Everything You Need To Do In Hartford By July 8th


Happy (early) Independence Day! As artists, we all know a little something about what it means to be independent. After all, most jobs in the arts are freelance-based, and artists usually prefer to work independently to maximize control over their work. That’s why – at the risk of sounding very cheesy – artists are the epitome of the American dream, representing passion, independence, and valor (sound familiar?).

This week’s lineup is a celebration of all things artsy and historic, from live local music and movie throwbacks, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the tragic Hartford Circus Fire. And, of course, fireworks – lots of fireworks. Don’t forget the telescoping flagpoles adorning the stores, parks, and various buildings everywhere. Read on for more and have a safe Fourth of July!

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.



Wayback Wednesdays Summer Movie Series

When: Wednesday, July 2 (through August 27) 1:30PM & 5:30PM

Where: Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library, Hartford

Take a trip down memory lane with classic masterpieces from the 1920s – 1960s. This week’s hit is Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921).

Admission: Free. http://center.hplct.org/.


Simsbury Community Band Summer Series Concert

When: Wednesday, July 2 7PM

Where: Simsbury Farms Ice Ring, 100 Old Farms Road, Simsbury

Enjoy warm summer nights with free live music by the Simsbury Community band, and treat yourself to ice cream from the Simsbury Farms Ice Rink.

Admission: Free. www.simsburyband.org.



Celebrate America: The Annual Red, White, & Blue Tradition

When: Thursday, July 3 7:30PM Postponed to July 4th 7:30PM due to rain

Where: The Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows

The Talcott Mountain Music Festival continues this week with a celebration of America’s independence. Stay tuned for fireworks after the concert.

Admission: $20-$40. 860-244-2999. www.hartfordsymphony.org.


Evenings at Hale: Turning Out Spies [UA]

When: Thursday, July 3 6PM, 8PM

Where: Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South Street, Coventry

Your Fourth of July would be incomplete without a little American history. Experience the home and birthplace of America’s first spy, Nathan Hale, and learn how George Washington turned out spies that led to victory in the American Revolutionary War.

Admission: $20-$25. www.ctlandmarks.org.


Out Film CT Presents First Thursdays Cinema

When: Thursday, July 3 7:30PM

Where: Cinestudio, 300 Summit St. Trinity College, Hartford

Get ready for laughs as chaos ensues in this month’s film Birthday Cake, featuring a Hollywood Hills gay couple who throw an extravagant birthday party for their one-year-old daughter.

Admission: $7-$9. www.outfilmct.org



Happy Independence Day! Museums will be closed today, however, Real Art Ways has a couple of opening shows.



The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [UA]

When: Saturday, July 5 8PM (through July 27)

Where: Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Rd. West Hartford

Admission: $32.50 – $42.50. 860-523-5900 x10. www.playhouseonpark.org

Follow this hilarious tale of six adolescent overachievers as they chronicle their experience for the spelling bee championship.

Let’s GO Arts! Members: $2.50 off tickets



The Hartford Circus Fire – 70th Anniversary Commemoration [UA]

When: Sunday, July 6 2PM

Where: Mark Twain House, 351 Farmington Ave. Hartford

Join us to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Hartford Circus Fire with a discussion of the books The Hartford Circus Fire: Tragedy: Under the Big Top by Mike Skidgell and The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy by Stewart O’Nan. The discussion is followed by a book sale and signing with the authors.

Admission: Free. 860-280-3130. www.marktwainhouse.org



Monday Night Jazz

When: Monday, July 7 6PM – 9PM

Where: Bushnell Park, Hartford

Free summer jazz in Bushnell Park returns today for its 47th season featuring drummers Yoron Israel and Ralph Peterson, and pianist Renee Rosnes.

Admission: Free. 860-242-6688. www.HartfordMondayNightJazz.com


Kids’ Henna Workshop

When: Monday, July 7 6PM – 7:30PM

Where: The Claypen, 997 Farmington Ave, West Hartford

Henna never looked so cool! Bring your kids for a one of a kind session on henna pottery design, culminating in the creation of their own piece.

Admission: $35. 860-233-3322. www.theclaypen.com.



The Hartford Circus Fire, 70 Years Later

When: Tuesday, July 8 5:30PM-7:30PM

Where: Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library, Hartford

Discover the stories and memories from people affected by the tragic circus fire of 1944 in this heartfelt performance by Hartbeat Ensemble, “Theater of Identity.”

Admission: Free. http://center.hplct.org/


Summer Art Adventures: Session 1: Sci-Fi Comics [UA]

When: Tuesday, July 8, 10:30AM – Noon

Where: New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St. New Britain

Join artist-in-residence, Matt Ryan, for a hands-on session on vintage science fiction “pulp art,” where you can create fantastical creatures and the wild world they inhabit.

Admission: $12 (members); $18 (non-members). 860-229-0257 x 220. www.nbmaa.org


Want a spot on our list? Submit your arts and cultural events to our calendar and we may just feature it.