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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 / Adult LearningExhibits

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

Hartford Open Mic Event 

Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm

H.O.M.E  is a weekly open mic with a focus on poetry, promoting literacy, writing, community engagement, and ownership over words and experience, both collective and individual. Open to all. Hosted by performing poet and artist Zulynette Morales. Bring your best 3-5 minutes of material.  Quick writing workshop from 6 to 6:15 pm.

This program is a partnership among Hartford Public Library, UConn Library, and Zulynette Morales


People of Goodwill

Thursday, September 14, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

People of Goodwill pays homage to Afrika, with drum-based music and power of rhythm. Their repertoire includes Jazz, Reggae and Afro-Cuban music.

Open House

Friday, September 15

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Visit any HPL branch during our city-wide Open House event for music, activities, and more! We'll also be kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), and and Welcoming Week (September 15-25) with board games played around the world.


World of Sounds: Bomba y Plena with Roberto Cepeda,Gloria Lopez de Cepeda

Friday, September 15, Noon-1 pm

Join Master Artists and Folklorists Roberto Cepeda and Gloria Lopez-Cepeda to learn about Puerto Rican Bomba, Plena and the history, origins and influence of the African diaspora on Latino culture through music and dance.


Encounters: The Voting Rights Act

Amistad Center for Art & Culture
at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

600 Main Street

Saturday, September 16, 10am-1pm

The Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute have formed a community engagement partnership to present Encounters, a series focused on encouraging informed and informal conversations about issues that affect our lives. The aim is to strengthen our ability to know ourselves, and to develop a forum for respectful and challenging dialogue. 

Please join us for a dialogue about the Voting Rights Act and the power of the individual vote.  Our discussion will take place in the galleries of the special exhibition 30 for 30. This exhibition is built upon 30 episodes, objects, or realities that pushed individuals to make choices which ultimately transformed the country. Work by a group of artists that includes Lorna Simpson, Jacob Lawrence, David Washington, Hank Willis Thomas, and Virginia Evans Smit enhances the exhibition’s study of critical episodes from the nation’s founding to the election of its first Black president.

Explore with us the significance of voting as an effective way to register civic opinion and belief, and revisit the challenges in establishing specific rights to vote. Douglas M. Spencer, UConn Professor of Law and Public Policy, will be available to answer contextualizing questions.


Read the Voting Rights Act here. Discussion will focus on Section 2 (both the original 1965 language and the amended language from 1982) and Section 5.

Image: Emory Douglas (b. 1943) Black Panther Party: I am a Revolutionary, 1969, 2000.6,The Amistad Center for Art & Culture


The Governor's Prevention Partnership:
Talk to Your Children, Talk to Us

Thursday, September 21

4:30–5:00 PM: Networking Reception
5:00–6:15 PM: Discussion

When parents talk to their children about drug and alcohol use, the likelihood of use is reduced by an astonishing 50%. In Hartford, drug use and abuse among Hispanic youth is higher than their peers. How can we prevent them from using illicit drugs? Let’s begin by talking to each other.

Through generous funding from the United Health Foundation, the Governor’s Prevention Partnership is connecting to community-based services and providers to create a framework that seeks to prevent early substance abuse.

Join us to discuss the trends in substance abuse in Hartford including marijuana and opioids. Find opportunities for parental and community engagement. Learn how the Partnership is developing a unique, culturally relevant approach to prevention in the Latino community. Mayor Luke Bronin and experts from across the city and country will also discuss ways to keep Hartford’s kids on the right track and o  drugs and alcohol.

RSVP to Nina Peck at 860-757-3626 or

Cuando los padres hablan con sus hijos acerca del uso de alcohol y drogas, la probabilidad de su consumo se reduce a un signi cativo 50%. En Hartford, el uso y abuso de drogas entre la juventud hispana es más alto que el de otros jóvenes. ¿Cómo podemos prevenirlos de usar drogas ilícitas? Empecemos hablando entre nosotros.

A través de generosos fondos de United Health Foundation,  The Governor’s Prevention Partnership está conectando a organizaciones de servicio a la comunidad y a los proveedores para crear un plan de acción que busque prevenir el abuso de sustancias a edad temprana.

Únase a nosotros para discutir las tendencias en abuso de sustancias en Hartford incluyendo la marihuana y el opio. Encuentre oportunidades de participación para los padres y la comunidad. Aprenda cómo  e Partnership está desarrollando una forma única y peculiar, culturalmente relevante, de prevención en la comunidad Latina. El Alcalde Luke Bronin y expertos de la ciudad y del país discutirán las maneras de mantener a los niños de Hartford en el camino adecuado y lejos de las drogas y el alcohol.

Con rme su asistencia con Nina Peck al 860-757-3626 o

























National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday, September 26

National Voter Registration Day is a celebration of our democracy. Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. 

Volunteers will be available from 10 am to 2 pm to provide assistance and information about voter registration.

Salsa Social

Thursday, September 28, 6:00 pm

Take out your dancing shoes and save the date: HPL Salsa Social returns for ONE NIGHT ONLY! Rey and Glendaly Bermudez will be teaching "The Fundamentals & Essentials of Latin Dance”. Guests will learn the top 3 Latin social dances Merengue, Salsa, and Bachata. Join us in our newly renovated Atrium, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.


UConn Writing Center

Noon - 4 pm
First Saturday of the month:
Saturday, October 7
Saturday, November 4
Saturday, December 2

First come, first served: please sign up upon arrival for about an hour of attention.

WHO WE ARE: Students, Graduate Students, and Professors from UConn Hartford. We are people interested in writing in all its forms. We believe the best writing comes as part of a dialogue.

