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The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 7 locations throughout the city of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

Jump to:

August 2019 Adult Calendar

August 2019 Teen Calendar

August 2019 Youth Calendar

EXHIBITS

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

   

  

 

Baby Grand Jazz 2020 Call for Submissions

Kaman Charitable Foundation Baby Grand Jazz Series

Hartford Public Library is looking for groups to play in our Baby Grand Jazz series, which runs 16 Sundays from January through April. These popular free concerts have been a staple of Hartford Public Library since 2004. Ensembles must include a pianist who will play the Library’s grand piano. HPL will livestream the concerts on Facebook and post them for later viewing on its YouTube channel.

Rolling submissions; deadline for submission is August 30, 2019. Apply here.


 

 

 

World of Sounds Concert Series

Take a musical trip around the world with HPL's World of Sounds Concert Series. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Boogie Chillun: Saturday, June 15th, 1pm, Downtown Library

PUERTOMINICANA: Wednesday, July 17th, 3:30pm, Park Library

Blessings Divine: Thursday, August 1st, 3pm, Barbour Library

Caribbean Vibe: Friday, August 2nd, 1:30pm, Camp Field Library

The Millennial Showcase: Friday, August 16th, 3pm, Albany Library

Souls of Zion: Thursday, August 22nd, 6pm, Dwight Library

Big Read Kickoff: Monday, September 9th, 5pm, Downtown Library

Dee-lish: Saturday, September 14th, 1pm, Pridefest on Pratt St.

Hartford Public Library's World of Sounds concert series is funded by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund and Bank of America, N.A. Trustee.


 

 

Film Screening: Chocolate Milk: The Documentary

Wednesday, August 28, 5:30 pm 

Center for Contemporary Culture, 1st Floor, Downtown Library

CHOCOLATE MILK: THE DOCUMENTARY is an exploration of the racial divide in breastfeeding. Told through the narratives of three African American women: a new mother, a midwife and a WIC lactation educator, the film seeks to answer the longstanding question of why more African American women are not breastfeeding. By creating an engaging narrative centered around the challenges of breastfeeding, Chocolate Milk will spark public discussion on how communities can better support black mothers. A panel discussion will follow the film. Presented in partnership with the City of Hartford, the Healthy Hartford Family Initiative and Hartford WIC.


 

 

Film Screening: Filiberto

Wednesday, August 28, 5:30 pm 

Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, (3rd Floor)

Filiberto, produced and directed by Freddie Marrero Alfonso, won first prize for Best Documentary in the Havana Film Festival in New York. The film will be presented by the director and invited special guests. Filiberto Producida y Dirigida por Freddie Marrero Alfonso Gano el Premio Mejor documental en "Havana Film Festival en New York" Presentada por el director junto a invitados especialess.


 

 

Film Screening: The Public

Thursday, September 5, 5:30 pm 

Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, (3rd Floor)

Join us for a free film screening and panel discussion of Emilio 
Estevez's film The Public. “Both  entertaining and informative,” 
The Public is the story of a librarian caught between a group of 
homeless patrons and a face-off with the local police on the coldest night of the year. The story tackles some of our 
nation's most challenging issues, including homelessness and mental illness, and sets the dramedy inside one of the last remaining bastions of democracy-in-action: your public          library. A panel discussion will follow moderated by Hartford Public Library CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey.

 

 

Uncovering Their History: African, African American and Native American Burials in Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground, 1640-1815

Thursday, September 12, 6pm 

Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, (3rd Floor)

The Ancient Burying Ground Association and Hartford History Center present the annual Thomas Hooker Lecture, Uncovering Their History.

Through new research, scholars have uncovered the history of over 500 individuals of African, African and Native American heritage buried in Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground from 1640-1815. Led by Dr. Kathy Hermes, the team researched these stories in the earliest written records of the Connecticut Colony. Dr. Hermes will share the findings of the project and demonstrate the new website africannativeburials.org. This project is the first of its kind in Connecticut and serves as a model. Family historians, genealogists, descendants and anyone interested in understanding the context of African and Native American lives in Hartford will be fascinated with this new information.

Funded by the CT State Historic Preservation Office; CT Humanities and the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation.


illustration by Cora Marshall

 

 

Storytime in the Park

Monday, September 16, 11 am

Monday, October 7, 11 am

Monday, November 4, 11 am 

Bushnell Park, near the carousel 

Summer may be ending - but Storytime in the Park rolls on! Join staff from HPL's Children's Department near the carousel in Bushnell Park to sing songs, play games and listen to an exciting story. The fun starts at 11 am on Mondays: September 16, October 7 and (weather permitting) November 4. Designed for children ages five and under and their parents.


