More than 200 people rallied in the rain outside of the Connecticut State Capitol Saturday morning in support of Syrian refugees. Their messages included the ability and willingness for the United States to care for both new refugees and our existing homeless population, dismissing the either/or rhetoric that has been presented as fact in recent weeks. Speakers also dismissed the idea the refugees would be given a free ride once here, or that the State has any control over who the United States does or does not accept. (more…)
Dia de los Muertos fiesta at The Dirt Salon: Day of the Dead costume contest, burlesque by Beat City Beauties, live music from Carlos Hernandez Chavez, and more. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. You must be 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink. Starts at 9p.m., goes into the wee hours of morn. The Dirt Salon is at 50 Bartholomew Avenue.
Connecticut Veterans Parade starts at 12:30, at the corner of Buckingham and Washington Streets. This year’s grand marshals include Retired Master Sergeant Frank Alvarado of East Haven, Major Linda Cunha of Newington, Retired Staff Sergeant Chandler J. Howard of Farmington, Retired Sergeant Samuel Jacobellis of Danbury, and Retired Brigadier General (CT) Daniel J. McHale of Avon. The parade route includes Trinity Street through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Ford Street, Pearl Street, Main Street, Capitol Avenue, and ending on Hudson Street. Before the parade, there is a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, beginning at 11:30.
The Hartt Trombone Ensemble presents its first concert of the 2014-2015 Season, “Hartt Trombone Philharmonic: Symphonic Works for Trombones.” This begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford.
CSS/CON (Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood) meets at CREC, 111 Charter Oak Avenue at 5:30 p.m.
The Upper Albany Revitalization Zone Organization meets in the Albany Branch Library at 6 p.m.
Do you live or work in Asylum Hill, or just care about it? Come to an Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association meeting today, 6:15 p.m. The group meets at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue.
Learn to Solder class is offered by MakeHartford. Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required; if you do not have safety glasses, they may be purchased for an additional $4.00. $35 per class. MakeHartford is located at 30 Arbor Street, #B7. Ages: Teen/Adult.
Sea Tea Improv’s 2-Prov Performance class students will perform two-person improv comedy based on audience suggestions. Tickets are $5 for this event which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue.
Hartford Jazz Orchestra plays every Monday at the Arch Street Tavern, starting at 8 p.m. No cover.
Spend Mondays enjoying live jazz at Black-eyed Sally’s from 8-11 p.m. $5 cover. 350 Asylum Street (more…)
Jane Swift speaking in the Washington Room of Mather Hall at Trinity College
“I came from humble beginnings,” Jane Swift said, describing her time as a work study student at Trinity College, who scrubbed meal trays in the lower level of Mather Hall.
The former Governor of Massachusetts and current Chief Executive Officer of Middlebury Interactive Languages said she had two advantages: a mother who valued education and having English as her native language.
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 Englandtouring 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.” (more…)
Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) and Connecticut Immigrant Voices Coalition (CIVIC) sponsored a rally and festival in Bushnell Park this weekend, with the afternoon’s events including musical performances, dance, and the telling of personal challenges with the immigration experience. (more…)
On the National Day of Action for immigration reform, Hartford joined cities across the United States as people took to the streets downtown during evening rush hour.
The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) organized the event, with rallies at both the Old State House and State Capitol, and a march in between.
CIRA is comprised of many organizations including the ACLU of CT, African American Affairs Commission, AFT Connecticut, Apostle Immigrant Services, Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Brazilian Immigrant Center, Center for Latino Progress, Comunidad Inmigrante de East Haven, Connecticut AFL-CIO, Connecticut Center for New Economy, Connecticut Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention, Connecticut Students for a Dream, Immigration Rights Task Force of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, Immigration Task Force of New York Annual Conference of United Methodist Church, International Institute of Connecticut, Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), Junta for Progressive Action, Latino Advocacy Foundation, MECha de Yale, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), New Haven Peoples Center, Oficina Católica de Justicia Social de La Arquidiócesis de Hartford, Seminarians for a Democratic Society, SEIU-32BJ, SEIU-State Council, Somos CT, Unidad Latina en Acción, UNITE HERE, and United Action Connecticut.
Today, the Karen celebrate the first day of their New Year — 2752.
The local Karen community prepared a buffet-style breakfast, which lasted for hours before the formal program began in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library.
The Asylum Hill neighborhood is where many of the Karen now live. This population, primarily originating from Burma¹ and Thailand, has come to the United States as refugees.
That is only one piece of this ethnic group’s history. During the celebration, there was a “culture show” to provide a glimpse of what life had been like in Burma. The dramatic reenactments showed life in a society of farmers, hunters, and gatherers. Courtship rituals and the typical marriage ceremony, along with a wrist-tying ceremony, were demonstrated. This show gave insight into a cooperative model of education in which children are expected to learn from their peers. Similarly, the values of kindness, helpfulness, and cooperation are seen in how household chores are shared between the sexes.
Connecticut is not boring. It is revolutionary. Still.
But tourism websites and ad agencies never capture this for a multitude of reasons, giving the masses yet another branding campaign to mock.
One reason these don’t work: they are too slick. We know someone is trying to sell us on a trip here or there. The realness is removed through photography and videography that is just too polished. There’s no human voice there.
Contrast that with two homegrown sites that exist primarily for the authors’ own amusement. Connecticut Museum Quest, authored by Stephen Wood, comes with its own mission statement: “destroying the myth that there is nothing to do here.” Wood, often with his family in tow, travels around the state exploring museums, trails, food, and specializing in the quirky. This is how I learned there is something called “peak-bagging,” which is not what it sounds like. If all you know about Connecticut is Mystic Seaport, Mark Twain, and Mohegan Sun, this is the site to visit. He’ll show you everything on and off the beaten path, make you laugh while doing it, and tell the truth about which places have employees with nasty attitudes or venues with inconsistent hours. Even if you have lived in Connecticut your entire life, this site will introduce you to at least one thing you did not know existed.
The Size of Connecticut is a blog about the author’s “attempt to discover (and live in and travel around and photograph) these 4,845 sq. miles.” Johnna Kaplan was raised in Westport, where she understandably developed a skewed sense of what the rest of Connecticut was like; now, in New London, she travels the state learning about life outside of Fairfield County. This is where to find out about synagogues randomly in the middle of nowhere, replica schoolhouses, and what might attract young(ish) people (back) to Connecticut. Yes, she writes about Nathan Hale, but her portrayal has flavor.
There is nothing touristy about these sites, yet they are compelling in ways that the well-funded official sites are not.
The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s website is not without merit. There is information. It does make Connecticut appear attractive. But there are gaps. Look at the “Creative in Connecticut” list, for example. Someone unfamiliar with our state may glance at it and believe that we lack in creativity; we simply lack in people willing to put together comprehensive lists about creative offerings. To be fair, the “This Weekend” lists are better than the “Getaways.”
The other major failing of the “Still Revolutionary” official propaganda is that it wholly ignores activism in Connecticut today. Governor Malloy should get credit for acknowledging Connecticut’s role in the sexual revolution, but he speaks of it in the wrong verb tense. (more…)