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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.




Mental Health

Human Stories of Mental Health

Told With Humor, Grace and Excitement

Date: May 21, 2015
Location: Downtown Library

Light Refreshments: 5:30 pm
Play Reading: 6:00 pm
Panel Discussion: 7:00 pm

Join us for an exploration of life during and after military service through dramatic readings from “The Lion’s Den” by Michele Merens and “Grounded” by George Brant.

Sponsored by the Hartford Public Library, HartBeat Ensemble and The Institute of Living


Beyond the Podium

Lunch at the Library with Hartford Opera Theater

Date: Thursday, May 21, 12:00 noon
Location: Downtown Library Atrium

Hartford Opera Theater and Hartford Public Library present Dan Shore’s one-act opera “An Embarrassing Position” and selections from Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief” live in our Downtown Atrium! In the tradition of early theater, guests are invited to enjoy lunch while watching the performance. Bring your own, or enjoy the delicious lunch specials offered by our own Kitchen at Hartford Public Library café!

Please join us for this exciting free musical event!


Ballet theater

Moving Toward Social Change: Ballet Theater Company Dance Performance Series Theater

Date: May 26, 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library, Atrium

Ballet Theater and the Hartford Public Library present Moving Toward Social Change, a dance performance series featuring the choreography of Ballet Theatre Company's Artistic Director Roman Baca, United State Marine and Iraq War Veteran. Mr. Baca's work educates audiences about the reality of war, advocates diversity and mutual understanding through cultural exchange, and champions the humanity and dignity of all persons. Mr. Baca will premiere several new works created from poems by Hartford poet, Lynn Hoffman, that reflect on her son's combat deployment to Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine.


Poets on Poetry

Poets on Poetry Discussion Series: Wallace Stevens

Date: May 30, 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Hartford History Center Downtown Library

Presented in partnership with the Connecticut Poetry Society

"Poets on Poetry" spotlights works of national acclaim and features local poetry enthusiasts who will lead the discussion. James Finnegan, president of the Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens," will lead the discussion of Wallace Stevens, Selected Poems (ed. John N. Serio) Poems to be discussed include: "Anecdote of the Jar"; "Autumn Refrain"; "Large Red Man Reading"; "Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour"; and "The Planet of the Table."

Mark your calendar for June 27 for a discussion of "Strong Is Your Hold" by Galway Kinnell. Please visit for more information.


Beyond the Podium

Beyond the Podium: Science Conversation Series with the Connecticut Science Center

"Connecticut's Role in Stem Cell Research: Questions and Concerns"

Date: Monday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Hartford History Center, Downtown Library

HPL and the Connecticut Science Center present a lunchtime conversation series about science. Join us for the second discussion: “Connecticut’s Role in Stem Cell Research: Questions and Concerns” featuring Nikesha Anderson, of Wesleyan University. Bring lunch, beverages will be provided.


Heart City

Heart City Story Club

Date: June 17, July 8 and August 12, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library

Join the HCSC for a monthly open mic night for telling true, personal stories live, on stage, and without notes. All are welcome to bring their stories and get up in front of the mic!


World of Sounds

World of Sounds Concerts

Date: June 20, July 9, 15 and 20, August 4 and 20
Location: Downtown Library, Albany and Dwight Branches

Experience international music at three Hartford Public Library locations featuring reggae, Latin jazz, Hindustani, Peruvian music and Afro-Caribbean styles. The World of Sounds concert series begins June 20 at the Downtown Library. Upcoming concerts will be held at the Downtown Library, and at the Albany and Dwight Branches. Visit our events calendar for a detailed list of concert information.


Global Lens Film

Global Lens Film Series

Date: Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoon
June 24 - August 26

Location: Downtown Library

Now in its tenth year, Global Lens promotes cross cultural understanding through cinema. Experience films from Morocco, Egypt, Armenia, India, Croatia, Turkey, Cameroon and Rwanda.


Human Agenda

The Human Agenda: Conversations About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Date: June 25, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library

June is LGBT Pride Month. Join us for this panel discussion about our shared humanity including comments about a groundbreaking and timely new book by LBGTQI activist and author, John Wenke called, "The Human Agenda: Conversations About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity." Wenke talked with leading change agents from the LGBTQI community about topics such as growing up, coming out, finding your identity, family, marriage, parenting, healthcare, careers and more. In these conversations, Wenke and guests shared their personal and professional stories along with their profound commitment to freedom and equality. Panel participants include: transgender high fashion model,Gisele Alicea (aka Gisele Xtravaganza), African American Jewish gay hip-hop artist Y-Love, Joe Wenke and Dr. John Allen, founder of the Rainbow Support Group. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. This event is free and open to all.


Salsa Social

Salsa Socials

Date: Every Third Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library Atrium

Salsa socials are back at HPL! 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.


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



Art renaissance

42nd Annual Hartford Youth Art Renaissance

Date: On display through May 24
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor

Hartford Public Library is proud to partner with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Hartford Public Schools to present the 42nd annual Hartford Youth Art Renaissance! 100 exemplary works of art created by Hartford students in kindergarten through grade 12 will be displayed in two locations, at the Downtown Library at 500 Main Street and the Wadsworth Atheneum at 600 Main Street. Art works will be on view to the public from April 25-May 24.


Yellow Flower

Garden Club of Hartford/Keney Park Design Contest Exhibit

Date: On display through August 15
Location: Downtown Library

The Garden Club of Hartford, in partnership with the City of Hartford, recently issued a design challenge to area landscape architecture and design students: create more beautiful and welcoming entrances to Hartford’s Keney Park. The results are now in and the prizewinning entries will be on display at the Downtown Library from May 1st until August 15th in the Hartford History Center, 3rd floor.



Weaving with Hand-Dyed Fiber

Date: On display through August 10
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor

The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center has assembled another stunning display of hand-dyed fiber art. The Weaving Center encourages people with low or no vision and those 55 and older to develop their skills and interest in weaving original and beautiful handwoven items. Scarves, throws, wall hangings and other original pieces are for sale and the proceeds help to support the operations of the Center.

Visit for more information on the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center.


Colors of Peru

“Enigmatic Colors of Peru” Exhibit

Date: On display through May 24
Location: The American Place, Downtown Library

Peruvian visual artist Cesar Morriss brings his colorful and innovative art works to the United States with an vibrant exhibit our The American Place at the Downtown Library. In addition to his native Peru, Morriss has exhibited around the world in Helsinki, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. Artwork will be available for purchase.

Meet the artist on Saturday, April 25 at 2:30pm in The American Place. Light refreshments will be provided


David Hayes Exhibit

The Sculptures of David Hayes Exhibit

Date: On display June 5 – August 7
Location: ArtWalk, Downtown Library

In a career that spanned six decades, Connecticut modern master sculptor David Hayes worked with cutting torches and arc welders to create art that has been exhibited all over the world. HPL is home to Hayes' six ton, seventeen foot "Large Vertical Motif" steel and paint structure that stands prominently on Main Street. His son, David A. Hayes, present his father's artistic legacy with select works of a smaller scale during this exhibit.



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.