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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 / Hip Hop Nation

To submit a public program or exhibition proposal, click here.



Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6322 for more information.



Judith Dickinson

A Successful and Proven Guide to the First Time Homebuyer  
October 8th, Noon to 3 pm

Discover the knowledge you will need to make one of the largest investments in your lifetime, purchasing your first home. 
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to make this important decision.
Learn how to find a good real estate agent and the necessary procedures that come with purchasing a home.

Cindy J. Cadet

The Brownie Kid Squad and The Best Day Ever
October 22nd, 2 to 5 pm
What child doesn't like to have fun?  Join Zola, the Brownie Girl, and the Brownie Kid Squad as they experience a wonderful adventure.
Zola's friends are cool and different.  You don't want to miss this great friendship experience. They explore, work together, and bond in a very special way.
Meet & greet with Cindy J. Cadet!

Acoustic Open Mic

Upcoming: October 12
Sign-up begins at 5:45 p.m.

Bring your guitar and join us on the second Wednesday of the month for our acoustic open mic. Sign-up starts at 5:45 pm.

Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra
Lunchtime Performance Series

Friday, September 9 & Friday, October 7
Noon to 1 p.m. in The Kitchen

Spend the lunch hour with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra.

These locally focused programs feature music by Connecticut-based composers along with other performer favorites accompanied by informative discussion with musicians. The lunchtime program on Sept. 9 features Charles Huang and Ling-Fei Kang of Oboe Duo Agosto performing works by Stephen Gryc, Daniel Morel, Eugene Bozza, Ryan Jesperson, Pixinguinha, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

October 7 will feature additional musicians from HICO presenting their favorites.













Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society continues its monthly poetry book group discussions this fall and meets on the fourth Saturday of the month at the downtown library from 10:15am-12:15pm.  Poets on Poetry is free and open to the public.   For further information, visit


Sylvia Plath presented by Mark Sheridan

Saturday, October 22, 10:15 am-12:15 pm

Sylvia Plath, a New England-born poet, struggled with depression for much of her brief life, and produced the bulk of her haunting poetry in a manic burst of creativity just before her suicide.  Mark Sheridan will lead the discussion of the analysis of Sylvia Plath’s October Poems, including “Fever 103,” “Lady Lazarus,” “Daddy,” and “The Arrival of the Bee Box.” The group will enhance their appreciation of Plath’s unique fusion of the confessional, feminist, and gothic genres.

Mark Sheridan has previously taught at-risk inner-city high school students in New Jersey and has been studying and writing poetry full-time since 2013, after a long career as an international investment banker.  He holds a PhD in Modern History & Literature from Drew University.

Gwendolyn Brooks presented by Kate Rushin

Saturday, November 26, 10:15 am-12:15 pm

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950, for her second collection, Annie Allen.  Kate Rushin will lead a discussion of Brooks’ poetry, including “We Real Cool”.

Kate Rushin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University, and is the author of The Black Back-Ups, and My Lord, What a Morning, poems in honor of Marian Anderson.  Kate serves on The CT Young Writers Trust and the CT Poetry Circuit at Manchester Community College, and has previously run poetry workshops at Hartford Public Library and Poetry Out Loud workshops for the CT Humanities Foundation.

Spoken Word Workshops
with Iron Poets

Barbour Branch
Tuesday, Sept. 27 & Thursday, Sept. 29, 4:30 - 6 pm

Park Branch
Monday, Oct. 3 & Tuesday 4, 4:30 – 6 pm

Blue Hills Branch
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 4:30-6 pm & Friday, Oct. 7, 3:30-5 pm

Ropkins Branch
Monday Oct. 24 & Wednesday Oct. 26, 4-5:30 pm








Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot
Film screenings

Tuesday, September 20, 1:00 pm

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 12:30 – 1:15 pm

Friday, September 30, 2:00 pm

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot is the true story of the forgotten heroes in the fight for voting rights—the courageous students and teachers of Selma, Alabama, who stood up against injustice despite facing intimidation, arrests and violence. By organizing and marching bravely, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era.

The sacrifices of those who fought so hard for equality should never be forgotten. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 90 million eligible voters did not go to the polls. In the 18–24 age group, only six out 10 voted. And, in 2014, voter turnout dropped to a 72-year low.

This 40-minute film, narrated by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, is a crucial reminder that each of us has the ability to bring about powerful social change and will help inspire young people and communities across the nation to exercise their right to participate in our democracy.








