11 Events in Greater Hartford You Don’t Want to Miss this April!

Sea Tea Improv is hosting the 4th annual Hartford Improv Festival April 6th-9th | Photo via seateaimprov.com

Spring is a very busy time for us at the Greater Hartford Arts Council! We’ve kicked off our 2017 United Arts Campaign with our signature event: Big Red for the Arts. We’ve officially opened the Art Room, designed to combine creative inspiration and corporate team building. We have our eyes set on a summer full of vibrancy and community innovation with Neighborhood Studios and Art on the Streets! Not to mention, we have a collection of Innovation Workshops in the works (our Fundraising Messaging Workshop is scheduled for May 11th). And that’s only the beginning!

Like I said, we’re in the midst of a very busy time!

And the arts and cultural organizations around Greater Hartford are no exception! We’ve curated a collection of events occurring throughout the month of April to give you a dose of the cultural vibrancy of the capital region!
Don’t forget to check in with our cultural calendar regularly for more events and sign up for our 7-Day Arts & Culture Guide to receive a curated list weekly of what our cultural community has to offer.

  1. Next to Normal, Theaterworks

The dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. The Goodmans appear to be a typical American family, yet their lives are anything but normal. This brave and breathtaking contemporary musical takes an unflinching look at a family’s struggle with mental illness. Winner of three Tony Awards including Best Musical Score. This show is recommended for ages 16+. “Next to Normal” is at Theaterworks through April 30th! Get your tickets here!

  1. Stop/Time Dance Theater presents “Rockin’ the Forest”, Playhouse on Park

Ever wonder what Red Riding Hood does in her free time when she’s not running from the Wolf? Her stop/time dance friends are summoned out of the woodwork and then the real fun begins! Cultivated from the wild imagination of co-artistic director Darlene Zoller, Playhouse on Park presents its annual stop/time dance theater production: Rockin’ The Forest. Opening night is Friday, March 31 at 8pm, with a wine and cheese reception at 7pm.Now in its 14th year, stop/time dancers and singers are ready to entertain in a fabulous forest, alive with energy and growing with surprises along the way. Come for the exemplary dancing, lush vocals, live music and an unforgettable twist on your favorite stories: it’s all goin’ down when stop/time rocks the forest! You’ll leave pining for more! Rockin’ The Forest is conceived and directed by Playhouse on Park’s co-artistic director and founder of stop/time dance theater Darlene Zoller, with musical direction by Eric Larivee. The last performance is scheduled for April 9th, click here to learn more!

  1. Art of Honor Exhibition, Hospital for Special Care

This exhibition reception will feature works created by local Veterans and their families at our recent veterans art workshops. Light refreshments provided. The exhibition will be up for viewing through April 7th in the Outpatient Hallway. The reception is free to the public and takes place from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Learn more information by visiting our cultural calendar!

  1. Word Art Show, Canton Artists Guild

The Canton Artists Guild’s biennial “Word Art Show” is a provocative gallery tradition since 2003. Writers and artists collaborate with each other. Writers or performance artists create new work in response to visual arts. Written text appears next to the art or is incorporated as words or letters into the prints, paintings and sculpture. There is an evening of readings on April 1 from 7:00-9:00pm. Besides the main show there are two solo shows. Diane Wright exhibits her three-dimensional mixed media assemblages in her show “My Journey” and Marlene Mayes exhibits her paintings in a show called “Naturespeake” The exhibition runs through April 16th!

  1. The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, Hartford Stage

Running through April 23rd, ‘Absolute Brightness’ is about the disappearance of Leonard Pelkey, a flamboyant 14-year-old who has been bullied by his peers. Critically-acclaimed actor and writer James Lecesne (I Am My Own Wife at Hartford Stage, the writer of the Academy Award-winning Trevor) portrays a tough New Jersey detective, a withdrawn teenage girl, a brusque yet gentle hairdresser and a dozen other intriguing characters as they join forces to solve a mystery that will forever change their lives. The New Yorker called it, “A whodunit with a heart of gold.” For exact show dates and times, including weekday and weekend matinees, contact the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.  Student seats are $20.

  1. Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase, Black-Eyed Sally’s

Coming Saturday April 1, Black-Eyed Sally’s is VERY excited to announce the return of the popular “Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase”! Fans of stellar blues harmonica playing, sizzling live electric blues and outstanding live musical entertainment will be in for a treat as they bring in yet another “Off The Charts” display by FOUR regionally and nationally recognized and respected Blues Harmonica talents, featuring a coveted visit by world renown, Severn recording artist, the legendary: Steve Guyger! Click here to learn more!

  1. Sisu and Creativity: Finnish Cultural Heritage, Connecticut Historical Society

The Connecticut Historical Society has partnered with the Finnish American Heritage Society (FAHS) to present a new exhibit of art works, images, audio recordings, and documentation, “Sisu and Creativity: Finnish Cultural Heritage in Connecticut.” The exhibit, which runs March 21 – May 6 at the CHS, explores the remarkable agricultural, architectural, social, musical and artistic characteristics that make up this community within the state. The exhibit is funded by the Connecticut Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD. For details visit www.CHS.org.

  1. Latin Fest ’17, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts

Break out your dancing shoes! Our open dance floor is beckoning to you with the irresistible sounds of living legend Gilberto Santa Rosa, El Caballero de la Salsa (the Gentleman of Salsa). Dance, drink, and enjoy delicious Latin fare in Jorgensen’s candlelit cabaret setting. Click here to learn more!

  1. Hartford Improv Festival, Sea Tea Improv

HIF is a multi-day comedy festival designed to attract local and national talent to Hartford and showcase the art of improv comedy. The 2017 Hartford Improv Festival is April 6-9 in Hartford, CT! #HIF2017 features comedy performances by groups from 22 cities across the U.S. and Canada, workshops, improv jams, and more! See the schedule and get your tickets: here!

  1. Connecticut Ballet presents “Thirty Something!”, The Bushnell

Connecticut Ballet will celebrate its 35th anniversary by showcasing its dancers and the range of its repertoire in a triple-bill entitled, Thirty Something!: Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 7:30pm at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.  In honor of the 35th anniversary, all seats will be priced at $35.00 plus theatre surcharges.  To purchase tickets, visit www.bushnell.org  or call 860-987-5900.  Following the performance, there will be a talk- back with the dancers.  For further information visit: www.connecticutballet.org.

  1. Twilight Tango, CONCORA

Join CONCORA and friends for Twilight Tango! — an evening of food, fun, music, and dancing! This is CONCORA’s most important fundraiser of the year, with proceeds supporting artistic and educational programming. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and cash bar, and indulge yourself with our tempting live and silent auction items. The evening will feature the dynamic music of InfiniTango, Greater Hartford’s leading tango ensemble, with a special appearance by the Men of CONCORA. Learn more!

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the Greater Hartford Arts Council is able to provide critical support to local arts and cultural organizations (like the ones listed above!) that keep our communities strong. Due to your support, we are able to ensure the growth and strength of our communities by celebrating diversity, revitalizing neighborhoods, turning strangers into neighbors and paving the way for a brighter future.

Join our 2017 United Arts Campaign to help keep events like these alive in our community!