Hartford

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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Pop-Up ID Project Helps New Englanders Adjust Legal Docs

Transgender residents of New England seeking to update their legal name and gender can receive free legal assistance through the Pop-Up Transgender ID Project.

GLAD — GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders — along with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition have arranged for lawyers from Ropes & Gray LLP to assist with completing legal name changes, followed by updating information on federal and state documents including social security cards, U.S. passports, driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, and birth certificates issued in New England. (more…)

Equality March Demands Bridges, Not Walls


We can “not allow the negative rhetoric of the Trump campaign to dictate how we live our lives,” Tiffany Walker told a few hundred people shivering outside of the Connecticut Old State House. Walker organized and led Sunday’s Equality March from the landmark to the Connecticut State Capitol, with activists chanting “bridges not walls” and “Black lives matter” along the way. (more…)

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…)