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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.



Find Your Way Online

Find Your Way to the Extraordinary! “How to Find Books and Articles in the Catalog, on the Shelf and Online”

Date: 4th Tuesday of the month 5:30pm-6:30pm
Location: Hartford History Center

Calling all researchers, students or just the plain curious! Want to improve your ability to locate and use the vast resources that Hartford Public Library offers? Join us in the Hartford History Center on the 4th Tuesday of every month for free informational sessions on how to find a book in the library catalog and on the shelf, as well as and how to find an article in our electronic databases. No materials required.


Mind Making

Mind in the Making

Date: Saturday, July 11, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Youth Program Room, Downtown Library

Parents, caregivers, librarians, early childhood educators and administrators are invited to join us for an orientation meeting for an upcoming series of meetings to talk about the seven essential life skills that every child needs. Participants will assist in determining the schedule for upcoming meetings. Register by email to Early Literacy Librarian Ranie Busgith at or by phone at 860-695-6373. Special thanks to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for their support of this initiative. Click here to view additional details.



Hartford Heroes: Stories of the Hartford Fire Department

Hartford Public Library presents two local author events that recognize the history and accomplishments of the Hartford Fire Department.

"Out of Reach: The Day Hartford Hospital Burned" by F. Mark Granato

Date: Thursday, July 16, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library

In December, 1961, a flash fire raged through the 13-story Hartford Hospital and incinerated the ninth floor. Through unthinkable acts of bravery and determination, the Hartford Fire Department executed one of the greatest “stops” in firefighting history, containing the blaze to only one floor and saving countless lives. Join us for a presentation by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author F. Mark Granato of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Books will be available for purchase.

"Hard Climb Up the Ladder: The Story of the First Black Fire Chief of a Major New England City" by John B. Stewart Jr.

Date: Tuesday, July 21
5:00 p.m. Book Purchases and Signing
6:00 p.m. Program

Location: Downtown Library

John B. Stewart Jr. didn’t set out to tear down racial barriers; he just wanted to be a firefighter so he joined the Hartford Fire Department in 1952. “The Chief” went on to help found the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters and worked for years in public service after retiring from the department to “make life better for Hartford’s poor and people of color.” Stan Simpson, Hartford Courant columnist and host of “The Stan Simpson Show” on FOX CT, will lead a conversation with Chief Stewart. Special appearance by Reverend Dr. Rubin Tendai. Books will be available for purchase and signing preceding the program.


Find Your Way Online

Lunchtime Performance with the UCONN “Funky Dawgz” Brass Band

Date: Friday, July 24 at 12:00
Location: Terrace of the Downtown Library

Join us on the Terrace of the Downtown Library at 500 Main Street on Friday, July 24 at noontime for a lunchtime extravaganza featuring UCONN’s Funky Dawgz Brass Band and students from the Charter Oak Cultural Center’s summer Brass Band Camp.

The “Funky Camp” is a free, two-week program that provides an opportunity for Hartford students to study music with the “Dawgz”!

Listen, dance and enjoy the music of New Orleans!


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.
Experience international music at three Library locations during the fifth annual World of Sounds summer series. Musical performances represent the diversity of cultures and ethnicities that exist in our city's neighborhoods. The series is funded by The Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund.

Albany Branch Concerts
Thursday, July 9, 6:00 p.m.

Nzinga's Daughters - spirituals and stories of the Underground Railroad

Tuesday, August 4, 6:00 p.m.
Anthem Reggae Band
This performance is part of the Upper Albany neighborhood calendar for the 2015 Annual National Night Out, a unique crime/drug prevention event.

Thursday, August 20, 6:00 p.m.
Smoke and Mirrors Trio

Dwight Branch Concerts
Wednesday, July 29, 6:00 p.m.

Goza Latina Band

Wednesday, August 5, 6:00 p.m.
Negrura Peruana - Peruvian sounds


Global Lens Film

Global Lens Film Series 2015 Schedule

Date: Wednesdays at 6:00pm & Saturdays at 1:00pm
June 24 - August 26

Location: Downtown Library, Center for Contemporary Culture

“Image Threads”—(India)—June 24 & June 27—An epic tale of spirituality and self-discovery is revealed through the eyes of an internet hacker and his black magician grandfather.

“Bad Hair/Pelo Malo”—(Venezuela) –July 8 & July 11—A showdown looms as nine-year old Junior suspects his haggard, out-of-work single mother would love him more if he straightens the unruly hair he inherited from his absent father.

“From Two Worlds as a Keepsake”—(Armenia & Russia)—July 15 & July 18—In a multi-ethnic town in Soviet Azerbaijan, eight-year old Ashen’s divorced Armenian parents are in an emotional tug-of-war over which of them will raise their child. Ashen’s custody becomes a complex matter when family tragedy and political danger impact decisions made about her care and her future.

“Halima’s Path”—(Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia)—July 22—Before the Bosnian war ravaged their lives, Safja became pregnant by Slavo, a Christian man. Beaten and ostracized by her Muslim family, Safja gave the infant boy to the childless Halima to raise as her own.

“Ninah’s Dowry”—(Cameroon)—July 29 & August 1—A headstrong woman leaves her village and resists her husband’s attempt to reclaim his rights of dowry after she becomes pregnant with another man’s baby.

“K & Ali”—(Turkey)—August 5 & August 8—A friendship between an aging collector and his doorman leads to an unusual exploration of class and privilege in modern Istanbul.

“Voice of My Father”—(Turkey)—August 12 & August 15—As Neyzel, an expectant father, prepares for the birth of his child, he gradually begins to excavate memories of his childhood through audio-taped “letters” that his father sent home while working overseas—but that his mother insists do not exist.

“The Pardon”—(Rwanda)—August 19 & August 22—After being imprisoned for the killing of ethnic Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide, Mansi must face the emotional and psychological consequences of his most personal crime: the murder of his best friend’s family.

“Excuse My French”—(Egypt)—August 26 & August 29—Twelve year-old Hany tries to fit in at his new governmental school after his father drops dead, leaving his mother in debt and unable to continue to afford his private education. Not only is Hany clearly from a more privileged background than the working class boys in his new class, but he is also the only Christian in a room full of Muslims.

(Some films may contain graphic content—viewer discretion is advised.)


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.



David Hayes Exhibit

Large and Small: The Sculptures of David Hayes

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, presents his father's artistic legacy with select works of a smaller scale during this exhibit.


Poets on poetry

ArtSpeaks--Paper Mosaic Portraitures by Hartford’s Grace Academy 7th and 8th Grade Students

Date: On display through August 1
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd floor

The black-and-white paper mosaic self-portrait project was designed for hands-on learning and the opportunity to have Grace Academy’s seventh and eighth grade students’ works of art on display in a professional artistic environment. This exercise was the culmination of a set of hands-on experiences in local museums, enhancing how art speaks to each of the academic areas of History, Math, Science and Language Arts.



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.


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.



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.