 

 

Encounters: Uncovering Black and Indigenous Histories

Saturday, September 21, 10am-12pm with lunch to follow
Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, (3rd Floor)
RSVP to jeagosto@hplct.org 

Who gets remembered? The Ancient Burying Ground is a state historical treasure whose many headstones commemorate leaders of Connecticut’s colonial past. More than 500 Africans, African Americans and Native Americans found their final resting place there, too, and yet rarely are they remembered by a personal grave marker. Join us for a small group discussion exploring the history of the Ancient Burying Ground and learn about the lives of Black and indigenous people interred there and their genealogical connections to our present community. Please read selections found on hhc.hplct.org prior to the event. Lunch will be provided with free registration.


 

 

La Boriquena: Author Talk & Book Signing

Saturday, September 21, 1 PM 

Atrium, Downtown Library

Join us for an author talk and book signing featuring graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, author of superhero series La Borinqueña. Hear about the story of La Borinqueña, how the superhero is connected to the past and present of Puerto Rico, and about the Latinx experience in the comics industry. Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez will be selling and signing La Borinqueña after his talk.

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is a graphic novelist most notably recognized as the writer and creator of the critically acclaimed and bestselling superhero series La Borinqueña. In addition, he is celebrated for his philanthropic efforts via the benefit anthology Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico featuring La Borinqueña teaming up with Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and other DC Comics heroes. He self-published this anthology under his own studio Somos Arte and to date Edgardo has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars for grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico via the La Borinqueña Grants Program. As the Creative Director and owner of Somos Arte, a Brooklyn-based creative services studio he has worked with such notable clients as Atlantic Records, Columbia University, Sony Pictures and Marvel. In addition, Edgardo is a curator of art exhibitions having already produced three original Marvel comic book art exhibitions and his very own La Borinqueña for the Smithsonian Museum.


 

 

FAITH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH BICENTENNIAL

A Hidden History Revealed: Coming Back Home to Talcott Street

Sunday, September 29, 2-5 PM 

Corner of Talcott & Market Streets, Downtown Hartford

Faith Congregational Church has made an enormous impact in the City of Hartford in terms of African American-led social, economic, and racial justice, yet remains a hidden story in Hartford's history. On September 29, Faith will tell its story through song and narrative from church members, a combined choir with Center Church and Immanel Congregational Church, and a special keynote address by Beverly Morgan Welch of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. Together we will bring this story to light in an outdoor, public celebration on the original site of the Talcott Street Congregational Church. 
 
This program is made possible through in partnership with the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, the Old State House, Capital Community College, Real Art Ways, and local community historians. Special thanks to Connecticut Humanities for offering major support for this program. If you require special accommodations to participate, please call 860-695-6320.

 

 


 

 

 

The Human Library

Saturday, October 5, 1:00 - 4:00 PM 

Downtown Library

The Human Library is a unique way of breaking down barriers and eliminating stereotypes. Persons from all walks of life who have experience prejudice serve as the library’s “books” and relate their stories and experiences through conversations with “readers” who want to know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. The prejudice the “books” have experienced can be based on race, religion, sexual orientation, class, sex, age, gender identity, lifestyle, disability, appearance or any other reason.

If you would like to be a "book" and tell your story at the Human Library Event on October 5, please call 860-695-6320; or email lcastle@hplct.org.
 

To apply online, go to: https://bit.ly/2H7GGNO


 

 

 

 

African American Literature Book Club

Monthly 1st Tuesdays
6-7:30 pm, Classroom 141, Downtown
  • Tuesday, September 3, 2019: The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty; discussion facilitated by Cecily Vasington. Great News! The Hartford Public Library (thank you Julie Styles) has kindly established a Book Club Kits program which, when possible, will provide copies of the current month's book to members of the AAL Book Club. The Sellout is now available for loan at the main service desk of the Downtown Branch. Members must bring a valid library card. If you are not a Hartford resident and have never borrowed from the Hartford Library, you must bring your hometown library card as well as a photo ID. Your information will be put into the Hartford system to allow you to borrow materials. The due date for returning The Sellout is September 5, two days after the September meeting. 
  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; discussion facilitated by Mary Ellen White.
  • Tuesday, November 5, 2019: Kindred by Octavia Butler; discussion facilitated by Pauline White.
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019: Beloved by Toni Morrison; discussion facilitated by Susan Brown. We were saddened by the news of Toni Morrison's passing.
  • Tuesday, January 7, 2020: Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead; discussion facilitated by Suzanne Robinson.
  • Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson; discussion facilitated by Steve Riege.

