Tag Archives: Wadsworth Atheneum

Hartford Summer, Half Gone Or Half to Be Had?

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Depends on how you look at it I guess, but for our purposes, push aside those thoughts of school beginning this month, Labor Day looming, and the fall grind starting all over again.

Seize the moment and celebrate what promises to be yet another wonderful summer weekend.

And when it comes to “what to do?” the choices abound.

cavIf you are a fan of historically good food, alfresco dining and  a summer experience that will get your through those can-t go out days of January, head over to Rose’s Berry Farm, 295 Matson Hill Road,  in South Glastonbury  on Friday, Aug. 8, where, for the first time, the very well-known French and Italian Cavey’s Restaurant will be serving a Farm to Chef dinner there beginning at 6 p.m. The evening includes a patio reception, love music and dinner featuring  local produce, meats, fish and dairy. Cost is $95, plus tax and gratuity. Information is here.

But hey, the weekend starts long  before Saturday in these parts.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, it’s “First Thursday” party time at the Wadsworth Atheneum . This month’scarib theme is “Caribbean Festival” and with that comes live reggae and steel drum music, a carnival mask art-making activity, a costume parade and more. Party goes from 5 to 8 p.m. with a screening of “Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom” at 8 p.m. For more information go here.

It’s a blast to the past when it comes to folk music and its heroes as Theaterworks opens “Woody Sez” the story of Woody Guthrie’s incredible musical and social journey. The show goes through Sept. 14 and features four actors/musicians to tell and sing the tale. For information go here.

jazz4Speaking of music, if you are a jazz fanatic this is your weekend. The 19th annual Litchfield Jazz Music Festival kicks off on Friday Aug. 8 with a gala from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m., followed by the first night  of a weekend of great music at the Goshen Fairgrounds. For more information go here.

And what is better than good food and good music on a summer weekend. You can have both if you head to Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass where the annual “Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic”  takes place from Thursday Aug. 7 to Sunday Aug. 10.

The weekend includes food and wine events, tastings, a dine-around, grand cru, entertainment, food and wine demonstrations and tastings and more. For information go here.

And finally, it’s parade time in Hartford again, this time the 52nd annual West  Indian Independenceparade (3) Parade Saturday at 11 a.m. beginning Main and Battles Streets. The parade, which includes floats, drill teams and dance troupes,  stops at Bushnell Park for a day of music through 8 p.m. For more information on the free event go here.


Amistad Center for Art & Culture Gala In Hartford

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The Amistad Center for Art & Culture celebrated in a big way Friday night with an elegant party at The Society Room of Hartford, honoring three well-known members of the community: vocal artist and producer Jolie Rocke Brown; entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker June Archer; and consultant and community leader John Motley.Juneteenth 2014 028

“First of all they have a phenomenal collection [at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford] that’s very diverse…..And they are doing a lot in the community, a lot with education,” said Rocke Brown of what she admires about the Amistad Center for Art & Culture.

The gala, called “Jubilation,” was just one event during a weekend recognizing Juneteenth and African American achievement and history. Saturday featured the annual Juneteenth Family Day at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

“It’s a community event…I think it’s the way that Hartford kicks off the summer,” said event co-chair Andrea Hawkins of the gala. “It’s a great party, it has great historical significance and it’s just a really good time.” Hawkins co-chaired the event with Tisa Rabun-Marshall.Juneteenth 2014 023

Among the 300 guests Friday were Olivia S. White, Amistad Center Executive Director; board member Joelle Murchison (Vice President, Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion) with mom Jeanne Murchison; Tiffany and Doug Glanville; and Sara and Luke Bronin. Mistress of Ceremonies was Audrey Washington, of NBC Connecticut, who attended the event with Josh Bruneau.Juneteenth 2014 034

“I’m working on doing a lot of education stories for New Haven public schools,” said Washington, who also anchors the Saturday morning show, NBC Connecticut Today. “I always love coming to events like this, especially the Juneteenth event. It draws a great crowd and it’s remembering something very important.”

Wadsworth Society Gets A Sneak Peek At New Addition

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wadsMembers of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Society of Daniel Wadsworth recently got a sneak peek of the museum’s new painting, “Self-Portrait as a Lute Player” by Artemisia Gentileschi. Over 100 of the museum’s premier members attended the reception. Pictured are Gale Kosto, Karen Kelleher, Beverly Greenberg, and Robin Jaffee.  The painting, purchased by the museum earlier this year, will go on view to the public in September 2015 when the museum’s Morgan Memorial Building opens following renovations.

