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Programs & Exhibitions

The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 10 locations throughout the City of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

For a listing of events in our Center for Contemporary Culture, please click here.


Doc Hurley
Doc Hurley

The Making of a Legend: The Life and Times of Walter J. “Doc” Hurley Book Launch

Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 , 5:30 p.m.
Location: Hartford History Center

A new book on the life and legacy of legendary Hartford coach Walter "Doc" Hurley will be celebrated at our Hartford History Center with a special reception honoring book author Charles A. Teale, Sr., a former chief of the Hartford Fire Department. Free and open to all. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
David Mills

Shakespeare in Harlem: The Poems and Stories of Langston Hughes

Date: Monday, February 2, 2015 (two shows!)
Locations: Mark Twain Branch, 4:00 p.m.; Downtown Library, 6:00 p.m.

In recognition of Black History Month, Hartford Public Library presents actor and writer David Mills as Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, in two special performances at two HPL locations.

Mills takes the audience on an odyssey spanning five decades—from the 1920s-through the 1960s, of Hughes’ writings, notable characters and excerpts of the iconic poetry collection Montage of A Dream Deferred. Join us as Mills brings the voices of Hughes’ characters to life!
Bernard Lafayette

Nonviolence in a Time of Civil Unrest: A Conversation with Legendary Civil Rights Leader Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr.

Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 5:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library

Listen as the civil rights strategist who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to the issues of ongoing conflict throughout the country, and discusses peaceful approaches to reconciliation. The event is free and open to the public.

This Black History Month event is a part of the MLK Nonviolence Leadership Institute Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training, presented in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence and the City of Hartford Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation. For information about the MLK Nonviolence Leadership Institute, please email or call 860-567-3441.



Romare Bearden

Art, History and Social Activism: CtFAC Honors Romare Bearden

Date: On display December 17, 2014-March 13, 2015
Location: Downtown Library 3rd Floor Gallery

In honor of the recent arrival of two spectacular Romare Bearden murals at Hartford Public Library, The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (CtFAC) presents a special exhibit that pays homage to the stylistic works of Bearden, his commitment to civil rights and his contributions to the African-American jazz and art communities. CtFAC has created a collection of works in textiles, fiber, mixed media and surface design celebrating and recognizing one of the greatest visual artists of the 20th century.

A special reception to meet the artists of CtFAC will be held on January 17, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Hartford History Center. This event is free and open to the public.


Bound to Mountain

“Bound to Maintain Them”: Prisoners of War and Humane Captivity in the German Empire, 1916-1917

Date: On display January 8 – March 31, 2015
Location: Hartford History Center, Downtown Library

Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library and The Watkinson Library at Trinity College present this unique perspective on the organization and operation of prisoner of war camps in Germany during the Great War. On display January 8 -March 31, 2015 at the Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, 3rd floor.


Hunger in America

“Hunger in America” Film Screening

Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library

Join us for a screening of "Hunger in America" the acclaimed film documenting the lives of 50 million Americans who go to bed hungry every night. A discussion on food scarcity and hunger will follow the film. Presented in partnership with City of Hartford, Hartford Food System and Foodshare.


Beacon Day

Hosted by Real Art Ways & Hartford Public Library

Date: Saturday, January 24, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Leaves from Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford

Travel on a private coach to Dia:Beacon - home of one of the most innovative and important contemporary art collections in the world - for a guided tour featuring the retrospective exhibition.

Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958 – 2010. Andre’s Stone Field Sculpture resides in Downtown Hartford. Leave from Real Art Ways at 8:30 am, return at 5:30 pm. $70, or $50 for RAW members + HPL cardholders Available online at

Click here for more information.


Sculptural book

The Sculptural Book with Anne Cubberly and LB Muñoz: An Arts & Archives Workshop

Date: Saturdays, February 28, March 7, March 14, March 21, and March 28, 10:00 AM
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor

Transform an old or discarded book into a new piece of art by sculpting the pages, adding pop-ups, sewing, and altering words to create new meanings. Artists Anne Cubberly and LB Muñoz will teach techniques.

Materials and books will be provided. Attendees are invited to bring decorative items and books. Students should plan to attend all five progressive sessions. Space is limited. Register in-person or on-line at


Peace Diann Cook

"And My Journey Continues" by E. Diann Cook

Date: On display through April 10
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor Youth Department Gallery

View original art works by Connecticut artist, author and musician E. Diann Cook. Most of the works are available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds benefit Hartford Public Library. On display through April 10, 2015.



ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city.



The Center for Contemporary Culture hosts lectures, readings, musical performances and other events for people of all ages.