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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

Baby Grand Jazz with Warren Byrd

Sunday, February 7, 3 PM
Downtown Library Atrium

Warren Byrd (piano) and Saskia Laroo (trumpet), with special guest Jay Hoggard (vibraphone), present a commemorative Black History Month program featuring the work of black musicians and a history of jazz.

 

Transgressing Hartford's Color Line:
The Life of Charles Ethan Porter

Tuesday, February 16, 6 PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

A co-presentation by Craig Hotchkiss, retired history teacher and museum educator, and Elisabeth Petry, journalist and author of Can Anything Beat White? A Black Family's Letters.

 

African American History Bee

Saturday, February 20, 12-3 PM
Center for Contemporary Culture

Hartford State Rep. Brandon L. McGee Jr. (D-5th District), and  Robert Dobson, a social studies teacher in Connecticut’s technical high schools, set up this history bee in which students from five Hartford schools will compete.

John Lobon speaks about Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8

Tuesday, February 23, 6 PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

In 1970, black players from the Syracuse University Football team, including Hartford’s John Lobon, boycotted and petitioned for access to the same academic tutoring as their white teammates; better medial care of all team members; starting assignments based on merit, not race; and integration of the all-white coaching staff.

 

The Life & Song of Nina Simone: A Tertulia

Tuesday, March 1, 6 PM
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

Join us for conversation and music with artist and performer Margaux Hayes and Trinity Professor of Music Gail H. Woldu. Light refreshments will be served.

tertulia: a social gathering with literary overtones

 

Panther Baby

Wednesday, March 2, 6 PM
Center for Contemporary Culture

Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby, grew up in the Bronx as Eddie Joseph. He was a high school honors student who joined the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s when he was 15. This program is presented in honor of Butch Lewis, and was planned in collaboration with his family and friends from the community.

 

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. 

 

Famous Hispanics

Making Freedom--The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice

On view October 24, 2015 to February 29, 2016 
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

Hartford History Center, in partnership with the Documenting Venture Smith Project, is proud to present Making Freedom—The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice, an exhibit that tells the story of a unique American, originally an African prince who was enslaved in the 18th century by New England traders, labored in bondage for 25 years, purchased his own freedom, wrote a narrative of his life and became a respected businessman in Connecticut.

 

 

Expressions in Sound and Motion

Maurice Robertson

On view January 22 to March 4
Artwalk, 3rd floor

Photographer Maurice Robertson has an affinity for professionally documenting music, particularly jazz and dance and theater performances, as well as candid street portraiture in the United States, the Caribbean, Brazil and North Africa. 

 

Programs


Salsa Socials

Third Tuesday of the month, 6 PM
Upcoming: February 16
Downtown Library Atrium


Join us for an open session welcoming dancers of all levels, free of charge! No partner or experience needed. Dancing and teaching for over twenty years, Rey Bermudez will share his passion for salsa at these open dance sessions.

 

Heart City Story Club

Third Wednesday of the month, 6 PM
Upcoming: February 17

Hartford History Center

You're invited to our monthly storytelling open mic night, in the style of NPR's The Moth. Come listen to stories, or sign up to tell your own. No theme-- any story you want to share is welcome.

 

When We Fight, We Win! Twenty-First Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World

February 17, 6 PM
Center for Contemporary Culture

A presentation on the intersection of art and activism by authors Jorge Diaz and Deymirie Hernandez of the AgitARte Collective, Bishop John Selders of Hartford Black Lives Matter and the CT Moral Mondays Campaign, Unidad Latina en Accion (an immigration rights group from New Haven), and spoken word/guitar performance by Papel Machete.

 

The Author’s Table

An opportunity to visit with local authors and discuss their published works. Books will be available for purchase.

 

S. Campbell Williams, The Summer of Tsunami

Friday, February 5, 12-3 PM

The love story of Tsunami and Paul is intricate and often as perilous as the time in which they lived. Set in Virginia in the 1960s, the reader is guided through a time fraught with social change and controversy and introduced to a segregated community, where the color of one’s skin determined their worth and place amidst the Virginian populace.

 

Tyrone Richardson, Saturday

Saturday, February 27, 12-3 PM

What goes on in a young man’s head when he knows he’s going to have to see his father after getting in trouble?  As the oldest in the house it’s not easy growing up lost, bored, and unmotivated.

 

Women Composers Festival of Hartford:
Sneak Peek Performance

Friday, March 4, 12-1 PM
Atrium

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford has provided a platform for educational and entertaining promotion of women’s music for the past fifteen years. In advance of the 2016 festival, enjoy a sneak peek with a special lunch time performance of piano, viola and vocals in the soaring Atrium of the downtown library.

 

One Book One Hartford

If Beale Street Could Talk

One Book One Hartford brings our richly diverse city together around a good book. In If Beale Street Could Talk, literary giant James Baldwin presents a moving story of love in the face of injustice. 

Learn more

 

Baby Grand Jazz

Sundays, January-April, 3 PM
Downtown Library Artium

View this year's slate of artists here.

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

Programs

 

ART WALK

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.

 

Expressions in Sound and Motion
Maurice Robertson

On view January 22 to March 4
Artwalk, 3rd floor

Photographer Maurice Robertson has an affinity for professionally documenting music, particularly jazz and dance and theater performances, as well as candid street portraiture in the United States, the Caribbean, Brazil and North Africa. 

 

Simply Crazy Quilt Exhibit

On view January 14 to March 31
2nd floor

Last fall, local quilter and teaching artist Irma Nelson taught an 8-week quilting workshop as part of the creating aging program for adults 55+. The completed quilts will be on view on the second floor through the end of March.

Creative Aging in America's Libraries is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services in collaboration with Lifetime Arts, Inc., AARP Foundation, American Library Association and Westchester Library System.

 

Famous Hispanics

Making Freedom--The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice

On view October 24, 2015 to February 29, 2016
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

Hartford History Center, in partnership with the Documenting Venture Smith Project, is proud to present Making Freedom—The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice, an exhibit that tells the story of a unique American, originally an African prince who was enslaved in the 18th century by New England traders, labored in bondage for 25 years, purchased his own freedom, wrote a narrative of his life and became a respected businessman in Connecticut.

 

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

On view at onebook.hplct.org

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.