8 Awesome Things Happening in Hartford This Weekend

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After Tuesday’s Nor’easter and the impending snowstorm of doom on Monday, we’re overdue for some arts entertainment this weekend. Luckily, there’s a lot to choose from starting with the opening of the Coney Island exhibit in the new renovated galleries at the Wadsworth Atheneum on Saturday (members get a first look Friday night) for some much needed theme park nostalgia. Live vicariously through the heartwarming tale of two dancers in the production of Dancing Lessons playing at TheaterWorks and pay a final visit to Winterfest before it closes for the season on Sunday. Also on the list is Taste of Hartford, which continues through Sunday where you can get deep discounts on three course meals at 30 amazing restaurants including local favorites Salute, Sorella, On20, Firebox. Plus, don’t forget to buy tickets to the 10th anniversary of Big Red for the Arts, where you can sample some of the best wines and local dishes all while helping support the arts!

When you see [UA] in the heading, it means the organization is supported by the contributions made to the Arts Council’s Annual United Arts Campaign. 

Friday

Member Preview & Reception: Coney Island & Contemporary Art [UA]

When: Friday, January 30, 5PM-7:30PM

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum

Be the first to experience Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland and at the reinstalled Contemporary Art galleries with live entertainment, food, drinks, and more!

Admission: Wadsworth members only. RSVP: 860-838-4171. www.thewadsworth.org

Through a Glass Darkly

When: Friday, January 30, 8PM (through Feb. 14)

Where: Hole in the Wall Theater

Watch the New England premiere of “Through a Glass Darkly,” adapted by acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. In this poignant psychological drama, Karin—a young wife, older sister and only daughter—finds herself in a kaleidoscopic internal world where the boundaries between different realities blur and shift.

Admission: Pay what you can night on 1/30. 860-229-3049. www.hitw.org

Dancing Lessons [UA]

When: Friday, January 30, 8PM (through March 1)

Where: TheaterWorks

A man with Asperger’s seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer, now sidelined with injuries. As their relationship unfolds, they’re caught off-guard by surprising discoveries – both hilarious and heartwarming.

Admission: To purchase tickets call: 860.527.7838. www.theaterworkshartford.org

Saturday

Free Ice Skating Lessons at Winterfest

When: Saturday, January 31, 10AM-11AM

Where: Bushnell Park

Don’t let winter pass before learning how to ice skate! Head to the Winterfest rink for FREE ice-skating lessons taught by Champions Skating Center instructors. Lessons are open to future skaters of all ages, and the skates are free too.

Admission: Free. www.hartford.com

Private Lives [UA]

When: Saturday, January 31, 7:30PM (through February 8)

Where: Hartford Stage

Follow the story of Amanda: vivacious, sexy, sophisticated, and Elyot: virile, charming, and seductive; the epitome of a 1930′s cosmopolitan couple. Until the divorce. Five years later, they are horrified — yet intrigued — to bump into each other while honeymooning in a French hotel with their new spouses. With its stinging barbs and clever wit, Private Lives is Noel Coward’s finest and funniest comedy.

Admission: $20-$85. www.hartfordstage.org  

Public Opening: Coney Island & Contemporary Art [UA]

When: Saturday, January 31, all day

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum

Celebrate the opening of the Wadsworth’s newly restored galleries, featuring Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland. Enjoy special tours, films, art-making activities, and more!

Admission: Free admission to Hartford residents with valid ID. www.thewadsworth.org

Sunday

CONCORA: “The Dream Concert” [UA]

When: Sunday, February 1, 4PM

Where: Immanuel Congregational Church, Hartford

CONCORA performs with Dr. Steven Sametz; the concert features a new composition by Dr. Sametz, “Un Bacio (A Kiss).”

Admission: www.concora.org

Film: The Other Son [UA]

When: Sunday, February 1, 2PM

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Two young men, one Israeli and one Palestinian, discover they were accidentally switched at birth. 2012. France. 105 min. Rated PG-13. Subtitles.

Admission: $7-$9; free to members. www.thewadsworth.org

Want a spot on our blog or 7-day newsletter? Submit all Greater Hartford area arts and cultural events to Events@LetsGoArts.org for consideration.

Support the arts! Every contribution goes a long way.

