Category: youth

The Purplest Playground is Open

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By , April 4, 2014 9:22 pm

Boundaries are important. Going to the actual ribbon-cutting of a playground sounded a lot like being a spectator in the Running of the Brides– chaotic and overwhelming. There’s just no reason to stand between dozens of young kids and a giant, shiny new toy. We decided to stay out of the children’s way, but stopped by Elizabeth Park earlier in the day to check out the new playground equipment.

The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Playground is one of 26 playgrounds constructed as part of The Sandy Ground Project, Where Angels Play. Each playground serves as a living memorial to those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.  Continue reading 'The Purplest Playground is Open'»

April 2014 Events

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By , March 26, 2014 11:25 pm

This is a kinda a big deal

April 1

  • The Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Hartford offers free classes and workshops. Today’s is “Small Business T.I.P.S. Series: Low Cost High Impact Marketing.” From 9:30 until noon, learn about marketing in Butterworth Hall, 1265 Asylum Avenue. They request that you register.
  • Real Art Ways hosts a monthly Real Board (Games) and that happens to be tonight. Stop in between 6-10pm and play. Free. 

April 2

  • This month’s Get HYPEd networking event will be held at the Polish National Home, 60 Charter Oak Avenue. We like that HYPE picks a different venue each month, and we love that this is the venue tonight! Besides the standard drink-and-network stuff, they will be holding a community collection for the Hands On Hartford backpack program, which gives 285 Hartford students bags full of food to take home for the weekend so that they are fed when not in school. Items requested: individual cereal boxes and oatmeal packets, granola/cereal bars, macaroni and cheese, canned soup, juice boxes (100% juice), applesauce, canned veggies, canned beans, pasta sauce, pasta, peanut butter, and jelly. The food donations are optional. This event is free to attend and goes from 5:30-8:30pm.
  • Stop into the Firebox (539 Broad) to listen to the uptempo sounds of Ed Fast & Conga Bop. No cover charge. 8:30pm.

April 3

  • Get out from under that rock! Trinity College is going into its ninth year of hosting its international hip-hop festival, and if you don’t know, you’re not paying attention! It starts today with lectures on “Media Representations of Global Hip Hop,” “Hip Hop as a Social Movement,” and “Hip Hop Activism pre- and post-Apartheid,”  from 8am-4:30pm. At 4pm, there’s a screening of the film Say My Name: Women. Hip Hop. Life. The Producer’s Showcase starts in the Vernon Social Hall at 7pm. The Mill will be hosting a spoken word event, beginning at 8:30pm. These events are completely free and open to the general public. 
  • First Thursday After Hours at the Wadsworth: TANGO! Take dance lessons or just watch others. Make paper flowers. Wander the museum. Stick around for the film Elsa & Fred. The AAH event is 5-8pm, with the film at 8. $5 general admission, free for members. Continue reading 'April 2014 Events'»

Students Honored for Turbine Project

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By , February 24, 2014 9:25 pm

Ten students from the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology at Hartford High School were finally recognized by the City of Hartford for their role in the Nepal Wind Turbine Project.  Continue reading 'Students Honored for Turbine Project'»

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'»

Writing Contest for Youth

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The City of Hartford’s Marketing, Events & Cultural Affairs Division of the Department of Development Services will be sponsoring a writing contest for youth in grades 7-12.

Judges are looking for one page essays that respond to the following:

  • How does art make a difference in your life?
  • Describe at least one example of art you see in Hartford.
  • Describe the art form that is most special to you.
  • If you could, how would you give back to the community and impact others through art?

Writers are expected to answer all of those questions in a single essay; it is said that the writing will be judged on content and creativity.

The winner in each age category (7th-8th grade, 9th-10th grade, and 11th-12th grade) receives $100. Second place gets $75 and third place gets $50. Continue reading 'Writing Contest for Youth'»

Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Brings Holiday Spirit Downtown

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By , December 21, 2013 2:57 pm

The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Jazz Band

The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Jazz Band, Chorus, and Dance Group performed in Hartford’s City Hall on Friday. They also played in the State House Square food court and in the lobby of CityPlace.

You can listen to a few minutes of performance segments below:
Continue reading 'Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Brings Holiday Spirit Downtown'»

Final Downtown North Design Meeting

By , December 12, 2013 5:13 pm

Artwork on structure walls at Heaven. It was proposed that these structures be removed or reduced in size. There were objections to the removal of this public art.

“This is about preparing an area for development,” said Thomas Deller, City of Hartford’s Director of Development Services. “Everything that’s here is being proposed as the maximum.”

The Downtown North Park Plan is funded, Deller said, by a sustainable community grant to “determine how we develop” the area “for growth and sustainability.”

As with the previous two public meetings, there were questions about who these proposed changes are for, even as the standing room only crowd was told that a steering committee included community members.

But all along, it has been evident that whole segments of the population have not been included in the planning process. At the previous meeting in October, very few residents not employed by the City were in attendance, and no regular users of New Ross, County Wexford Park were involved, even though this small park has its own Friends group. At that meeting, when I informed Tim Love, the Principal of Utile, Inc., that the park is currently used by skaters and others, and that a formal skate park was about the break ground, I was told that if this park was deemed not in the interest of economic development, the skate park could be moved.
I suggested that the parties involved in redevelopment reach out to the community.

That does not seem to have happened in the time since, but park users — including those who skate, do parkour, and use the space as a canvas for their art — caught wind of the plans to change a space without seeking their input. So, they showed up at last night’s final meeting, and they showed up in large numbers.

Regular users of Wexford, New Ross County Park — Heaven — showed up to the meeting where the park was given two minutes of discussion tacked on at the end just before the library closed.

Predictably, information about the skate park was presented last, for mere minutes, and then followed by the rushed Q&A segment. Continue reading 'Final Downtown North Design Meeting'»

Eight Sixty Custom Opens on Park Street

By , November 9, 2013 6:43 pm

The groundbreaking ceremony for Hartford’s first skatepark was last Monday.

Today, Hartford’s only skate shop held its grand opening.

Continue reading 'Eight Sixty Custom Opens on Park Street'»

“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School

By , November 7, 2013 1:34 pm

Photo by Christopher Brown

“You have used the most powerful word in the English language,” Steve Harris, member of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee said, “and that word is ‘no.’”

“No” is what the parents, families, teachers, staff, and community have been saying to the proposal that the public John C. Clark  School be phased out and replaced by Achievement First, a charter school.

Photo by Christopher Brown

After this proposal was sprung on the Clark School last month, parents have stood up to say they are not interested in having their children’s school closed.

Before the Board of Education workshop on Wednesday night, nineteen people lined up to speak against this proposal in the cafeteria of the former Milner School on Vine Street in the city’s North East neighborhood, blocks away from the school in jeopardy.

Imam Muhammad Ansari, the President of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the NAACP, said “this issue is a civil rights issue when the parents’ rights are being taken away.” Continue reading '“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School'»

Heaven Has Broken Ground

By , November 4, 2013 9:09 pm

Tots, youth, the middle-aged, and elders showed up for the long-awaited skate park groundbreaking in New Ross, County Wexford Park. The slab of concrete atop the I-84 tunnel has been dubbed “Heaven” for years now, and finally, it will be getting infrastructure to match its organic usage.

At the groundbreaking, it was clear that more folks were supportive than not.

Holding the ceremonial golden deck donated by Eight Sixty Custom, Brendan Mahoney recaps the process of changing Heaven from a park where people happen to skate, to an official skate park. Continue reading 'Heaven Has Broken Ground'»

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