Asylum Hill

April 2017 Events in Hartford, CT

April 6-9, 2017

April 6-9, 2017

April 1

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance provides free tax help at Jumoke Academy’s middle school (339 Blue Hills Ave.), 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for people who earned less than $54,000 in 2016. Book an appointment through 211.
  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street). Free admission to all museum galleries, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be “traditional Finnish kid-friendly crafts” from 10-1.
  • Spring Greenhouse Sale: Purchase plants from the greenhouse at Elizabeth Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cash or check only. Bring your own trays to carry out your purchases.
  • Qigong and Tea Ceremony: The qigong starts at 9:30 a.m.; tea and conversation at 10:30. They say: “Qigong is a 2,000-year-old practice from China which helps your body to heal itself naturally. Qigong can provide relief from anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. It can also improve balance and endurance. The practice involves gentle movement, breathing techniques, and focused intention. According to Chinese medicine, tea clears the mind and circulates the energy of the body. Scientists have found that tea strengthens the immune system.” Deron Drumm will be the instructor for this. They say that he, “has reshaped his life by incorporating intentional living practices. After years of struggling, he found peace and health when he stopped seeing himself as a victim and started to take ownership of his past and present actions. Qigong, yoga, meditation, healthy relationships, positive habits, and nutritious foods have allowed him to live his life free of the destructive behaviors he once engaged in.” This is at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue). There is a suggested $5 donation. Nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Next to Normal: If you are a student with a valid ID, get free admission today to the 2:30 p.m. performance at TheaterWorks (233 Pearl St.). They describe this play as: “The dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. The Goodmans appear to be a typical American family, yet their lives are anything but normal. This brave and breathtaking contemporary musical takes an unflinching look at a family’s struggle with mental illness. Winner of three Tony Awards including Best Musical Score.” Call the box office to secure your seat!
  • Rally to Support Trans Youth: Gather at the Connecticut Supreme Court (231 Capitol Avenue) for this youth-led effort to protect and support transgender, gender-nonconforming, and queer youth. There are a number of organizations serving as host for this event: ACLU-CT, CT TransAdvocacy Coalition, GLSEN Connecticut, New Haven Pride Center, Norwich Free Academy GSA, OutCT, PFLAG Hartford, Triangle Community Center, and True Colors, Inc. This is from 2:30-4 p.m. If you have questions, contact connecticut@chapters.glsen.org 
  • Fools Fall in Love: A Musical Cabaret in Support of Nightfall 2017 — If you were wondering how to do a fundraiser, this is it. One performance after another, featuring: Greg & Julia Ludovici Pistell, Lindsey Fyfe, Keila Myles, Chion Wolf, John Gale, Tangsauce, Joey Batts, Daryl Sullivan, Kate Callahan, Mac Cherny, Gabrielle Witt & The Grace Girls, Greg Garcia, Robin Zaleski, and Matt Fleury. Tickets start at $40. This is at Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church Street), 7:30-10 p.m.
  • April Fools Day Massacre Show: Hanging Hills (150 Ledyard St.) will host The Island of Doubt and The Miths. $5 at the door. 8-11 p.m.

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Mardi Gras Parade Brings Joy to Rush Hour

Continuing the recent tradition of a Mardi Gras Parade, the Hartford Hot Several, along with Hartford’s Proud and  Somerville’s Boycott, brought loud and live music to the streets of Downtown Hartford during Tuesday’s evening rush hour. They were joined by TNMOT AZTRO dancers and Anne Cubberly’s giant puppets. (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.

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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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November 2016 Events

