Immigration

10,000 Strong

This child is just one of the estimated 10,000 individuals who peacefully rallied outside of the Connecticut State Capitol on Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. That’s double the crowd organizers had expected. The signs alone communicate the rally’s message. (more…)

Creating Light in Darkness

People gathering outside of Sea Tea Comedy Theater on Asylum Street

People gathering outside of Sea Tea Comedy Theater on Asylum Street

Hartford’s theaters joined The Ghostlight Project on Thursday evening, with gatherings at The Bushnell, Hartford Stage, HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater, Sea Tea Comedy Theater, TheaterWorks, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

These actions — taking place across the country on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration — intended for “artists and communities [to] make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone–regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability,  age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

In Hartford, this looked like people sipping free hot cocoa outside of the Wadsworth Atheneum while listening to a performance by Nzinga’s Daughters. Flashlights were passed around and participants walked as a group to Sea Tea Comedy Theater a few blocks away. They sang “This Land Is My Land” as they waited to be joined by a group walking over from TheaterWorks. (more…)

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.

(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…)

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…)

May 2016 Hartford Events

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

May 20 is National Bike to Work Day

May 1

  • Secret Garden Tea Party: Tainted Inc. (56 Arbor St., Suite 310A) is holding a “sip & shop tea party” at its studio from 4-6 p.m. Field to Face Organic Beauty and Age into Beauty will have pop-up shops at the location. $10.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 2

  • Stop by the Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.) for a half hour of free meditation starting at 9 a.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Venom Vintage (365 Capitol Ave.) is hosting Tea Through Time, a free evening of art and tea. Lavender Molly is the featured artist for the month. Kristyn Leamon will provide violin music. Visitors are encouraged to wear their “finest threads through time, be it Renaissance, Victorian, 20’s Flapper or 70’s Hippie.” This begins at 7 p.m.
  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 3

  • Morning Bike Ride: Meet at the corner of Boulevard and Prospect (parking lot) at 6 a.m. and head out for a ride to Keney Park, Cigna, West Hartford Reservoir, or Wood Pond. The ride takes about one hour. Helmets are required. Bad weather cancels. Contact jgale@lawlordsofhartford.com or 860-232-9019 for more info.
  • Free Zumba at Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.), 6 p.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Try an all levels aerial yoga class at The LivingWell Centre at The 224 EcoSpace (224 Farmington Ave.). The hour-long class begins at 6:15 p.m. This is $24. Register online.

(more…)

Gary Shteyngart Lights Up Charter Oak

Gary Shteyngart reads from Little Failure at Charter Oak Cultural Center, February 25, 2016

Sasha Senderovich pressed for Gary Shteyngart to “blurb” on the spot about the Republican candidates. After a few false starts, the award-winning author instead gave us something he tweeted earlier in the day: “Hartford, the Paris of Connecticut.”

This seemingly lavish praise was followed by Shteyngart’s rimshot: he has seen the rest of Connecticut.

Gary Shteyngart, the author of multiple books including Absurdistan, was at Charter Oak Cultural Center on Thursday night to chat, take questions, and read from his latest, Little Failure. If you entered the sanctuary without knowing what was going on, you might have thought this was a comedy act instead of a book signing. (more…)