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5 Exciting Things to Look Forward to at Big Red for the Arts 2015

Big Red Turns 10

Big Red for the Arts. Photo by Roger Castonguay.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably heard about the 10th anniversary of Big Red for the Arts, a fundraising party with fabulous food, signature wines, and one purpose: to raise funding for the arts. The event, held in The Society Room of Hartford on February 12, kicks off our 2015 United Arts Campaign, which supports over 150 arts, culture, and heritage organizations – both big and small – that you know and love in Greater Hartford. Organizations such as the Wadsworth Atheneum, The Bushnell, Mark Twain House & Museum, Little Theatre of Manchester, Judy Dworin Performance Project, Real Art Ways, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Hartford Symphony, New Britain Museum of American Art, Hartbeat Ensemble, TheaterWorks, and many more. And by attending Big Red, you can help support all of these organizations. Intrigued, yet? Here are five awesome things you’ll see at Big Red’s 10th anniversary:

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Kicking Off the New Year with Mintz + Hoke

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Only two weeks into the New Year, we kicked off the first employee giving event of the 2015 United Arts Campaign with one of New England’s largest advertising and public relations agencies.   For Mintz + Hoke, an early morning “Arts Break” at the Farmington Valley Arts Center proved to be a catalyst for creativity and inspiration. Stepped outside the comforts of the office, a group of more than 30 employees showed up on a chilly Wednesday morning for a United Arts Campaign breakfast and Arts Break.  As they warmed themselves with coffee and found a table to sit, they learned about the value of the arts for the community, the economy, and the quality of life in the Greater Hartford area.  Read More


The Best Things to do in Hartford this Weekend

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‘Dancing Lessons’ at TheaterWorks in Hartford

It’s no secret that some of the best arts and cultural venues are hole-in the-walls. Case in point: Hole in the Wall Theater in New Britain, known for original, creative works of theater. Catch their production of the Swedish psychological drama Through a Glass Darkly based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1961 award-winning film by the same name. Other must-see productions include Dancing Lessons at TheaterWorks and Private Lives at Hartford Stage. And after your dose of theater, head over to one of 30 participating Taste of Hartford restaurants for a three-course meal starting at $20.15.

Want to fill your entire work week with arts and culture? Sign up for our 7-day newsletter. Read More


Everything You Need To Do In Hartford This MLK Weekend

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Get free admission at the Wadsworth Atheneum on 1/19

Happy Weekend! If you’re lucky you’ve got a three day weekend ahead of you, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll have time to explore what arts and cultural events Hartford has to offer. Starting with a CANvas meetup at the Fire & Ice party at Bushnell Park tonight for an evening of networking, ice skating, and photography by local artist, Ray Lamoureux (you can also check out his photography portrait exhibition at 100 Pearl Street Gallery). Catch a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Theater of Performing Arts and Private Lives at Hartford Stage. Enjoy a free comedy show by Sea Tea Improv at City Steam on Sunday. And end your weekend with a museum crawl on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by taking advantage of free admission at Mark Twain House & Museum, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wadsworth Atheneum, and Imagine Nation (for the kids). Peruse the full list below and add any suggestions in the comments. Read More


The Healing Power of Performance Art with Judy Dworin Performance Project

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Trust in the journey and the unfolding of our lives no matter where we are planted. Walk a mile in my shoes.

We’ve explored the ways that visual art can improve memory, reduce depression and loneliness, and increase cognitive functioning. But what about the benefits of performance art? The Arts Council provides support to over 100 arts organizations that produce inspiring works of theater, music, and dance. One grantee, Judy Dworin Performance Project, a nonprofit that harnesses the arts in schools and prisons to create positive change, has had empowering affects on artists. I had the fortune of attending the Judy Dworin Performance Project’s annual In My Shoes, which tells the story of women currently or previously incarcerated in a creative collaborative performance combining song, dance, and poetry slam. As someone who binge watches Orange is the New Black (Piper Kiernan gave a lecture at the 2013 performance of In My Shoes), I knew In My Shoes was a rare opportunity to hear the challenges women face in prison and when reentering society. Read More


#HartfordHasIt: Weekend Arts Guide

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No plans this weekend? No worries! Hartford has enough shows to keep you entertained and satiate your artsy appetite. If exploring the arts and culture was one of your New Year’s resolutions (and if it’s not, it ought to be!), then you’ll want to start with this guide. Peruse the list and use #LetGoArts on Twitter and Instagram to share your art explorations. Want a spot on our blog or 7-day newsletter? Submit all Greater Hartford area arts and cultural events to Events@LetsGoArts.org for consideration. Happy Weekend! Read More