HPL Happenings October 2015

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Pierre Sylvain

Voodoo Marasa
(Roots and Spirits)
Pierre Sylvain

Date: October 30 – December 18, 2015
Location: ArtWalk, Downtown Library

Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) by Haitian artist Pierre Sylvain celebrates the joy of voodoo, including Creole words, color combinations and international symbols infused throughout most major world religions. In this series, each painting depicts a different "Loa", or "little god" of the Haitian people and their voodoo culture. Each Loa is omnipotent and functions differently to support its believers.

As an artist, Pierre Sylvain is inspired to enlighten others about voodoo culture beyond the general association to voodoo dolls and zombies. Voodoo is more than a religious practice, it is about creating community, unity, healing, and finding peace and belonging. Voodoo is among the world's most misunderstood religions, due in part to popular portrayal by Hollywood. Voodoo practitioners have deeply committed beliefs that higher powers enhance their lives, offer protection, show love to the earth and enrich the history of the Haitian people.

Each piece in Voodoo Marasa (Roots and Spirits) includes texture, found objects, and mixed media combinations


Discount for employeesDiscounts!

Bear's BBQ, 89 Arch Street, Hartford
Use your HPL card on Monday and enjoy a 10% discount off your order.

The Kitchen, HPL, Downtown Location Enjoy a 10% discount when you use your HPL library card anytime at The Kitchen!




Bean stackIntroducing Beanstack at Hartford Public Library

Make your child's early reading experience a success
Beanstack is a free service provided by your local library to help families discover books and apps based on your child's age and interests. Our goal is help prepare your child for school and ensure that he or she is reading at or above grade level by third grade. All books recommended are available for free at your library. Get Started for Free at: hplct.beanstack.org


SBASCORE & Hartford Public Library host 5- Week Workshop Series

Hartford Public Library The American Place 500 Main St, Hartford, CT
How can I market my business? What does a lender look for when I apply for a business loan? I want to start a business, what do I need to do?

5 Week Workshop Series

November 4: The ABC’s of a Business Plan & Understanding a SWOT Analysis.
November 18: Licensing and registering your business.
December 2: How to do Business with the Federal Government and the State of CT
December 9: Marketing and Promoting your Business.

Wednesdays, beginning promptly at 6:00pm and ending at 7:30pm Workshops are FREE! Maximum seating capacity 30. Copies of workshop materials are provided to each attendee. To earn a certificate of completion you are encouraged to attend all the workshops. Registration required, contact: Hartford Public Library at 860.695.6337, or email: naficy@hplct.org.


The BorinqueneersThe Borinqueneers

Monday, November 9, 2015 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Downtown Library, Center for Contemporary Culture

HPL presents The Borinqueneers, a documentary about the 65th Infantry Regiment, the only Hispanic-segregated unit in army history. Created in 1899, the 65th Infantry Regiment was nicknamed after “Borinquen”, the original Taíno name for the island of Puerto Rico. The film, which is narrated by Hector Elizondo, explores the unit’s history through World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The film screening is accompanied by a photo exhibition and a lecture by the documentary’s Executive Producer, Noemi Figueroa.

Presented in partnership with the Connecticut State Library.


Social ChangeMoving Toward Social Change

Tuesday, November 10, 6:00 p.m.
Center for Contemporary Culture

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Hartford Public library in partnership with the Connecticut State Library present Moving Toward Social Change, a dance performance featuring the choreography of Roman Baca, Ballet Theater Company’s Artistic Director and U.S. Marine Iraq War Veteran. A panel discussion on social justice will follow the performance. Roman Baca creates works of high cultural significance that inspire conversations about worldly differences and the lasting effects of violence and conflict on communities, families, and individuals, while educating audiences about the reality of war and mutual understanding through cultural exchange.


jdppIn My Shoesperformance by the Judy Dworin Performance Project’s Women on Our Own Singers

November 12—5:30 PM
Downtown Library, Center for Contemporary Culture

Judy Dworin Performance Project’s Women on Our Own (WOOO) performers will present excerpts from In My Shoes, a spoken word and song performance that brings the authentic voices and real-life experiences of women from prison to the stage and asks the question, “What would it be like to be ‘in my shoes’?”

An a capella performance in conjunction with Hartford Public Library’s One Book One Hartford selection this year, James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk”. The evening will be hosted by Artistic and Executive Director Judy Dworin and will include a post-performance discussion with audience members.


Latino RightsSister Souljah
Author Talk and Book Signing

Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1 2 p.m.
Downtown Library (500 Main Street)

Join us for an author event with political activist and inspirational speaker Sister Souljah, bestselling author of Midnight: A Gangster Love Story. Her new book A Moment of Silence, which continues Midnight’s story, will be available for purchase at the event. Click here for more information.


