Category: Sheldon/Charter Oak

New Lives/New England, Traditional Art

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By , March 12, 2014 10:16 am

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 England touring 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.” Continue reading 'New Lives/New England, Traditional Art'»

March 2014 Events

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By , February 26, 2014 9:06 am

March 1

  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society galleries today, 9am-5pm.
  • TNMOT-AZTRO: Projector Series II — from 7-8pm, watch a performance that blends dance, fashion, and visual media at The Garden Center for Contemporary Dance, 56 Arbor Street, Suite 411. $5 minimum donation.
  • Night of the Gypsies: The evening features live music by accordionist Markus and violinist Annalise, fortune telling by Madame Johnny Frechette Super Fine Artist, henna hand painting, and dancing to DJ Jon Eastman. There will be art and more for sale by Anne Cubberly, Alexia Lalande, Jen Bonee, Karen Weiser Kelly, and from Blaze and Bloom. This will be at the Dirt Salon, 50 Bartholomew Avenue, from 8pm-midnight. Tickets are $20 at door, $15 in advance. Continue reading 'March 2014 Events'»

Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns: Hartford BOE Edition

By , February 7, 2014 3:39 pm

Although Tuesday night’s Hartford Board of Education special meeting had only two agenda items for public comment, you would have never known it from the hundreds of people, especially Weaver students, who packed into the Fred D. Wish Elementary School gymnasium. It was a sea of forest green hoodies. Proudly emblazed on the hoodies was the rallying cry of the night: “Weaver Strong.” In addition, Weaver students greeted every attendee with a handout celebrating the school’s achievements. Thundering drum beats in the school’s lobby foretold of a battle. Handheld placards proclaiming “Weaver Forever” were placed on every seat. Ironically, the presumed fight over the future of Weaver High School was the least contentious event of the night.

The massive turnout of Weaver students, parents, alumni, and staff was the dissatisfaction with the Board’s communication with the school’s community. The show of force was to ensure the survival of Weaver, including its traditions, history, and legacy. The issue at hand was the future move of Weaver Culinary Academy to a temporary location at the Lincoln Culinary Institute on Sigourney St. Weaver High School is slated for a $100 million rehabilitation and the entire school must be relocated to Lincoln while construction occurs.

Rumors had been swirling over the future of Weaver, but the real issue, as the school’s principal Tim Goodwin explained, was the glacial pace of the project and the numerous unanswered questions over the school’s future. The leadership of the Blue Hills Civic Association also peppered the board with questions over the developer of the Weaver site and lack of communication with the neighborhood. Continue reading 'Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns: Hartford BOE Edition'»

February 2014 Events

By , January 29, 2014 8:22 am

Feb. 1

Mat Callahan // Photo courtesy of Reto Camenisch

  • One of our favorite things to do downtown has been to go stare at the mummy in the Wadsworth. If this has also been one of your joys, then brace yourself. The Connecticut Science Center‘s “Lost Egypt” exhibit opens today. There will be mummies. Multiple! General admission: $19 for adults, $14 for kids, free for children ages three and under.
  • Free admission to the museum galleries at Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth Street. 9a.m.-5p.m.
  • The radical puppetry troupe Papel Machete will be performing at The Studio at Billings Forge at 8pm. Suggested donation: $10.

Feb. 2

  • Musicians Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore will be performing at the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue today at 2pm. This is one of their stops on the Songs of Freedom Tour, which is described as “a celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary socialist and musician martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. The Songs of Freedom songbook was originally published in 1907 in New York and directed to the American working class. Lost for a hundred years, the songbook is at once a collection of stirring revolutionary songs and a vital historical document.” This is part of the 360 Music Series. Admission is $15.
  • Craig Hartley will be in the spotlight today at the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz series. This is free at 3pm. If you want to sit down, get there early.
  • The Lonely Heartstrings Band (bluegrass) will be performing at the Firebox, 539 Broad Street. Music goes from 5-8pm and is free, but there is a passing of the boot for donations.
  • Last chance to order from the Taste of Hartford 2014 menu. Continue reading 'February 2014 Events'»

Superintendent’s Pick for Kinsella Site Opposed

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By , January 28, 2014 7:45 am

For its preschool-through-eighth grade, the Kinsella Magnet School for the Performing Arts has a permanent location on Van Block Avenue, in the Sheldon-Charter Oak neighborhood. It has expanded to create a high school, currently located temporarily on Locust Street, one mile away in the South Meadows, a predominately industrial area of Hartford.