Grab Your Hat Hartford! It’s The Weekend!!

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The rain is scheduled to go away (oh please)  and that means time to partake of the weekend Hartford!  Andcalendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1] the choices range from very, very pretty to very, very  hot!

It’s Kentucky Derby Day Saturday. Besides a host of restaurant and club specials, there is also Ron’s Run for the Roses, the annual fundraiser at Folly Farm in Simsbury, benefiting The Ron Foley Foundation and its fight against pancreatic cancer.

The fun, including fabulous hats and mint juleps,  begins at 2:30 p.m.  There are hat and outfit contests, auctions, equestrian displays, Kentucky Derby viewing and more at the event that has raised  over $500,000 for research and help to those patients and their families in need.

run12For more information go here.

Also on Saturday, the CT Forum will host another in its lecture series, this one titled “Nerd Fest.” It features panelists Adam Savage, co-host of “MythBusters,” actress Aisha Tyler and New York Times “ethicist” and author Chuck Klosterman.

The forum convenes at The Bushnell at 8 p.m. For more information go here.

nbm8Also on Saturday, the New Britain Museum of American Art will hold its annual “The Art pARTy of the Year” spring gala. About 500 people are expected at the fundraiser that includes a cocktail reception, dinner , dancing , auctions and more. For more information go here.



On Sunday, Matthew Phillips Salon on LaSalle Road in West Hartford will host its 14th annual “Cut-A-Thon” benefiting the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital. Haircuts are being offered from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. for a cost of $25. Walk-ins are welcome. Information: 860-523-5261.

tandooriBut let’s back up a bit. Start the weekend on May 1 at the Wadsworth’s “First Thursday After Hours” and its May theme,  “Indian Tandoori.” The popular, monthly  Happy Hour from 5 to 8 p.m. will include Bollywood dance lessons, Indian-inspired food, henna body art, dance demonstrations and more. For Information go here.

Need some peace and solace?


Head over to Elizabeth Park on May 3 for the second annual “Re-Create Ct,” a holistic festival featuring yoga, Zumba classes, vendors, artisans, a fitness workshop. meditation and more to soothe mind and body. The event begins at 11 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m. For more information go here.

SAMBA-2014-poster-11-x-17[1]Want anything but peace and quiet?

Then dance over to Hartford’s eighth annual “Samba Fest” at Mortensen Riverfront  May 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Composer/guitarist Ivan Vilela will be featured along with Nation Beat and a host of other musical acts. For information go here.

Want a little more weekend? Monday is Cinco de Mayo and that means dozens of restaurant and party specials all over the state and on Tuesday Malta House will celebrate its “Wonder Women” at The Bushnell.

Also on Tuesday, “Beauty and the Beast”  opens at The Bushnell. For more information go here.

Amistad Tempts With ‘A Taste of History’

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amistad99Braised short ribs with papaya salsa and plantains,  decadent made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese, sweet veal meatballs, spicy African peppers, hearty Brazilian calabaza and curry chowder.

Hungry yet?

Too bad because it’s too late. You had to be at the Wadsworth Atheneum Monday night if you wanted to enjoy the foods at the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s biannual “Taste of History” party.

Honorary chair and the chef everyone knows, Billy Grant, rounded up a who’s who of fellow chefs who brought their best African/Caribbean/South American insprired dishes with them, serving up nearly 300 people who attended the festival that included live entertainment and an art bar in the downtown musuem.

“It’s our celebration,” said center executive Olivia White. “it is a celebration of our art, our historytaste31taste35 and our food.”

And while it was about art and entertainment, it was the small plates of food that had everyone talking.

“Some of it is almost as good as my mother would make,” said Carol McBride as she sampled choices from Russell Caters.

“This rice is good and I usually don’t like rice,” added McBride’s friend, Madeline Welborn, as she sampled one of dozens of dishes featured at the event.

“The food, well you have to admit it’s good,” said East Hartford resident Diane Stuart, who has attended the fundraiser several times since it started. “But it’s more than that,” she said. “It’s a beautiful setting with all this beautiful art, a nice way to end the day and a really good way to suptaste37port the Amistad Center and its commitment to our history and culture.

Participating restaurants included Dish Bar & Grill, Grants Restaurant & Bar, Healthy Source Catering, The Mill at 2T, Peppercorn’s Grill, Restaurant Bricco, Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine, Salute Restaurant, and Scott’s Jamaican Bakery, Trinity’s Carry Out and Wintonbury Hills Golf Course.