Taken the RoadThe Road Not Taken Exhibit

October 12—November 30
Downtown Library, 1st Floor

A photo essay of incarcerated men from the Cheshire Correctional Institution will be on display in conjunction with the Library’s One Book One Hartford programming on James Baldwin’s novelIf Beale Street Could Talk (1974).

The Road Not Taken gives voice to those behind prison walls and the opportunity to share their stories. Special thanks to Thea Montanez for creating this exhibit


Fountain PenThe Author’s Table

Hartford Public Library is pleased to introduce The Author’s Table, an opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with downtown library visitors.

Hartford Public Library will publicize your scheduled appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection, in a special section for local authors. Hartford authors will be given first consideration.

Please contact the Public Programming and Cultural Affairs Department at 860.695.6322 for more information.



Authors TableThis Month at The Author’s Table

An opportunity to visit with local authors and discuss their published works. The Author’s Table is set monthly at the downtown library, 500 Main Street.

Books will be available for purchase.

Fay Taylor—Steel: A Memoir by Fay Taylor
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1 2 p.m.
Downtown Library (500 Main Street)

Steel is a story of triumph over adversity. It is about a woman whose faith and courage help her remain steadfast like steel after a fall that results in a broken back and severe spinal cord injuries. Plus a series of tragedies for her and her family, which takes everything they have to combat each new challenge. It is an inspiration to all who have to live with or care for someone with severe spinal cord injuries, and is a testament to the power of family and unconditional love.


David Drury—Hartford in World War I
November 21
1:00pm – 4:00pm

A chronological narrative that looks at Hartford and Hartford County during the period of the Great War. It begins with chapters that examine the war’s impact on the area from its outbreak, in August 1914 until the U.S. entry into the great conflict in April 1917. Lengthy chapters follow on home front developments during the war and the experiences of local men and women who served, or volunteered. The final two chapters detail the return to peacetime and various memorials left by the generation who fought the war. Manuscript includes notes, bibliography and index and approximately 70 photographs drawn from Connecticut State Library and area collections.


Salsa SocialsSalsa Socials

Every Third Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Library Atrium

Salsa socials are back at HPL! Join us for an open session welcoming dancers of all levels, free of charge! No partner or experience needed. Dancing and teaching for over twenty years, Rey Bermudez will share his passion for salsa at these open dance sessions.

 November 17, December 15.


Teen read WeekGet Away @ Your Library during Teen Read Week ™

October 18 October 24, 2015
All branches

Hartford Public Library will celebrate Teen Read Week with special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens around the city to read for the fun of it. Thousands of libraries, schools and bookstores across the country will hold similar events centered on this year’s theme, Get Away @ your library.

Teens are encouraged to escape from the day-to-day grind of school, homework, family responsibilities, part-time jobs, and so on by picking up something to read. Take advantage of reading in all its forms —books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more!

For more information about events and programs, stop by your local branch today!

Download a Teen Read Week bingo card to get started: Bingo Card #1 and Bingo Card #2

Check out this video of acclaimed author Nikki Grimes talking about Teen Read Week and her experience using the public library: https://youtu.be/9u6uxzkhGmc


Poets on PoetryPoets on Poetry Series

Last Saturday of every month, 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM.
Downtown Library, Hartford History Center, 3rd Floor

October 31 – “The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson,” (ed. Thomas Johnson) moderated by David Epstein.

November 28 – The Poetry of Richard Wilbur, moderated by Maria Sassi.

For further information, visit www.ctpoetry.net.


Hartford on Mind“Hartford on My Mind: Words and Images from 550 Main Street” Exhibit

September 19 – November 30
Downtown Library, 3rd floor

The City of Hartford’s iconic Municipal Building turns 100 years old on November 4, and serves as the inspiration for a special exhibit from participants of Hartford Public Library’s Arts & Archives spring workshop, geared toward adults who wish to explore and develop their creative abilities.

Guided by master artists, poet Kate Rushin and photographer Karen O’Maxfield, participants in the “Hartford on My Mind: Words and Images from 550 Main Street” classes were challenged to create original compositions using poetry and photography as their tools.


Baseball Player“Famous Hispanics on United States Postage Stamps” Exhibit

October 2 November 30, 2015
Downtown Library, 2nd floor

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, this colorful exhibit features over 30 illustrated United States Postage Stamps that honor Roberto Clemente, Desi Arnaz, Julia De Burgos, Richie Valens, Cesar Chavez and milestones in Hispanic culture and history. Special thanks to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.