WHAT HAPPENS HERE: You bring your writing to us and we discuss it with you. Any stage of writing: planning, drafting, or revising is welcome. Any kind of writing: academic: essays/writing for classes will be accepted. Professional: resumes, cover letters, applications can be reviewed. Creative: stories long & short, poetry, non-fiction are acceptable. Personal: letters, memoirs are okay. Your work will receive multiple levels of attention. Conceptual: content, theme, and organization. Mechanical: sentence structure, clarity, and grammar.



Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society holds its monthly poetry book group discussions on the fourth Saturday of the month, 10:15 am-12:15 pm,  in Room 26 on the Ground Floor of the Downtown Library.Poetry is free and open to the public. 


Lorine Niedecker presented by Jim Finnegan

Saturday. September 30, 10:15 am

Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970) is a twentieth-century, second-wave, Modern American poet often identified with the Objectivists. Living most of her life on the shores of the Rock River near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, she is perhaps best known as a poet of place who wrote about the Blackhawk Island that she loved. Her work ranges from modernist folk poetry (NEW GOOSE, 1946) to haiku-like forms to long poems such as "Lake Superior" and "Wintergreen Ridge" (NORTH CENTRAL, 1968). She is admired for the subtlety of her tightly crafted, nuanced and deliciously ironic poems, as well as for her total devotion to her calling.

Jim Finnegan is a former poet laureate of West Hartford.

Upcoming dates for 2017-18:

October 28, 2017: Murial Rukeyser
November 17, 2017: William Blake
January 27, 2018: Gertrude Stein
February 24, 2018: Wislawa Szymborska
March 31, 2018: Claudia Rankine
April 28, 2018: Frank O'Hara
May 26, 2018: Gerard Manley Hopkins
June 30, 2018: TBD

For further information, visit
o nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:
Christine Beck


The Author's Table

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 860.695.6320 for more information, or click here to submit.



Time To Try Tied Weaves

Hartford Artisans Weaving Center Exhibition
July 10-September 30, 2017

Glass Cases, Hartford History Center
Downtown, 3rd Floor 

Every year the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center challenges its members to learn a new structure or technique.  Tied weaves produce intricate patterns and textured looks.  The artisans often used two or more shuttles carrying different wefts. All the weft threads are “tied” to the warp at regular intervals to produce a stable and durable fabric.

The 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.

Fran Curran, director of the Center, says this is a group that is often overlooked. Weavers learn the craft of handweaving on small looms, find comraderie with other artians and produce scarves, throws, and wall hangings for sale.

Support comes from the Fisher Foundation of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.





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.

Hartford Times: The Newspaper & The City

July 15-September 30, 2017

For 160 years, Hartford had two daily newspapers.  The Hartford Courant, a morning paper, was founded in 1764, and the Hartford Times, an evening paper founded in 1817.  Many people read both papers for their often contrasting news coverage.  Like the Courant, the Times was much more than just a newspaper; it was a vital presence in downtown Hartford.  Its building was used as a podium by politicians and a stage for community events.  The Times ceased publication in 1976 and today its story lives on in the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library.  The current exhibition draws on photographs and artifacts from the Hartford Times Collection. It celebrates the re-opening of the Hartford Times Building as the centerpiece of the University of Connecticut’s new downtown campus and welcomes UConn faculty, staff, and students to their newly renovated space in the Hartford Public Library.



Connecticut Dances: A Visual History

September 1-26

Connecticut Dances is a photographic exhibition celebrating dance and spotlighting the pioneers, innovators, teachers, performers, creative artists and important historical dance events that have transformed the cultural landscape of Connecticut. The project covers a century of dance in the state and draws from 2000 images of beginning dance students, professional dance companies, and significant performances.

Connecticut Dance Alliance began the project in 2014, which has resulted in a touring exhibition of over 200 photographs with explanatory text on large panels. An accompanying 450-page book includes photos and essays from the dance world.





When Hartford's Melting Pot Turned Brown:
The Puerto Ricanization of Frog Hollow

Photographs by Robert Pawlowski

September 15 – November 3, 2017
Reception/Program: Thursday, September 21, 6 pm

From 1900 to approximately 1965, Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood was a bustling industrial village, home to some of Hartford’s most famous manufacturers including Pratt and Whitney, Billings and Spencer and Pope Manufacturing. Because of its mix of ethnic factory workers including Irish, Swedes, Germans, English, Lithuanians, and French Canadians, it was often called Hartford’s “melting pot.” But by the 1960s, its major industries began to shut down leading to its decline. By 1975, when the first of these photographs were taken, the neighborhood had reached a low point. Between 1975 and 2000, the Frog Hollow Puerto Rican population grew from 10% to 72%. Pawlowski shows through photographs that the Puerto Ricanization of Frog Hollow brought a revitalized Park Street, rehabilitated housing, safer streets, political power, and cultural exposure.





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 Click "Playlists" and then find "Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning."

Citizenship Test Prep

Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7:30 pm,

Each class will focus on many of the 100 citizenship test civics questions. We encourage the community to join us for these lively interactive activities and discussions. The classes are open for U.S. citizens who want to improve their own knowledge of U.S. Civics or enhance their skills to tutor new arrivals on their paths to citizenship.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Read to Succeed (R2S) Hartford

Tuesday, Wednesday, 2-7:45 pm, Thursday, 2-5  pm

The classes are a combination of one-on-one instruction with a teacher and computer-based reinforcement activities for adults new to reading.

Information: 860-695-6316 and