not Hartford

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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Suggestion Box: Big Community Baking Events

Young children, elderly, and all ages in between participated in the Mega Challah Bake at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford last weekend. Imagine: 250 girls and women, in one giant room, making bread together — many for the first time. Participants were provided with all ingredients, tools, aprons, and even bags for taking home their bread.

The event opened with a few words and an open buffet. Directions were provided in print, on an overhead projector, and over the sound system. While everyone mixed and kneaded ingredients, lively music played. More experienced bakers helped out the newbies at their tables. The challah buffet re-opened and a guest speaker took to the stage while everyone waited for their dough to rise. Challah was braided, covered in egg, and given a few extras — rainbow sprinkles were a popular topping with the younger participants. (more…)

March 2017 Events in Hartford, CT

Cirque du Soleil is in town this month! // Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is in town March 15-19! // Photo: Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

 

March 1

  • Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Reading: Magge Nigro, Jonathan Esty, Kelia Ingraham, Ian Mentus, and Yao Ong of Trinity College, Yale University, University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, and Wesleyan University, respectively, will be honored at this reading. 4:30 p.m. at Trinity College in the Admissions and Career Development Center‘s Grand Room. Free and open to the public.
  • Butch Lewis Community Conversation: Join Jamal Joseph at the Hartford Public Library for a screening and discussion of 13TH, a film exploring the history of mass incarceration in the United States. Refreshments at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 5:45. This is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.
  • Get HYPEd: This monthly casual networking event for young professionals will be held at Sidewalk Cafe (236 South Street). This is a free event. No registration required. Bring business cards! This spot is a five-minute walk from the bus stop on Franklin Avenue.
  • How to Start Your Own Small Business: Start to put your ideas into action! The University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center offers a number of free workshops throughout the year, all of which are open to the general public. You do have to register. This session is from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Entrepreneurial Center (1265 Asylum Avenue).
  • Lovewhip at The Half Door (270 Sisson Ave.), 9:30 p.m. $2 at the door. $21+ only (unless accompanied by parent/guardian).

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Deadline Approaches for School Choice Lottery

Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year lottery are due by the end of this month. The lottery is managed by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Any families needing assistance completing applications can attend a session on February 23, 4-7 p.m., at the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center (444 Albany Ave.). Call (860)713-6972 with any questions about the Regional School Choice lottery.

February 2017 Events in Hartford

February 1

  • Origami Presentation: Paper sculptor artist Benjamin Parker will give a demonstration at the giant bench inside of Hartford Public Library. This is located near the new books on the library’s main floor. Free. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Get HYPEd, the monthly casual networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs, will be at Black-Eyed Sally’s (350 Asylum St.), 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free event. Bring your business cards!
  • MakeHartford Open House with Show & Tell – check out the space, speak to makers, show what you’re doing – 6:30-9 p.m. at 30 Arbor Street, B7.

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Americans Give Messages of Welcome at BDL

Protests sprang up at airports around the country on Saturday, including Bradley International in Windsor Locks.

At the BDL arrivals gate, a few dozen people — a number of Hartford residents among them — welcomed travelers with signs supporting immigrants, refugees, and Muslims.

The airport protests popped up when Trump’s executive order signed on Friday afternoon (Holocaust Remembrance Day) created chaos for green-card holders from the predominately Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as travel by nationals from those countries has been blocked
for 90 days. A green card signifies that the individual has been granted permanent resident status after being vetted by immigration or consular services to ensure that the person does not pose health, criminal, or security concerns for the United States. Trump’s order has suspended for 120 days entry into the U.S. by refugees from all countries; Syrian refugees have been singled out and blocked indefinitely.

According to PBS, the “the executive order does not restrict immigration from any of the top ten countries listed by the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee in 2015 as suppliers of militants fighting for ISIS, nor does it restrict travel from countries that have been primary sources for al Qaeda operatives, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.”

With the ink barely dry, travelers with visas were detained at airports. Among them, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who the New York Times says worked for the United States Army and government for ten years in Iraq.

On Saturday, a federal judge blocked part of Trump’s order. It does not restore conditions, but will prevent deportations of those 100-200 people who have already been detained at airports in the United States.

With the stay in place, protestors continued to arrive at Bradley late into the evening. A few opposing perspectives were aired over several hours — including a “God Bless Trump,” a cryptic message about the Orlando shooting, and a suggestion posed at 10:45 on Saturday evening that protestors get jobs — but the sweeping majority of travelers responded with applause and other signs of support, or moved on their way without engaging. One traveler thanked her greeters profusely before breaking into tears.

While yesterday’s protest was spontaneous, CAIR Connecticut is organizing people to return to Bradley on Sunday afternoon.

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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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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…)

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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