Solitary confinement is “the most extreme form of punishment we have other than death,” Piper Kerman told the audience during the “Censorship and the Rights of Prisoners” talk on Monday.
Kerman was invited to speak at the Milton and Ethel Sorokin Symposium, a public education event of the ACLU of Connecticut, that is co-sponsored ad hosted by the UConn School of Law.
Kerman’s timing could not have been more appropriate. Right now, Connecticut has a juvenile housed in an adult facility in Niantic, where she is reportedly isolated from the population for 22-23 hours each day. That Jane Doe is in lock down without being charged for a crime has been overshadowed by the details of her needs as a transgendered youth.
Kerman, who did not spend time in solitary housing herself, did say that it is “not used for ‘the worst of the worst’” exclusively, but that isolation is “used as a disciplinary tool for low level infractions.” Continue reading 'Author of Orange is the New Black Speaks on Civil Liberties'»
Hartford Police Department’s Deputy Chief Brian Foley called today’s UConn parade the largest event the city has seen in the past twenty years, estimated over 200,000 spectators.
There were no arrests during the event.
Continue reading 'Parade Brings 200,000+ to Downtown'»
Vox Sambou on the mic
With artists from Haiti, South Africa, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Spain, Mozambique, UK, Cape Verde, Korea, Canada, India, Philippines, Czech Republic, and the United States, the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival celebrated its ninth year. The event’s main draw is the concert, but over several days there are lectures and workshops, films, dance, live graffiti art, and more. Continue reading 'Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Brings the Sun and the Noise'»
University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium was filled for Tuesday’s third annual Corine E. Norgaard Women in Leadership Lecture Series, and the audience was not just students required to attend for their business classes.
Amy Quigley, a marketing executive from the Boston area, spoke about building a personal brand and making connections, explaining that one’s expectations, memories, stories, and relationships with a brand drives the decision to support it.
Brands are not static, she said. One memorable example she gave was of Angelina Jolie, who used to be known as “kooky,” but who has essentially relaunched herself as a “humanitarian” in recent years. Continue reading 'Interest in Branding Alive and Well'»
The annual Greenhouse Spring Flower Show has begun! Continue reading 'Spring Flower Show'»
Between lists written by those who can’t see beyond the major institutions and shoddily researched, outdated articles authored by someone who spent little time in Hartford and has since moved elsewhere, it seemed appropriate to revisit just a few of the things we have going on here. As we have said before, we have to ♥ Mark Twain because when you move into Hartford you take an oath swearing as much, but we know that Twain and his legacy are not the only game in town:
One bike decorated for the Real Ride
- The Real Ride: during times of year when snow is not on the ground, cyclists of varying ability decorate their bikes with lights, streamers, giant puppets, beads, and more, and take a ten-mile slow ride around the city, at night. The group — in the hundreds — leaves from the Real Art Ways parking lot, taking a different route each time. On one ride, a cyclist towed a trailer on which an entire drum kit was set up and played during the ride. Other rides have featured a shopping cart bike with a giant dragon head mounted on it. This is free and all ages, beginning around nightfall and ending several hours later, as the group makes stops to view fireworks, participate in a drumming circle, or watch improv. What makes this significant? The ride gets people on the streets of Hartford after dark, doing more than just running off to their cars.
- Cedar Hill Cemetery: this is a place of peace and quiet, a place to see deer grazing around dusk, and a place to quietly recreate. That’s encouraged. They have hosted films, bird walks, and tours of the cemetery’s notable residents. Around Halloween, actors portray some of those residents in a lantern tour. Art, history, and nature collide here.
One contestant in the Art Sled Derby, 2014
- Art Sled Derby: For two years in a row, people have gathered at the hill in Elizabeth Park with sleds, some simple, and some seeming to challenge the idea of “sled.” There are no waivers, no fees. And there shouldn’t be. This is one of the regular sledding hills…but there is not usually the possibility of winning a bizarre trophy made of doll parts or competing against someone riding a bed down the slope. Unlike art galleries where work is curated, all entries are viewable. Even the creations that fall apart within seconds earn cheers from onlookers.
Continue reading 'Top Ten Non-Twain Things to Do in Hartford'»
Fatima Vejzovic squats in front of the çilimi weaving loom. She’s being asked questions about the process, but does not have enough English vocabulary to respond. She motions in a way that indicates everyone should kindly shut up and just watch. No interpreter needed. She shows with her hands how she counts out to thread the thick yarn to create patterns. Above the loom, a completed rug shows what this piece-in-progress will generally look like when finished.
Vejzovic, a Bosnian refugee, is only one of the artists whose work is currently on display at the Institute for Community Research as part of the New Lives/New England touring exhibit. The artists are refugees and other new immigrants living in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. Tapestries, bags, mittens, and lace are among the works from members of the Assyrian, Bosnian, Burmese Karen, Somali, and Somali Bantu communities.
Lynne Williamson, Director of the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program at the ICR, said that handicrafting can be therapeutic for those who have experienced trauma. Having their works on display and creating opportunities for the public to interact with artists, she said, encourages people to view the creators in ways other than just “women in headscarves.” Continue reading 'New Lives/New England, Traditional Art'»
MECA is about to plan their Free Movies After Dark program and is seeking input.
If you have paid any attention, you know that the selections for each of the past two years have received some criticism for lacking in cultural diversity to lacking in films for children.
You have until March 21st to tell them what you want to see. Vote early and often.