12 Awesome August Arts & Culture Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival | via www.riverfront.org

Between beach trips and ice cream cones, summer 2017 is flying by! But there’s still plenty of time and plenty of local festivals, performances and celebrations for you to attend. Hundreds of events have been taking place all summer long throughout our region. Summer is a constant celebration of art, music, and culture in the Capital City and there’s always something to do! With Neighborhood Studios showcases coming up and several Summer in the City events on our radar, we decided to highlight some pretty awesome local art, music, and cultural events that you need to attend before school is back in session.

Finding Neverland |August 1st-6th, The Bushnell

The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says TIME Magazine. Vogue cheers, “It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!” Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award® winning film, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. FINDING NEVERLAND is “far and away the best musical of the year!” (NPR). Visit www.bushnell.org to buy your tickets today!

Breakdancing Shakespeare: “As You Like It” | August 3rd– August 5th, Hartford Stage

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It is the story of a diverse cast of characters thrown together by misfortune into a desolate place where they find they are nevertheless able to grow friendship, love, and forgiveness. The cast of Breakdancing Shakespeare will create a modern hip-hop telling of this 400-year-old story complete with Shakespeare’s original text and contemporary music/dance. Tickets are available here!

NBMAA’s Pop-Up Bars | August 3rd, August 10th, August 17th & August 24th, New Britain Museum of American Art

The NBMAA is hosting a summer Pop-up Bar! Patrons ages 21+ can sip on refreshingly cold beer, wine, and cocktails. Royal CBD, this year’s event sponsor, will be providing their award winning CBD oil to be used in the cocktails – so if you’ve never tried cannabidiol before, you’re in for a treat! Visit our cultural calendar to get more information on the Pop-Up Bars’ weekly themes!

Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival | August 5th, Mortenson Riverfront Plaza

The Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival brings authentic Caribbean cuisine, cool island beverages, spectacular costumes and dance, and island rhythms to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. Enjoy a full day of music, children’s activities and huge selection of food vendors. Rain Date: Sunday, August 6th. Don’t forget to share your photos using #summerinhartford and we’ll repost! Click here to get more festival details!

Paint Night in the Courtyard | August 9th & August 23rd, Shoppes at Farmington Valley

Get creative and mark your calendars for an outside event in the courtyard at The Shoppes of Farmington Valley!  The event will consist of a fun and energetic instructor guiding you to create two hand-painted wine glasses!  All paint and supplies needed are provided. Instruction begins at 6:30 pm. All of the proceeds collected for the event will be donated to The Greater Hartford Arts Council. Get creative and support the arts! Register here!

The 39 Steps | August 11th – August 27th, Little Theatre of Manchester

A high-speed spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy movie, this comedy is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by only a handful of actors), an on-stage plane crash, and some good old-fashioned romance! This madcap story follows Richard as he races to solve the mystery of an espionage organization called “The 39 Steps,” all while trying to clear his name. A fast-paced whodunit for anyone age 9 to 99 who LOVES the magic of theater! LTM’s production of Barlow’s The 39 Steps runs August 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27 at Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Rd, Manchester. Friday and Saturday evening performances will be held at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees will be at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $19-$25 with discounts available for both seniors and students. Buy your tickets at www.cheneyhall.org!

The Tempest | August 11th & August 12th, Playhouse on Park

Artistic Director, Kyle Metzger, is please to present The Tempest. A father’s gambit, a monster’s revenge, a first kiss, and few idiots – tossed together and ripped apart by a ferocious storm. The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Written at the end of his career, it holds beautiful text, complex characters, and provocative ideas. This striking production will sweep you away to an island brimming with mystical music and fearsome creatures, featuring music by Tim Duncheon and Anna Stefanic, and introducing exuberant costumes by Max Archimedes Levitt.  Our Tempest is inspired by Venice street musicians and Commedia Dell’arte. These classical influences form the off-beat, wriggly backbone of our story. Buy your tickets here!

West Indian Independence Celebration | August 12th, Bushnell Park

The 55th annual West Indian Independence Celebration is an exciting attraction to our capital city. This year many of the events will take place downtown in Bushnell Park. Thanks to Increased business partnership and the strength of our community, the festivities can attract attendees from across Connecticut as well as tourist from neighboring states. In past years up to 70,000 people attended the Greater Hartford West Indian Celebrations to experience colorful floats, music bands, marching groups, steel bands, steel bands and drill teams. Click here for more information!

Museum After Dark: Endless Summer | August 18th, New Britain Museum of American Art

Surf’s up at Museum After Dark: Endless Summer! Enjoy refreshing drinks while dancing to music from The Clams, a three-piece group that features go-go dancers and 1960s style surf rock that will bring the beach party to you. Also, explore the art of Southern California with a walk through the Museum’s featured exhibition California Dreaming: Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston & Ed Ruscha. Visit www.nbmaa.org for details and ticket info!

Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival | August 19th, Mortenson Riverfront Plaza

The Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival, now in its 17th year, invites community and club teams for a day of fun competition on the Connecticut River. Over 80 teams will paddle our 500m course in three heats, and spectators (and paddlers) can enjoy the Asian Festival on the upper plaza between races, complete with dancing, music, and an excellent selection of Asian beer and food. Admission to the Dragon Boat & Asian Festival is free. Interested in competing? Click here!

Our Great Tchaikovsky | August 19th– August 27th, Hartford Stage

Tchaikovsky is Russia’s most famous composer and one of the greatest of all time. His beautiful, soaring compositions—The Nutcracker Ballet, Swan Lake and more—have captured the world’s imagination. Nine days after he conducted the premiere of his ”Symphony Pathétique” as a healthy 53-year-old, he was dead. To this day, how and why remains a mystery. Our Great Tchaikovsky marks Felder’s return to Hartford Stage. His previous productions include George Gershwin Alone in 2004 and Monsieur Chopin in 2006. Most recently, he adapted and directed The Pianist of Willesden Lane in 2015. Please contact the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 for exact show dates and times, including weekday and weekend matinees.

Total Eclipse Celebration | August 21, Connecticut Science Center

Get ready for a celestial event that hasn’t been seen in the Continental United States in 38 years and attend a party like no other. View the solar eclipse at the Connecticut Science Center while enjoying fun, family friendly activities. Connecticut will be audience to a partial solar eclipse in which the moon will cover part of the sun’s disk. To celebrate we will have tons of activities from crafts to live streams along the path of totality to food trucks. DJ Faro from our Camp Spirit Days returns to bring the music and the dance party. Join Vasu Tribe Studio as they take you through a yoga flow in celebration of this celestial event. Seriously, this party is guaranteed to be out of this world. For more information, please call (860) 724-3623 or visit www.ctsciencecenter.org!

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