The AAL Book Club is for anyone interested in reading and discussing African American literature, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as sharing information and learning about the African American experience.  It is an opportunity for us to get to know each other while we engage in lively and stimulating discussion of topics of interest to us all.

Please RSVP to Carolyn Korber at cjkorber@gmail.com.


 

 

 

Toastmasters

Monthly 2nd, 3rd, 4th Tuesdays
6-7:45 pm, Classroom 140
Main Floor, Downtown

Do you need help speaking in public?

Toastmasters International can teach you to give a speech that is organized, has vocal variety and is inspirational.  By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it. Through our community of learners, they find their path to leadership.

No registration necessary

Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society's monthly poetry book discussion is free and open to the public.
For further information, visit www.ctpoetry.net.
To nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:
Christine Beck
christinebeck90@gmail.com
860-655-3263


 

 

 


ART WALK

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.


 
 

On the ArtWalk: Among Friends Ed Johnetta Miller

Exhibit runs July 19 - September 28, 2019
Artist Reception: Friday, September 20, 5:30 pm
Artist Workshop (Quilt Cards): Saturday, Sept. 21, 2:30 pm

Please register for the workshop by calling the Hartford History Center at 860-695-6297.

ArtWalk Gallery, 3rd Floor, Downtown Library, 500 Main Street

Among Friends is a retrospective of my life work with a focus on pieces that speak to my close, beloved ties to the Hartford community. 

A fiber artist, quilter, teacher, author, curator and lecturer, I am acknowledged to be one of the most creative and colorful improvisational quilt makers in the U.S. Widely exhibited here and abroad, my work can be found in museums, and corporate, private, and permanent collections including: the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado; Michigan State University; Folk Art Museum in NYC; US Embassy in Benin, West Africa; and locally, in the State of Connecticut; Burgdorf Health Center; St. Francis Hospital; Hartford Hospital; Burgdorf Health Center; Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Oncology Department; and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. I received the State of Connecticut's most prestigious artistic award, the Governor's Arts Award; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art President’s Award; the Leadership Greater Hartford’s Polaris Award; the Vision Award for Arts and Culture; the Capital Community College Heritage Award; and the Apple for the Teacher Award given to me in NYC by actress Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen and their Mother, Vivian Ayers.

Thanks to Bank of America and the Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation for funding the 2018-2019 ArtWalk season.


Linda Martin, Sharing Stories

On Display June - September 19, 2019 
Reception: Saturday, August 17, 2-4pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor, Downtown Library

Quilts have a long tradition in the African American community of being used to tell stories and as a form of resistance. Before slavery was abolished, quilts were used as covert messages, marking escape routes and houses of refuge for people seeking freedom.

Many contemporary fiber artists, such as Hartford native Linda F. Martin, use quilts as a way to commemorate important figures, tell folklore, share history, and speak to contemporary social justice issues.

Join us in learning about Martin’s quilts and see if you can find the images within the larger images that give layer and complexity to each story. For the reception, there will be recitation of poetry and dance.


 

 

Not Your Grandmother’s Weaving

Hartford Artisan Weavers Exhibit

Exhibit runs August 5 - September 28
Reception: Monday, August 19, 11am

Downtown Library, Glass Cases outside Hartford History Center, 3rd Floor

This exhibit takes the tried and true structure of traditional weaving patterns and amps them up in new and unexpected ways through the use of color, texture and other elements, says Katie Glass, Executive Director of Hartford Artisan Weavers, a non-profit community dedicated to enriching lives through hand-weaving. The scarves, towels, shawls, wall hangings, and other items on display are the creations of 36 artisans, all of whom have low vision, no vision or are over 55 years of age.

The design of each item varies with the skill level of each artisan. Some are new to weaving while others have been weaving for years. Center Creative Director Fran Curran and a team of volunteers, worked with each artisan to discover how they wanted to stretch their skills, says Glass. Designs incorporate a mix of non-traditional fibers including silk, the plant fiber Tencel, and chenille, she says. 


 
 

Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning

Tutorials across library branches available upon request

Join Charles S. Teale, former Chief of the Hartford Fire Dept. to learn strategies on how to learn, understand, and remember information for academic and professional success. Program is for beginning to advanced readers 18+.. Register: jeagosto@hplct,org or 860-695-6367.

To view a video version of the presentations, watch them On Demand at http://www.hpatv.org/vod/. Click "Playlists" and then find "Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning."