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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.

Jump to: Programs / Exhibits / The Big Read / Baby Grand Jazz

Summer Learning

The Summer of 2016 is sizzling hot at the Hartford Public Library with programs and activities for: parents, kids, teens and child care providers.

Click here for more information about Summer Learning



Wednesdays, 5:30 pm
Center for Contemporary Culture

Beat the heat and enjoy some laughs with a festival of family-friendly classics every Wednesday in the month of August.  All films are free, rated “G” and shown on the big screen at the downtown library. Bring the kids…and be a kid again.

Toy Story (1995)

August 3

"Woody” is a drawstring cowboy doll and jealous of the new toy in town, spaceman action figure "Buzz Lightyear".  Woody and Buzz must ban together to survive when they find themselves in the outside world in the first ever feature-length computer animated film.  Starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.

Charlotte’s Web (2006)

August 10

E.B. White's classic children's tale is the story of Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning), a young girl growing up on her family's farm, and a remarkable pig named Wilbur.  Fern's father intends to do away with the runt of litter, but Charlotte, a friendly spider, hatches a plan to make Wilbur seem special enough to spare from his fate, and she soon persuades her barnyard friends to join in her plan. 

WALL-E (2008)

August 17

What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off?   The year is 2700 and WALL-E is still spending every day doing what he was designed for.  He gets a visit from a sleek robot named EVE, whom he chases across the galaxy with a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

August 24

The Muppets take on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of a young orphan who becomes involved with pirate Long John Silver, played by the hilarious Tim Curry.  Featuring Kermit the Frog; Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and a cast of other lovable Muppet characters.  

Cars 2 (2011)

August 31

Star racecar Lightning McQueen and a tow truck named Mater take their friendship to exciting new places when they compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. When Mater gets caught up in another adventure, international espionage, he must decide if he can assist Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race or complete his top-secret spy mission.   

Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6322 for more information.



Melvin Douglas Wilson, The Good Book: A Case for Following Jesus Christ 

Melvin Douglas Wilson also wrote two children’s books, "The Parable of the Spirit that Whispers", and "The Parable of the Young Priest."  He frequently talks about his Christian journey to church groups.

Saturday, Aug. 6,  Noon—3 pm


Jan Mann, How I Won the West: A Journey of Discovery 

Jan Mann’s dream was to take a 5-week road trip through the west. So she took a step beyond conventional thinking about older women traveling solo, beyond fear and other obstacles that threatened to interfere with her passion for new adventures. What better way to discover the wonders of the west, the world, and herself. She is also the author of Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket.

Wednesday, Aug. 24, Noon—3 pm


Tuesday, July 19, 2:30 p.m.
Albany Branch

Wednesday, August 10, 2 pm
Dwight Branch

As part of HPL’s Summer Learning theme of “Wellness, Fitness & Sports”, join Leslie Manselle, local, certified & licensed “Zumba Gold” instructor, and enjoy this moderate impact version of the popular exercise regimen, designed for the mature fitness enthusiast.

Zumba Gold for Young and Old will be a free, one-half hour introduction to Zumba music and movement.  Participants will contribute their own moves, which will be choreographed into a short routine and performed by the group.  Zumba is great exercise, good fun and an opportunity for all ages to work together and benefit from their efforts.  For more fun programs from Leslie Manselle Arts, visit

Dress comfortably, bring water, a hand towel and a positive attitude!

Concert with the Funky Dawgz Brass Band

Friday, July 29, 12:00 p.m.

Join us for a lunchtime extravaganza concert featuring UCONN’s Funky Dawgz Brass Band and students from the Charter Oak Cultural Center’s summer camp.

The “Funky Camp” is a two-week, free program for Hartford students to study music with the “Dawgz.”  Listen, sing, dance…..and be instantly transported to New Orleans! 

World of Sounds:
Caribbean Vibe Steel Drum Band

Tuesday, August 2, 6-7 PM
Albany Branch

A festive steel drum Calypso/Reggae band performing pop favorites and island music.













National Book Lovers Day

Tuesday, August 9

Hartford Public Library celebrates the closing of Adult Summer Learning 2016 with a day of fun!

Literary Bingo
10:30—11:30 a.m.
Popular book covers serve as the playing pieces, and winners will automatically be registered for the Grand Prize, a Kindle Fire tablet giveaway.

The People of Goodwill Band
11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Local favorites will entertain outside on the Terrace with a mix of jazz, funk, rock, reggae, rhythm & blues, Latin, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban sounds.

