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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.



Authors Table

The Author’s Table

Hartford Public Library is pleased to introduce The Author’s Table, an opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with downtown library visitors.

Hartford Public Library will publicize your scheduled appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection, in a special section for local authors. Hartford authors will be given first consideration.

Please contact the Cultural Affairs Department at 860.695.6322 for more information.  


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.


Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra

Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra Lunch Time Performance!

Date: September 9 & October 7
Location: Downtown Library, Atrium

A roster of premier musicians from the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra will broaden your musical perspectives with a special lunch time performance in the soaring Atrium of the downtown library at 12:00 noon.

HICO presents these midday musical breaks with a wide array of modern classical music by 20th and 21st-century composers. Concerts are free and open to the public. Bring a lunch and share in the musicians’ enthusiasm for all things classical.



Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month

Author Talk and Book signing with Nelson Denis
Date: Saturday, September 19, 12:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library

Hartford Public Library and the CICD Puerto Rican Parade invite you to a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Saturday, September 19 at 12:30 p.m. at the Downtown Library for a presentation and book signing of the recently published “War Against All Puerto Ricans” by award-winning author Nelson Denis. Books will be available for purchase. For more information, please call 860-695-6377. Click here to view the flyer.



Banned Books

Banned Book Week 2015---Banned Theater!

Date: September 28, 2015, 6:00pm
Location: Downtown Library, Center for Contemporary Culture

Join an all-star panel of area theater professionals for a discussion on banned plays, including Blues for Mister Charlie by James Baldwin, My Name is Rachel Corrie, edited by Alan Rickman and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You by Christopher Durang. Moderated by Stephen Glassman, Executive Director of The ACLU of Connecticut.


Creative Aging

Creative Aging in America’s Libraries

Date: Beginning in fall 2015
Location: Camp Field, Dwight and Park branches, and the Downtown Library

Beginning in fall 2015, four distinct eight-week Creative Aging in America's Libraries workshops will launch at multiple Hartford Public Library locations: Camp Field, Dwight and Park branches, and the Downtown Library. Click here for more information.

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.



Photography & Creativity: A Digital Photography Workshop Series

Date: Tuesdays, September 29 – November 17, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Camp Field Branch (30 Campfield Avenue)

Participants will learn the basic operations of a compact digital camera, including settings, how to review photos in camera, how to delete unwanted photos in camera, memory card function, and methods of downloading digital images from the camera. Once comfortable with camera usage, students will then learn how to “see” through the camera lens through a series of exercises and discussions. To register, please call 860-695-7440. Click here for more information.



Poets on Poetry Series

Date: Last Saturday of every month
Location: Downtown Library

The Connecticut Poetry Society continues its monthly poetry book group discussions with Come Thief by Jane Hirshfield, (moderated by Ginny Connors) on September 26 and selected poems of Emily Dickinson, (moderated by David Epstein) on October 31. 10:15 am--12:30pm. Free and open to the public. For further information, visit


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.

August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17, December 15.


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



Artwalk Logo

Calling All Artists

ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in metropolitan Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city. Exhibitions on the ArtWalk offer an array of art experiences that reflect a variety of media, styles, and cultures in the art world, provide diverse viewing experiences, and allow for many tastes.

Situated on the third floor of the Downtown Library in a space that looks down onto historic Main Street, the gallery offers unique visibility and exposure, adding to the increasing vibrancy of Downtown Hartford. The ArtWalk hanging system’s movable hanging panels allow maximum flexibility for each show.

The stunning state-of-the art gallery was made possible through the generosity of donors, especially the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Seeks Submissions:

The ArtWalk puts on four exhibitions each year, and every year, between August 1 and October 1, artists in all media are invited to submit a body of work. From these submissions, the four shows for the following calendar year are chosen.


Artists living and/or working in the MetroHartford area will be given priority. Students, emerging, or established artists are all eligible. Artists must have a body of work sufficient for exhibition on the ArtWalk by the date of the exhibition.


A jury will select up to four artists with final approval from the Library. Criteria for selection include but are not limited to: an artist’s resume or vitae and demonstrated ability, an appropriate body of work that is compatible with the ArtWalk space, and the ability to provide sufficient work ready for installation by an agreed-upon date. Installations designed specifically for ArtWalk are encouraged.

The jury will also consider the economic and physical feasibility of the proposed exhibition.

The jury may also recommend group exhibitions.

Selected Artists:

The selected artist(s) will generally receive a solo exhibition (although the library reserves the right to create exhibitions for multiple artists simultaneously); supporting marketing; an opening night reception; and, an opportunity to present an artist’s talk to the public during the exhibition.


1. Documentation of Work – up to six images of recent, current work, or the work specifically being proposed for the exhibition on the ArtWalk on clearly labeled CD-ROM/jpegs only; virus-free USB sticks may also be submitted. (Slides, original artwork and photographs of work cannot be accepted and will not be considered.)
2. Include title, dimensions and medium of each submitted image.
3. Up to three minutes of new media work will be viewed by jurors (clearly mark and cue the segment to be viewed)
4. A current resume with contact information including address, phone, and e-mail
5. A brief artist’s statement
6. Description and scope of proposed exhibition.

(Every effort will be made to return submissions. Please include with your application a self- addressed stamped envelope sufficient to return material, otherwise submissions will not be returned.)


Materials must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2015 and sent to:

Sarah Pelletier
Programming and Events Manager
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103

Artist(s) selected by the jury will be notified by phone and e-mail no later than October 31, 2015. Good luck!


Owl Program

Summer Arts Appreciation Program Exhibit

Date: August 20—September 25
Location: Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

This collection of artwork was created by a group of seven Hartford Public High School teenagers enrolled in the Owl Enrichment Center Afterschool Program at Hartford Public High School. Under the guidance of community artist Robert Charles Hudson, the students studied art appreciation, focusing on Harlem Renaissance artist Romare Bearden.

As a team, the teens completed several creative projects over the course of the program. Highlights include a hand sewn quilt depicting the Underground Railroad bowtie design and a montage mural exhibiting their individual artistic designs along with telling a collective story.


Hartford City

Images of Hartford 1865-1955

Date: August 25—Sept 30
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor

Highlights include the origins of the Fuller Brush company on Park Street, the 1885 location of the Aetna Insurance Company on State Street, the Hartford Post Office on the East lawn of the Old State House and the home of poet Lydia Sigourney, the “Sweet Singer of Hartford.”

To learn more about the Hartford History Center or to access our Digital Repository, please visit


Blue Veil

Opposite Sides of the World - Connecticut to Singapore

Janette Maxey

Opening Reception—August 28, 6:00pm
Location: Downtown Library

Hartford Public Library announces the August 28th opening of artist Janette Maxey’s newest exhibit, Opposite Sides of the World – Connecticut to Singapore, on the ArtWalk gallery at the Downtown Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford.

Maxey is an American painter, born in California and now living and working in Connecticut. She recently returned from Singapore where she lived for four years.

She has exhibited in New England, Italy, and Singapore. Her works are included in private and public collections in North America, Europe, and Asia. She holds an AS in Fine Arts from Tunxis Community College and a BFA (magna cum laude) in Painting from The Hartford Art School. While completing her BFA, she studied abroad in Cortona, Italy. Maxey has also studied at the Art Students League of New York, New York Studio School and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maxey’s work will be on display through October 9, 2015, during regular Library hours. The Library invites the public to celebrate the opening of this exhibit at a reception with the artist on Friday, August 28, 2015 from 6:00 p.m-8:00 p.m. Both the reception and exhibit are free and open to all.




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.