Spring Arrives And So Does The Hartford Weekend

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]jewIt’s practically official, winter is over and spring has arrived. And it’s time to seriously get out of the house Hartford! And the spring choices include:

The highly regarded Jewish Film Fest opens March 20 at Front Street’s Spotlight Theatres. The festival features 23 thrillers, romantic comedies, shorts and documentaries from 13 countries in five venues over 10 days. The 2014 series opens with “The Jewish Cardinal” and an opening night dinner gala at the Hartford theater. The series continues through March 30. For more information go here.

To get the weekend off to a good start, you can also head over to Hartford’s Real Art Ways for its monthly Creative Cocktail Hour from 6 to 10 p.m. on March 20.  The evening features the opening of two new exhibits and a recycled art workshop with Trashion Fashion. More information is here.

While we officially say goodbye to  hot chocolate season, you can enjoy the treat another way on March 21 at the Bushnell. The program titled” Hot Chocolate Soul” includes music, comedy and poetryhome with a live Karl Browne’s Smooth Improvisation. More information is here.

What better way to welcome spring than with some spring clean-up, fix-up inspiration when it comes to your home. Get a big boost of that energy by heading over to The Spring Home Show at the XL Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 21 to 23. The show features over 300 exhibits all aimed at giving you ideas when it comes to home improvement.  For information go here.

Now that the weather if getting a bit nicer, time to put that body in motion and support severalriding_a_bicycle_311140[1] good causes in Hartford . Get a jump-start by heading over to XL Center atrium where the Downtown Hartford YMCA will host its 4th annual  “Mission in Motion” event March 22 from 8:30 to  1 p.m. The event supports the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, Read to Succeed, Live Strong and Footlights Performing Arts Program.  Teams secure sponsors and spend time on a bank on stationary bicycles to raise money. Find out more  here.

Love Italian? You must get over to the Wadsworth Atheneum for its Italian Film Wesaluteekend.

On March 21,  there will be a reception at 6 p.m with food from  Peppercorn’s Grill followed by a screening of ” I Am Love” at 7 p.m. On March 22, at 5 p.m. it’s “Big Night,” followed by a five-course Italian dinner at the museum cafe.

On March 23, explore “Views of Italy” in a docent-guided tour of the museum’s collection followed by a screening of “Mid-August Lunch.” For more information go here.

Get in a spring kind of mood by thinking pink and head over to the Hill-Stead Museum on Mardancersch 23 from 2 to 4 p.m

Guests are invited to celebrate French artist Edgar Degas and his famous painting “Dancers in Pink,” part of Hill-Stead collection,  at this family-friendly event. It will feature a performance by the Albano Ballet dancers and a tour of the museum. Light refreshments will be served. there will also be a special art activity mural project as part of the event. To find out more go here.



Lots to Do As January Turns To February

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Well, the good news is another month of winter is almost done. The better news is that January goes out on a great note and February begins on an even better one as the months  change.

Thursday at 6:30 p.m. , Wadsworth Atheneums’s executive director Susan Talbot  will welcome Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang for a program that will include a screening of the award-winheartning film,”The Great Beauty.”

The program, titled “On Stage  David Lang & Susan Talbot” will  include a discussion the  Yale professor about his music and involvement in filmmaker Pablo Sorrentino  films.

Information: thewadsworth.org.

It may still be January but most people have a bit of Valentine’s Day on their minds and thatmunson means thoughts of chocolate.

On Thursday, The United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut will host its “Red, White and Chocolate” fundraiser benefiting its Women’s Leadership Council.

The tasty evening will be held at The Pond House Cafe at Elizabeth Park and will feature  30 wines from eight distributors and assorted Munson’s chocolates. There will also be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  The party begins at 5: 30 p.m. Information: unitedwayinc.org

Think of it as a winter block party.

winebotsThat is what is happening in Hartford’s West End Saturday when more than 300 neighbors get together for the neighborhood’s annual  dine around.

The festivities begin with cocktails and appetizers at UConn Law School, followed by dinner at  31 different homes  and then dessert and coffee for everyone at yet another home.
Proceeds from the event benefit the West End Civic Association.

Like so many others, are you afraid spring is just never going to arrive?  Cheer up! There is hope in the form of a little furry forecaster at the Lutz Children’s Museum Sunday. (And you can catch her act long before settling down for the annual Super Bowl contest.)