November 1

  • Clean Safe Water in Connecticut: Challenges and Realities in a Complex World –this free event at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth St.) from 12:30-2 p.m. They say: “Daniel C. Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy will share his insight into the challenges and opportunities Connecticut faces in maintaining access to clean, safe water for all of its citizens.” Reserve your seat: rsvp@chs.org or (860) 236-5621 x238.
  • This is one of those rare times that we include something from the suburbs, but it’s a good cause. The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is forming a Men’s Advisory Council for a statewide sexual violence prevention campaign. They say: “Our goal is to continue to engage men as allies in our work to prevent sexual violence and to cultivate prevention leaders in our state.” This will be facilitated by Andrew Stewart. This meeting takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. at The Alliance (96 Pitkin Street, East Hartford). RSVP requested.
  • God, Faith, and Politics: Election Year Community Forums — the conversation begins at 7 p.m. at Wood-n-Tap (Capitol and Sisson Ave.)  but show up early to order dinner. Tonight’s conversation focuses on freedom of religion. They say: “Revs. Don Hamer from Trinity Episcopal Church, Rick Kremer of Grace Lutheran Church, Matt Laney of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Kari Nicewander of Immanuel Congregational Church, Imam Sami Aziz of the Bloomfield Islamic Center and Rabbi Michael Pincus of Congregation Beth Israel  will lead a discussion of religious issues as they have been raised in this year’s election.” Free to attend.

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October 2016 Events

October 1

Night Fall: this year, October 8th.

  • Clean Up: volunteer to clean up Columbus Park (between Franklin Avenue, Wethersfield Avenue, Bolton Street, and Victoria Road) for a couple hours starting at 10 a.m. Bring your own cleaning supplies (gloves, bags, etc.) if possible.    The Place 2 Be will provide breakfast for volunteers at 9, but meet at the restaurant (615 Franklin Ave) for that.
  • Civil War POW Walk: Meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery for a tour beginning at 10 a.m. They say: “Evelyn Bollert will lead visitors on a tour of the final resting places of prisoners of the Civil War and tell their stories of bravery, resilience and heartbreak.” General admission is $5. Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation and Let’s Go Arts members get in free.
  • Tree Tour: learn about trees in Elizabeth Park. This free tour begins at 10 a.m. Meet at the Cottage.
  • Tainted Inc Cleanout Sale: clothes, birdcages, trunks, and more for sale at 56 Arbor Street. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Community Health & Wellness Fair: free health screenings, along with information about financial planning, homeownership, and injury prevention. This is from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Simpson-Waverly School (55 Waverly Street).
  • Hartford Preservation Alliance Kitchen Tour: view the kitchens of five historic homes in the West End. $25. This is a self-guided tour from 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
  • hARTsem DAYS: Today is the second in a two-day celebration of arts and spirituality at the Hartford Seminary. The day begins at 10 a.m. and lineup of events includes spoken word, violin performance workshops and lectures, food trucks, labyrinth tours, art displays, and more. Most of this is free, but the Hassan El Jai performance has a fee. Events occur in various locations in the Sherman and Lorraine Street area.
  • Yoga in the Park: Yoga taught in English and Spanish in Pope Park near the pond, 11 a.m. Bring your own mat/towel. Free.
  • Active Hope: a workshop at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) from 12-5 p.m. They say: “Do you feel overwhelmed by what is happening in the world? Are you troubled by the presidential race, the climate crisis, racial injustice, the opioid epidemic, discrimination against people who are in recovery, and other problems we are facing today? Do you feel sad, angry, afraid, and even hopeless at times? Instead of giving up or numbing out, you have another choice: Active Hope. Active Hope is a practice that supports us as active participants in the healing of our world. It does not require optimism, so we can apply it even in areas where we feel hopeless.” Space is limited, so reserve your spot by contacting Laura: lle@advocacyunlimited.org or calling her at (860) 296-2338 ext. 104. Suggested donation: $5.
  • Family Yoga Workshop: This free family yoga and meditation class can help you learn how to de-stress and get healthy as a family. The workshop begins at 2 pm in the Youth Program Room on the third floor of the Hartford Public Library. Please call 860-695-6330 to register.

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September 2016 Hartford Events

September 1

Shop one of Hartford’s farmers’ markets. This pic taken at the West End Farmers’ Market.

  • Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge: this market operates every Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the green on Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street.
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday Nights on the Plaza: happy hour, 4-8 p.m. on the Riverfront Plaza. Live music, food, and beer. No cover charge.
  • Connections + Collaborations: opening reception for art reception at 100 Pearl Street Gallery, 5-7 p.m. This free event will feature work from artists involved in the Art Connection Studio.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Elizabeth Park (meet on Rose Garden Lawn) begins at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat/towel and water.
  • Listen to The POSSM and Now For Ages play live at Peppercorns (357 Main Street), 8:30-10 p.m. No cover.

