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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.


Coney island

Second Saturdays for Families: A Coney Island Carnival

Date: May 9, beginning at 12:00 pm (see the schedule for event times)
Location: Wadsworth Atheneum, Burr Mall & the Hartford Public Library

Surround yourself with the sights and sounds of the legendary Coney Island amusement park as you meet magicians, elephants, mermaids and muscle men at three locations on Main Street! Balloon artist Eric Schneider will share his amazing skills beginning at 12:00 pm (for children ages 4+) followed by story time with Auden and "Monkee" the puppet at 1:00 pm. Anne Cubberly and LB Munoz will lead a puppet-making workshop beginning at 1:30 pm. Also be sure to visit the Alfred E. Burr Memorial Mall and the Wadsworth Athenuem's Coney Island exhibit from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm for more exciting activities. Make a banner to take home with Coney Island artist-in-residence Marie Roberts, dance to live music with Martin Swinger and lose yourself in the film, "Little Fugitive." FREE admission. Click here to view or download the event flyer. For a complete listing of events, please visit


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


Art renaissance

42nd Annual Hartford Youth Art Renaissance

Date: On display April 25 – 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.


Gwen Reed

“A Hartford Public Library Scrapbook: The Wonders Within” Exhibit

Date: On display from April 15 - May 11, 2015
Location: ArtWalk, Downtown Library

In celebration of National Library Week, Hartford Public Library presents a sampling of collections and memories from its Hartford History Center with a look back at the Library’s history.

Selected pieces from the archive highlight Hartford’s history as well: an artist rendering of humorist Mark Twain, an iconic poem of Wallace Stevens, and recognition of the accomplishments of Hartford activist Gwen Reed.


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!


Yellow Flower

Garden Club of Hartford/Keney Park Design Contest Exhibit

Date: On display May 1 – 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.


Beyond the Podium

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

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 Laura Grabel Ph.D, professor of biology and Lauren B. Dachs, Chair of Science and Society at Wesleyan University. Bring lunch, beverages will be provided.


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.


Heart City

Heart City Story Club

Date: March 11, April 7, May 13, 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!
PoP Logo

Poets on Poetry Discussion Series

Join us for “Poets on Poetry”, a series of monthly moderated book discussions of poetry collections, beginning March 28 at our Downtown Library, presented in partnership with the Connecticut Poetry Society.

“Poets on Poetry” spotlights works of national acclaim and features local poetry enthusiasts to lead the way. HPL card holders can access books in advance of the scheduled discussions through the Library collections.

Upcoming discussions include “The Source” by Mark Doty on March 28, “Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda” on April 25, “Selected Poems of Wallace Stevens” on May 30 and “Strong is Your Hold” by Galway Kinnell on June 27.

Meetings are open to all and are located at the Downtown Library at 500 Main Street. More information is available at




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.