has “pushed aside norms” regarding the transition to power, that is in part what worries Dionne. He pointed to how Trump is refusing to eliminate conflicts of interest as recent past presidents have by moving their assets into true blind trusts. (more…)

Get Active this Weekend

See on a classroom building on University of Hartford campus

Last week Hartford had a scream circle, various other healing events, and a monthly Showing Up for Racial Justice meeting that saw a surge in attendance.

More is yet to come.

A “Peaceful Pro-Love March” is planned for today, November 18, on the University of Hartford campus. Participants will be wearing black for the event that begins at 3 p.m. at Gengras Student Union. They say: “We want to convey a message that UHart stands up for inequalities across all spectrums. Whether it be concerning minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, women’s rights, Muslims, etc., we want to ensure that everybody at this school feels that they have the right to be loved and accepted.” Participants are asked to use only hand-held signs (no sticks) and to refrain from including profanity on the signs. (more…)

2016 Holiday Giving Guide

Photo from November 2014

Right after the 9/11 attacks, the then President, George W. Bush, urged Americans to go shopping. These things do not come without a price. The reckless, mindless spending empties wallets and creates a fine distraction for us. While we work harder to have more money to spend on more things, policies are enacted with little resistance.

Distraction and complacency go a long way toward complicity.

When we have covered local protests of any kind, regular folks — not simply those being directly challenged — typically critique those carrying signs or blocking traffic. The protestors are seen as making too much fuss, seen as an other for daring to speak up. It’s never quiet enough, respectful enough, pretty enough. There’s too much inconvenience created. The strategies are always questioned, not only when the tactics are questionable, such as when people from out-of-town join in a march through a poor neighborhood chanting “WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!“. Basically, if the opposition takes the form of anything more wild than wearing a rose or a designated color on the same day, it’s looked down on. The people are told to sit down, shut up, smile nicely, and go with the flow.

We did not just wake up to President-Elect Trump, as if his rise to power occurred magically. (more…)