Chuckles VIII,  the resident groundhog there,  will do her Groundhog Day duty  and depending on whether she sees his shadow or not, determine if there are six more weeks of winter or a spring that is just around the corner.

The chuckles3season predicting “coming out” will happen just  before 7 a.m. Coffee and breakfast foods will be available. Information: 860-643-0949 or lutzmuseum.org

Also this weekend, whether you have or have not seen  “War Horse,” head over to the Bushnell for its production of the Broadway and Oscar-nominated  hit.  Bring tissues and your listening ears. Joey the horse and the incredible puppeteers  more than deserved the opening night standing ovation.

Also, Steve Martin’s “The Underpants”  continues at Hartford Stage and over at TheaterWorks, catch “Freud’s Last Session .”

Also, if you haven’t done it yet, this is your last weekend to take a spin around the ice skatingskating rink at Hartford’s  WinterFest at Bushnell Park. Information: hartford.com




Need A Christmas Tree Fix? Wadsworth Can Fill The Bill!

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wadstree14Those who usually go to the Wadsworth Atheneum’s after-work First Thursday gatherings got an added treat this month thanks to the calendar.

Because the First Thursday was the day before the traditional opening of the Atheneum’s annual Festival of Trees & Traditions, those attending got a sneak peek at the 200 trees, wreaths and table decorations donated by a host of garden clubs, artists, designers, retailers and supporters.

“We couldn’t hide the trees for First Thursday so we just made it part of the festival,” explained festival co-chair Sue Blair. The crowd also served as “early shoppers” who were allowed to put in bids on the display items that are sold as part of the event.

“Our official opening is Friday night but we just figured we could  make it part of First Thursday wadstree5and those who wanted to get a jump start on enjoying the display or buying the trees and wreaths could do it a day earlier,” Blair said.

And oh were there shoppers present. Among them, Dr. Claudia Carbonari who purchased four wreaths within 15 minutes of the party opening.

“I have a big house with a lot of windows,” she said. “I will also give some as gifts.”

Proceeds from the sale of the festival decorations, which are not removed until the end of the annual display, underwrite Atheneum programs. The festival, which includes a ruby and gold decorated tree to mark its 40th anniversary, is extended into more galleries this year so visitors can also enjoy more museum art.   

Whwadstree6ile First Thursday usually attracts a Happy Hour crowd, this preview party also attracted many families.

“We surprised the kids when they got home from school and told them we were going to the tree festival and out to supper,” explained Robin Celli of Glastonbury. “The kids were thrilled and we are hoping to squeeze in a little ice skating if we can” she said. “I am one of those adults who remembers coming to the tree festival as a kid. There is something that is so much fun and feels so good when one of your childhood memories can be passed on to your own kids.”  

The display continues through Dec. 15.

A Fall Weekend With Lots of Fairs, Causes & Galas Hartford!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]There’s a reason the weather is so beautiful. It’s so you will get out whether it be to support a good cause, enjoy a fair or the ballet, dress to the nines for a gala or have a good laugh. And those are Mad-men-title-card[1]your choices for this weekend.

Things get going tonight at the Wadsworth Atheneum where beginning at 5 p.m. it is “First Thursday.” The theme tonight is ‘Mad Men’ so bring your  best 60s flair to the evening that includes  a tour of Media Rewind 1963, a Costume & Textile Society  mini-POSH Tag Sale, and  a fashion show by Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesday’s. There will be ’60s tunes by Side B and Women On Our Own, make your own drink stirrers and charms for  themed drinks and martinis at the cash bar, and more! The Museum Cafe will be open for dinner.

Admission is $5 and free for members.

Obreastctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and so it’s a given that over at The New Britain Museum of American Art you will find a party that celebrates advocacy and help when it comes to fighting the disease. The Ct Breast Cancer Initiative, which among its other projects sponsors an annual Mother’s Day Weekend 5K Run for breast cancer programs and education, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Besides the celebration, sponsors and researchers will be honored and there will be a trip down memory lane as organizers celebrate the success of the organization.

Also on Thursday, the Advertising Club of Connecticut  will celebrate its 100th anniversary at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed in Haddam. The club will announce its first inductees into its Ad Club Hall of Fame.

Get your laughs at the WRCH 16th Annual Nite of Lite Laughter Friday at the Bushnell featuringJason-Alexander[1] actor/comic Jason Alexander and his hair!) in a comedy variety show.  Proceeds benefit  Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. For tickets, call 860-987-5900 or go to bushnell.org.