Venture ExhibitMaking Freedom–The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice

October 24, 11:30 AM—1:00 PM
Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, 3rd floor, 500 Main Street

Hartford History Center, in partnership with the Documenting Venture Smith Project, is proud to present Making Freedom—The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice, an exhibit that tells the story of a unique American, originally an African prince who was enslaved in the 18th century by New England traders, labored in bondage for 25 years, purchased his own freedom, wrote a narrative of his life and became a respected businessman in Connecticut.

Chandler Saint, co-director of the Documenting Venture Smith Project and co-author of Venture Smith—Making Freedom will deliver remarks, as well as Dr. Robert P. Forbes of Yale University, author of The Missouri Compromise and Its Aftermath: Slavery and the Meaning of America.

Join us for an opening reception in the Hartford History Center for our latest exhibit! New date!

(Please note: Exhibit date and reception postponed from original date by request of the exhibitor).

Exhibit on view from October 24, 2015—January 15, 2016



Free Online ClassesAccess More Than 500 Online Classes – Free!

Your HPL library card can unlock a world of learning, wherever you are, for free! Universal Class offers more than 500 online classes in a variety of subjects, from accounting to photography, financial management to psychology, algebra to computer programming, and more. Learn at your own pace, on your schedule. Click here and enter your library card barcode to begin! 



Build NonProfitSo, You’ve Decided To Build a Nonprofit. Now What?

Presenter: Martey Rhine, Management Solutions & Resources
Thursday, October 29, 9:00 am to noon

This workshop will cover the basics of building a board, budgeting, operational planning, marketing, and fundraising all the building blocks your nonprofit organization needs. It will also provide you with the tools, templates, and references for taking the action steps to effectively structure your nonprofit organization and enhance your ability to achieve the mission.



ESL ClassesESL Classes

Downtown Library: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Dwight Branch: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Park Branch: Mondays, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Free English language classes for speakers of other languages are offered twice a year for beginning levels only. Open to students ages 17 and older. Click here for more information.

Presented in partnership with the Hartford Adult Education Center. 



Music ProductionMusic Production

Tuesdays through Thursdays, 4-6 PM;
Saturdays,12-3 PM PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Use YOUmedia’s music studio to produce your own songs.


Crafts MakerArts & Crafts Maker Mayhem!

Tuesdays, 3-5 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Crafters, makers, creators, tinkerers! Explore YOUmedia’s fully stocked makerspace to craft projects of your own!


3D Sculpting3D Sculpting

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3-6 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Gamers and illustrators: Create your own 3D characters that can be used in video games and more.


Lets Draw MangaLet's Draw a Manga

Tuesdays, 3-6 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Otaku of Hartford: Use the computer to create your own manga during our weekly workshop.


TalentShowTalent Showcase

Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Show off your talent to your peers and friends!
For a complete schedule of our weekly classes, workshops and open labs, visit www.youmedia.hplct.org!


Voodoo Art StudioVoodoo Art Studio

October 31, 1-3 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library, 2nd Floor

Join artist Pierre Sylvain to create some spooky Halloween art!


Wake Up YogaWake Up Yoga

November 17 & 21
11:30-12:30 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library 2nd Floor

Join us on the third Saturday of every month for a quick and refreshing yoga flow to get your weekend started right. Come ready to breathe and open up. Flexibility NOT required!
Bring your own mat or borrow one of ours (supplies limited).


Writers CircleWriters’ Circle

October 24, 12:30-3:30 PM
YOUmedia, Downtown Library 2nd Floor

Need some motivation to write your story? Or just need some help with an essay? Join the Teen Writers’ Circle!


Apply for PassportApply for your Passport at HPL!

Monday – Thursday, 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
American Place, Downtown Library, 1st Floor

Did you know? You can apply for your passport right here at the Library! A staff member is available to assist with the application, requirements, photo, and submission.
Click here for more information.

   Our Blogs


Letters to LovecraftLetters to Lovecraft

(Author: Jesse Bullington)

Each week, Hartford Courant columnist Carole Goldberg reviews books in our collection. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,’” wrote Lovecraft in his famous essay, “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” which though written almost 100 years ago, remains a brilliant analysis. (You can also make the case that it holds true for current politics worldwide, but that is another story.) This anthology contains works inspired by quotes from the essay, written by 18 contemporary writers of what is now called weird fiction. Interest in this genre has never flagged, and Cthulhu and the monstrous ancient alien gods conjured up by the Providence, R.I., author still bring a chill even to the most blasé readers. Read more!




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For further information, please contact Matt Poland, CEO, at 860.695.6303 or by email at mpoland@hplct.org


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