Blind Date with a Book
10:00am—8:00 p.m
Hartford Public Library cardholders can take home a “mystery date” book, wrapped up and covered with clues to the contents within.  A selection of genres and popular titles will be available for checkout at the circulation desk, while supplies last.  Don’t have an HPL Library Card?  Sign up at the front desk and leave with your “date” for the evening.

Grand Prize “Kindle Fire” Giveaway
12:45 p.m.
Participants who have registered online for Adult Summer Learning 2016 with a book review, downtown and branch library program participants, Literary Bingo winners, and Blind Date with a Book participants are all eligible for the Kindle Fire tablet giveaway on the downtown Terrace just before 1pm.  Listen to the band…..and listen for your name to win!

Acoustic Open Mic

Second Tuesdays
Upcoming: August 9
Sign-up begins at 5:45 p.m.

Bring your guitar and join us on the second Tuesday of the month for our acoustic open mic. Sign-up starts at 5:45 pm in the Hartford History Center on the third floor.

World of Sounds:
White-Eyed Lizard Band

Thursday, August 11, 3-4 PM
Albany Branch

The White-Eyed Lizard Band is Connecticut’s premier steel drum driven calypso party band, delivering toe tapping, foot stomping Island music from the Caribbean, including reggae and other world musical styles.  

World of Sounds:
Da 4 Ah Wee & Crucial Massive

Sunday, August 14, noon-1 PM & 2-3 PM
Webster Theater parking lot
31 Webster Street, Hartford, CT 06114
(as part of Barry Square Community Day)

De 4 Ah Wee & Co. is a steel pan band which consists of the conga drums, tenor pan, double second pan, guitar pan, electric base, and drums.  The band performs different genres of music which include calypso, soca (Carribean-Trinidad & Tobago), reggae, gospel, Latin, and R&B.  

Crucial Massive Reggae Band is the hottest and the most excellent crowd pleasing reggae band in Hartford and throughout New England. Since the early 1990's this band has been pervading the cultural side of reggae music throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The band plays roots reggae, contemporary lovers' reggae, hard core dance-hall reggae, soca, and R&B.

World of Sounds:
Trombeatz Latin Jazz Band

Thursday, September 15, 1-2 PM
Downtown Library Terrace

Directed by Trombonist Hommy Ramos and percussionist Nelson Bello, TROMBEATZ’s compositions and arrangements explore various Latin music forms including rumba, bomba, plena, salsa and Latin Jazz. 



The History of Puerto Rican Citizenship:
a tertulia with Dr. Charles Venator-Santiago

Wednesday, September 21, 5:30 p.m.
Hartford History Center

The United States annexed Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the Spanish American War of 1898 and has since governed the island as an unincorporated territory. This tertulia provides an overview of the history of the key debates defining the citizenship status of persons born in Puerto Rico. 

Charles R. Venator-Santiago is an Associate Professor with a Joint Appointment in the Departments of Political Science and El Instituto at the University of Connecticut.

Light refreshments will be served.

If you require special accommodations for participation, please call 860-695-6320 two weeks prior to the event.




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.



Marc-Yves Regis I

Friday, June 3, 6:00 PM
On view June 3-July 15

Marc-Yves Regis I documents the street vendors who carry Haiti’s economic burden on their heads. Beyond their struggle and labor, their faces show determination, pride, sorrow fear, and joy. Regis provides a window into a life of resiliency and tremendous effort for miniscule reward. 

Hartford Embraced: Paintings by Ken Kahn

Opening reception: Thursday, June 9, 6 PM
On display June 9-August 31
Hartford History Center

Ken Kahn, a Hartford resident, painter and cartoonist explores Hartford’s “lovely, welcoming places” but explains that Connecticut’s capital city is also “replete with just enough shadowy corners to make it intriguing and mysterious”.

The Road Not Taken:
A Do-It-Yourself Social Impact Project

On view at

The Road Not Taken was on view at the Hartford Public Library in the Fall of 2015. Exhibition co-producer Thea Montanez worked with her cousin, Eddie Delberto, who is serving 60 years at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He is a member of the Lifers Group. Childhood photos of lifers are accompanied by written descriptions or where and who they were when the photo was taken.

Hartford Public Library's Digital Art Tour

On view here

Join us on a tour of Hartford Public Library’s collection of visual art. The collection includes 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works in both indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. You’ll learn the history behind the works of art among which you live and work every day.

Hartford Times: Voices of Change

On view here

View the online exhibition documenting the Civil Rights movement in Hartford in the 1960s. Photos are from the Hartford Times, and include buses leaving Hartford in 1963 to attend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech in Washington DC, civil rights activists boarding a plane at Bradley Field to march in Selma and Montgomery, AL, and housing protests in the North End of Hartford in 1967.