The Hartford Board of Education had planned to vote Monday evening on a permanent site for this high school but the vote on this and approval of a lease agreement for the Weaver Culinary Arts Academy with Lincoln Culinary Institute were tabled until the meeting next week. City Council already approved $33 million for construction of a new Kinsella high school facility.

The Superintendent’s suggestion that the Kinsella Magnet School for the Performing Arts High School be built on City-owned property adjacent to SAND Elementary School (America’s Choice at SAND) on Main Street did not go over well. Continue reading 'Superintendent’s Pick for Kinsella Site Opposed'»

Best of Your Neighborhoods

By , January 27, 2014 5:07 pm

Now that we have completed our three trips to each neighborhood, we wanted to share our absolute favorite pictures from this series.

(Blue Hills) This one was taken at the Watkinson Community Garden on Bloomfield Avenue, behind the Unitarian meetinghouse. This is more like a farm than a community garden. We have no idea why this wheelbarrow was perched in a tree; on other trips here, all equipment was stored in places one would expect it to be. The weather was changing from “vaguely Autumn” to “there’s frost”.

(Clay Arsenal) A friend tipped us off to some artwork in an area we were about to visit, but did not give an exact location. We do not even know if this was where he found the painting of a peacock. What we found — portraits — were more interesting than the simple scribbles that are common.

Continue reading 'Best of Your Neighborhoods'»

Scenes from the Sidewalk: Installment 81

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By , January 17, 2014 9:33 am

Sometimes, we find dead critters. Usually this is unpleasant — roadkill. Other times, we encounter something we are not entirely convinced has died. An example of that is below the fold. Found on Charter Oak Avenue on New Year’s Eve.

Continue reading 'Scenes from the Sidewalk: Installment 81'»

Access Along River to be Extended

By , January 2, 2014 2:55 pm

Paved section of path, south of the Riverfront Plaza

It’s expected that the State Bond Commission will approve funds on Friday to finish paving the walkway between Charter Oak Landing and the existing path that crosses railroad tracks. Continue reading 'Access Along River to be Extended'»

Remembering Roberto Clemente

By , January 1, 2014 7:00 pm


For the second year in a row, the late Roberto Clemente was commemorated in Colt Park for his work as a humanitarian and civil rights leader. Clemente, who died on December 31, 1972, was remembered yesterday with flowers, remarks, and a poem.

Pedro Bermudez, Jr., in his welcome message, described Clemente as “a person who was completely selfless.”

Participants were led in the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “La Borinqueña.” Continue reading 'Remembering Roberto Clemente'»

January 2014 Events

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By , December 30, 2013 10:32 am


Jan. 1

  • Start off the new year with a little Noam Chomsky. Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? will be playing at Real Art Ways tonight at 7:30. General admission: $10.

Jan. 2

  • First Thursday Gods & Goddesses at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center will be doing a weaving demonstration and you can then go make your own art. You’ve never made art at a cocktail party? Time to live a little. The First Thursday festivities go from 5-8pm ($5 admission gets you access to entire museum, so you can just treat this as reduced admission and ignore the throngs of people if that’s your thing) and will be followed by a screening of Before Midnight.
  • The Blue Hills NRZ meets at the Blue Hills Branch Library, 649 Blue Hills Avenue. 6pm.
  • Also at 6pm, the Southend Neighborhood Revitalization Association meets in the Metzner Center, 680 Franklin Avenue.

Jan. 3

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