Everything You Need To Do In Hartford By August 12

Hartford Stage apprentices of Neighborhood Studios

The Arts Council’s summer arts education program, Neighborhood Studios culminates this week with a series of showcases from various art organizations in Hartford. From poetry slams and breakdancing, to photography and short films, prepare to become inspired by the next generation of artists and writers this week. Other events you’ll want to add to your agenda are First Thursday at the Wadsworth, a free movie in the park, and the last show from Monday Night Jazz (who else is weeping inside?). Peruse the full list below and let us know in the comments if we missed anything.

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.


Neighborhood Studios Showcase: The Other Side of the Story [UA]

When: Wednesday, August 6, 6PM

Where: The Mark Twain House

Check out the inspiring writing from Neighborhood Studios apprentices at the Mark Twain House studio showcase. This year’s theme “The Other Side of the Story” gives voice to issues such as feminism, racism, and war.

Admission: $5. http://letsgoarts.org/NeighborhoodStudios/Showcases.


Neighborhood Studios Showcase: Inside Out [UA]

When: Thursday, August 7, 5:30PM

Where: The Amistad Center

Love photography? Head over to the Neighborhood Studios Snap Photography showcase to view the beautiful work of photography apprentices. The “Inside Out” theme explores external and internal factors, what lies beneath the surface, and experimental photography methods.

Admission: Free.  http://letsgoarts.org/NeighborhoodStudios/Showcases

First Thursday Block Party: Caribbean Festival [UA] 

When: Thursday, August 7, 5PM – 9PM

Where: Wadsworth Atheneum

Missed last week’s Caribbean and Jerk Festival? No worries! The Wadsworth’s First Thursday (and last one of the season!) block party celebrates everything Caribbean. From live music by De 4 AhWee Steel Band and Amandla Reggae Band to performances by the Caribbean American Dance Company, and of course, tons of Caribbean food.

Admission: $5; free for members. www.thewadsworth.org.

Sea Tea Improv Presents Improv’d Cinema: Summer Mockbuster [UA]

When: Thursday, August 7, 7PM

Where: Real Art Ways

Your least favorite film is about to get dramatically funnier with Sea Tea Improv. Join them to choose the worst b-movie and watch as they improve the performance by voicing over the entire film.

Admission: $5 – $10. 860-232-1006. www.realartways.org.

18th Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival

When: Thursday, August 7 (through August 9), 12PM

Where: Hebron Fairgrounds

Come out for the 18th annual bluegrass musical festival featuring the best of local, regional, and national bluegrass bands.

Admission: $5. 860-828-9818. www.podunkbluegrass.com.

Summer Dance

When: Thursday, August 7, 7PM

Where: Welte Theater – Central Connecticut State University

Watch the world premiere ballet performance of “The Minister’s Black Veil,” the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, with an opening performance by Rachmanioff’s “Symphonic Dances.”

Admission: $30. 860-232-8898. www.albanoballet.org

Let’s GO Arts! Membership Discount: $20. 


Free Movies after Dark: Akeelah and the Bee 

When: Friday, August 8, 6:30PM

Where: Sigourney Park

Bring your own blanket and relax under the stars for a free screening of Akeelah and the Bee (2006) in Sigourney Park.

Admission: Free. www.hartford.com.

Neighborhood Studios Showcase: Color as Content [UA]

When: Friday, August 8, 4PM

Where: Real Art Ways

Get to know them before they become famous! Watch inspiring short films from the budding filmmakers of Neighborhood Studios’ Real Art Ways program.

Admission: Free. http://letsgoarts.org/NeighborhoodStudios/Showcases.


52nd Annual Greater Hartford West Indian Independence Celebrations

When: Saturday, August 9, 11AM -8PM

Where: Bushnell Park

Celebrate Hartford’s West Indian traditions and culture with this all-day festival featuring live music, dance, and a parade.

Admission: Free.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Putting History on the Map 

When: Saturday, August 9, 2PM

Where: Connecticut Historical Society

Calling all history geeks: get a behind-the-scenes look at CHS’s recent project to digitize and catalog its large collection of maps, including the earliest published maps of Connecticut.

Admission: $6-$12. 860-236-5621 x 289. www.chs.org/calendar.


Concert Series – Horizon Blue [UA] 

When: Sunday, August 10, 3PM – 4PM

Where: New Britain Museum of American Art

Stop by New Britain Museum of American Art for an acoustic performance by Americana musical group, Horizon Blue.

Admission: $8 – $12. www.nbmaa.org.

Open Hearth Cooking [UA]

When: Sunday, August 10, 12PM – 4PM

Where: Stanley-Whitman House

Get the scoop on colonial cuisine and methods from historical interpreter Georgia Exner who will cook on a 18th-century hearth.

Admission: Free. www.stanleywhitman.org


Monday Night Jazz

When: Monday, August 11, 6:30PM

Where: Bushnell Park

Bring your lawn chairs and picnic basket for the last show of the season from Monday Night Jazz featuring opening act Michael Pallas Quintet and headliner, Stephen King Porter and the Legacy Band.

Admission: Free. www.hartfordmondaynightjazz.com

Neighborhood Studios Showcase: Love’s Labour’s Lost  [UA]

When: Monday, August 11 (through August 13)

Where: Hartford Stage, University of Saint Joseph

Get ready to dance with the animated and talented apprentices of Neighborhood Studios’ Breakdancing Shakespeare class as they fuse breakdancing and acting into a breathtaking performance.

Admission: $5. http://letsgoarts.org/NeighborhoodStudios/Showcases


Summer Art Adventures: Artist-in-Residence Mary Cottle Smeallie/Project Weaving [UA]

When: Tuesday, August 12, 10:30AM – 12PM

Where: New Britain Museum of American Art

Learn about the various cultures that enjoy a rich history of weaving and explore contemporary forms of fiber art. For ages 10 & up.

Admission: $12 – $18. 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.