Love words and spelling? You might want to head over to the Theater of the Performing Arts where Achieve Hartford will hold its annual spelling bee Friday. Singer and Connecticut resident Javier Colon, who won the reality show “The Voice” two years ago, will emcee the event that features adult and student teams. Proceeds benefit Achieve Hartford that works with businesses and civic organizations to help close the achievement gap in Hartford schools. Admission is free and the bee begins at 6:30 p.m. Information: ezevent.com/achievehartfordspellingbee.

wads1On Saturday, the Wadsworth Atheneum will hold its annual ‘Splendor Gala’ at the Connecticut Convention Center.

Close to 500 guests representing the museum’s top supporters and members of the corporate community are expected to attend the ball that features live and silent auctions including artwork from many important artists, cocktails, fine dining and dancing.

Proceeds benefit museum programs including  free transportation and admission to the Museum for all Hartford Public School students and  free admission during Second Saturdays for Families.

AMartina-Navratilova-9420862-1-402[1]lso on Saturday night, celebrities including tennis great Martina Navratilova, author Dan Savage and Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson will be the panelists at the CT Forum’s season opener,  “Being Gay”  at The Bushnell. The program on gay rights and equality and the change in public opinion will be emceed  by MSNBC contributor and Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart. Information: ctforum.org.

Saturday also marks the kick-off of The Connecticut Ballet’s 2013-2014 season at The Bushnell. Producer Brett Raphael will present his production of ‘Cinderella’ Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. tickets range from $46 to $60. Information: 888-824-2874 or bushnell.org

A litttedcle shout out to Plainville on Saturday where the Plainville High School Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 2013 outstanding athletes at a dinner at Nuchie’s in Bristol. On a personal note…many well-deserved congrats to all of this year’s inductees esepcailly that racecar driver Ted Christopher!

And finally, the fairs just keep on coming. The Berlin Fair, a signaturefritter[1] event in this area, opens Friday at the Berlin Fairgrounds and the 45th Southington Apple Festival, (apple fritters anyone?) also gets underway in that town. in Southington, the parade will take place Sunday. Information: countryfairgrounds.net.



Boys, Girls, Fine Art, Flowers,White Coats Among Weekend Choices

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It’s a busy weekend Hartford with lots of choices ranging from lawyers raising money for cancer to doctors honoring those who raise money for others.

On Thursday Hartford area lawyers will host its annual “Counsel Conquering Cancer”  at On20, 400 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford .

Some of Hartford’s most well-known chefs will be preparing food for the feast with proceeds benefiting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Among the participating chefs are Tyler Anderson, Billy Grant, Sean Farrell, Stephen Cavagnaro, James Wayman and Jeffrey Lizotte.

For ticket information go to here.

Also on Thursday, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford will hold its “2013 Opening the Door Gala ” at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.  The evening includes honoring its four Hall of Fame inductees. Trudi White, Gregory Davis, Thomas Burns and Dr. Morris Jackson.   Martaluz Olang will be honored as its Youth of the Year. Information: bgchartford.org

On Friday, The Women’s Committee of the Wadsworth Atheneum will host its Farm-to-Table Dinner , one of several events that are part of its 32nd annual Fine Art & Flowers event. WNPR’s Faith Middleton is honorary chair, with featured guest,  floral designer Sarah Ryhanen. The evening includes local beers and wines, a onsite floral demonstration and a five-course dinner. Other events that are part of the weekend include a Farmers Markets on Friday and Saturday. a Saturday luncheon with tv personality Mar Jennings,  and  highlights tours throughout  the weekend. Information: 860-838-4100 or thewadsworth.org

wc3On Saturday, the University of Connecticut Foundation will hold its fourth annual “White Coat Gala” at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Receiving the Carole and Ray Neag Medal of honor will be the Chase Family, Dr. Thomas Taylor with a posthumous award to Dr Richard A. Garibaldi. Information:  foundaton.uconn.edu

hillstread2On Sunday, Gov. and Mrs. Dannel P. Malloy will celebrate 20 years of Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at a reception at the governor’s residence at 990 Prospect Ave. from 3 to 6 p.m.

The annual summer series on the museum grounds opens June 1.

Special guests will be former Connecticut poet laureate Marilyn Nelson and international best-selling author Frank Delaney.

Information: 860-677-4787, ext 134.