Downtown will soon be getting another quick, no-frills option that does not merely cater to the 9-5 crowd. (more…)
Best Low-Expense Improvements Award
PARK(ing) Day: Forget, for a moment, that these improvements were temporary. Pavement, usually reserved for parked cars, was covered with sod for a few hours. These tiny parks were populated with musicians, improv performers, and artists. In some cases, these were simply places to sit. The appearance of these spots changed the mood of passersby on their lunch breaks. No need to construct stadiums or monuments. A few square feet of green can be enough to make a difference, if not financial, at least emotional.
Reducing the thing people seem to believe there is not enough of actually boosted the quality of street life in downtown Hartford for part of one work day.
Sweetest Under-the-Radar Event Award
This is a tie between Cranksgiving and Sharing the Warmth.
The former is the local edition of a widespread event that is basically a scavenger hunt and food drive combined. It engages children and cyclists of all levels, and the benefits go right back to a food pantry in our community. Given its start at Trinity College, it also acts as a way of encouraging positive interaction between students and the community.
Sharing the Warmth was a one-day clothing drive and giveaway, but done in a way that allowed those in need to gather up what they need while maintaining dignity. Coats, gloves, hats, and scarves were brought to where those who’d benefit from having them could be found. (more…)
This December the Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour returns for its second year. Over 40 local musicians and DJs will participate in the six shows, with two of those venues being open to all ages.
Joey Batts, a public high school teacher in Hartford, wanted to raise awareness after working with youth who were experiencing homelessness. The teacher-by-day, musician-by-night plans to collect canned goods, personal hygiene products, and clothing at each of the venues on the tour, where the audience can hear live music by Ceschi Ramos, Joey Batts & Them, Chumzilla, Jose Oyola, and others. (more…)
Every November, venues around Hartford host artists for one weekend. Experience varies by location.
For the first time, 1429 Park Street offered up one floor for a mix of live music and dancing after hours, effectively extending the viewing time for artwork at this site. This is where dancers were painted as part of the performance, where a loud droning filled the mostly unfinished second floor. People wrote and drew in chalk on the floors. It was intended as an immersive experience; some got into it, others let this be their social hour, and kids dove into paint and what looked like fake snow, taking “immersive” literally.
Venom Vintage on Whitney Street promised to be just as edgy, but if you were hoping to see live graffiti art at the time advertised, you would have been out of luck. There was some pre-existing work on the walls in the store and in back. On one side of the space, visitors were encouraged to add doodles to a “zentangle art wall.” You could look at the secondhand clothing store as being art hanging on the racks, but hold off on getting excited about that. The store owner, Dina Brass, says the future of Venom Vintage in this location is uncertain; according to her, the building owner has a problem with the graffiti at the space. It has been approximately one year since Venom Vintage relocated to the West End from Park Street, almost on the West Hartford line. (more…)