La Gran Falacia: Film Screen and Discussion  (In Spanish)-- CANCELLED

Saturday October 1, 2 pm

La Gran Falacia (The Great Fallacy) is  a documentary that explores the current political, economic, and social situation of Puerto Rico.   Using the history of the island nation as a foundation, the film reveals how politicians manipulate the system so that big corporations can maintain control. The Great Fallacy also promotes solutions for the people to effect changes to the corrupt system. 

A post-film discussion will be led by Carlos Castillo, an attorney and member of the Coordinadora Solidaridad Diáspora Boricua (COSODIBO), the Puerto Rican Diaspora Solidarity Coordinating Committee. (No English subtitles.)


La Gran Falacia Presentación y discusión  (en español)

Sábado 1 de octubre
Biblioteca Pública de Hartford, 2 pm

La Biblioteca Pública de Hartford auspiciara una proyección de la película " La Gran Falacia “, un documental que explora la situación política, económica y social actual de Puerto Rico. Usando la historia de la isla como base, la película revela cómo los políticos manipulan el sistema para que las grandes empresas pueden mantener el control. La gran falacia también promueve soluciones para las personas para efectuar cambios en el sistema corrupto.

Una discusión después de la película estará dirigida por Carlos Castillo, abogado de la Coordinadora de Solidaridad Diáspora Boricua (COSODIBO). 



The Fragrance That Remains:
A Memoir-Writing Experience for Older Adults with Author Cindy Brown Austin

Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 pm: October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1 and 15 (no class November 8)
Hartford History Center

The Fragrance That Remains is a series of six memoir-writing workshops designed to create a unique and inspiring literary adventure for older adults aged 55 and up who are interested in becoming better acquainted with the methods and forms of memoir writing. Workshops will help writers sift through their treasury of personal memories in order to identify and share the sacred experiences and milestones of their lives. Workshops will be led by teaching artist and local author Cindy Brown Austin.

Class size is limited; registration required. Register today! Call 860.695.6297 or email to register.

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Trust Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.



Mariachi Mexico Antiguo
El Orgullo del Noreste (Northeast Pride)

Wednesday, October 5, 1 pm 

These mariachi players perform and teach at the Mariachi Academy in Wallingford and Hartford. They will perform traditional Mexican music as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. 








Candidate Forum:
Hartford's State Representatives

Wednesday, October 5
Center for Contemporary Culture
Refreshments from 5:30-6 pm
Forum from 6-7:30 pm

Save the date! The Hartford Votes ~ Hartford Vota Coalition continues its series of voter engagement and informational programs. Meet the candidates, ask questions, hear their ideas, and share your issues with them.

Invited candidates*:
District 1: Matthew Ritter (D) and Ken Lerman (R)
District 3: Minnie Gonzalez (D)
District 4: Angel Arce (D) and A. Lloyd Carter (R)
District 5: Brandon McGee (D) and Paul Panos (R)
District 6: Edwin Vargas (D) and Russell Williams (R)
District 7: Douglas McCrory (D)

*petitioning and minor party candidates will also be invited


A Celebration of Textiles:
A Reception with the
Hartford Artisan Weavers and
Simply Crazy Quilters

Wednesday, October 26, 12-1:30 pm

The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the craft of handweaving to the community, especially committed to persons with low or no vision and those 55 years of age and older. Their exhibition at Hartford Public Library runs until October 31.

The Simply Crazy Quilting Classes met for eight weeks each under the instruction of teaching artist Irma Nelson. The energetic and enthusiastic classes worked hard to learn the basics of quilting, and their final projects showcase their dedication and creativity. Their crazy quilts have been exhibited throughout the city of Hartford.

Reception is free and open to the public.

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




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.





Love Notes to Banned Books

September 12-October 1
3rd floor Artwalk

The books that challenge us are the ones that change us. Hartford Public Library invites you to reflect upon how your life would be different without these frequently banned and challenged books—and to share your love for them with the world. It's the Library's salute to Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 through Oct. 1.

Our Hall of Banned Books presents 20 influential and much-loved books that have been formally challenged in counties and school districts across America. We invite you to overwhelm the calls for censorship with your own stories of how these books changed your life.

On the Artwalk, you’ll find all the supplies you need to participate. Write a letter to a book that has changed your life and pin it in place.



Stretching the Limits of Plain Weave:
Hartford Artisans Weaving Center Exhibit

August 31—October 31

The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the craft of handweaving to the community, especially committed to persons with low or no vision and those 55 years of age and older.

This exhibit features works created with the “plain weave” technique.  Although plain weave is the simplest fabric to create, the artisans explored complex color variations, texture differences, and spacing changes to create different effects and distinct designs.

Items will be offered for sale and proceeds benefit the work of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center.  The HAWC is supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and the United Way Community Campaign.

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

On view at

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.

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.