September 2

  • Bear’s is sponsoring a free outdoor screening of The Martian in Riverside Park. The movie will begin at sunset.
  • Ken Morgan’s digital abstracts go up at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street) until September 28, 2016.

September 3

  • Everything I Am Youth Summit: They say that this free event is “designed to enhance, engage and empower youth towards a future of achievement, fulfillment and happiness. Our programs cater to African American, Hispanic and Bi-Racial youth ages 12-19.” There is only room for eight girls, so register. This will be held at Carmen’s Events & Beauty Showroom (942 Main Street) from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Goodwin Park Clean-up: Here’s a chance to give back. Bring your own gloves and bags. Refreshments will be provided. 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Pope Park (meet on lawn near pond) begins at 11 a.m. This will be taught in English and Spanish. Bring your own mat/towel and water.

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August 2016 Events in Hartford

August 1

  • Free yoga in Bushnell Park at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn between the pond and Pump House. When that’s over. . .
  • Monday Night Jazz continues on Bushnell Park for three Mondays in August, starting with the Joshua Bruneau Quintet at 6 p.m. The Yosvany Terry Quartet headlines at 7:30. This is free. You can bring picnics, blankets, chairs, and well-behaved, leashed dogs into the park. Listen to WWUH 91.3 FM for the live broadcast or to learn if rain has moved the event indoors.
  • Masterpiece Monday: The Art of Becoming the Woman I Am Meant To Be: Today’s facilitated event at Toivo (399 Franklin Ave.) is being called an “In-Door ‘Drive-in Movie.” Showing: Fried Green Tomatoes. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own comfy chairs and healthy snacks. This is from 6:30-8 p.m. and admission is a suggested donation of $5. Email Linda llentini@advocacyunlimited.org to register.

August 2

  • Throughout August, stop by the youth-run pop up neighborhood market at 5 Corners (Garden, Westland, etc.), 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • The West End Farmers’ Market offers produce, prepared foods, and other locally-produced goods every Tuesday, 4-7 p.m. on Clemens Green. This is near the Twain House on Farmington Avenue.
  • Free yoga in Elizabeth Park at 5:30. Bring your own yoga mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn near the rose garden.
  • World of Sounds: Caribbean Vibe Steel Drum Band. Free performance at the Hartford Public Library’s Albany Branch (1250 Albany Ave.) from 6-7 p.m.
  • Real Art Ways hosts its “Real Board Games” night in the lounge starting at 6. This is free and they supply the games, but you can also bring your own.

August 3

  • Stowe Salons at Lunch meets at noon. Discuss the social justice issues currently in the news. This is free. Bring your own lunch. The Stowe Center loves reservations: 860.522.9258, ext. 317.
  • The Mercado food truck is going to be at Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue) starting at 3 p.m.
  • Free yoga in Bushnell Park at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn between the pond and Pump House.
  • GET HYPEd, a casual networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs, will be at the Rocking Horse Saloon (181 Ann Street), 5:30-8:30. Check out a bar you might not normally visit, meet new people, and have some snacks. Free to attend, but bring cash/card for beverages. Don’t forget your business cards.
  • Experience the final Carillon concert of the season at Trinity College, today at 7 p.m. Andy Zhang of Oregon will be supplying the music. You supply a lawn chair or blanket, and your picnic. If you arrive early, you can take a tour of the Trinity College Chapel at 6 p.m. The event is free. Seating is on the lawn by the Chapel. . . look for all the other people.
  • Beatles Forever concert on the Rose Garden Lawn of Elizabeth Park, 6:30-8 p.m. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, and picnic. Get there early! The easiest way to access the park during the Summer Concert Series is via bicycle or foot. If it rains, this will be rescheduled to August 4.
  • MakeHartford Open House with Show & Tell: see what’s new at the makerspace in Parkville. You won’t get a hard sell to become a member if you really are just someone who is curious about the space. Wander in from 6:30-9 p.m. at 30 Arbor. The space(s) are on the basement level. Free to attend.

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In Your Neighborhood: Asylum Hill

This was the rare week and change that brought me into Asylum Hill on multiple days. I was lucky to see the progression of a community mural at the 224 EcoSpace. In a time of seemingly non-stop bad news, this creation was needed. (more…)