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Beecher Stowe Offers Free Admission for Dads

HARTFORD — In an effort to honor Father’s Day, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will offer free tours for fathers on June 17.

The tour will be from noon to 5 p.m. at the Center at 77 Forest Street in Hartford.

The tour will preview the famous author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which will inspire the family with a lesson about how one person can change the world.

Reservations are suggested for the 1:30 p.m. Family Tour, a hands-on , minds-on tour of Stowe’s home where storytelling, photographs and historic letters connect the past to the present for kids 5-12 with an adult.

Email or call 860-522-9258 x317. Or visit for more information.

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Hartford Jazz Society to Hold Contest

HARTFORD — The Hartford Jazz Society will present its second Emerging Jazz Artists Showcase this summer in Hartford.

The winner will receive a cash prize and an opportunity to perform at the Hartford Jazz Society 57th Annual Jazz Cruise. Applications must be submitted by June 16.

The Hartford Jazz Society will accept submissions from musicians who have never been signed to a recording contract and who have not released any widely distributed recordings as a leader. Applicants must be 18 to qualify. The Hartford Jazz Society reserves the right to not accept any submissions that it determines do not to meet minimum standards for the competition.

During June and July, the Hartford Jazz Society will feature up to four videos on its website and invite the jazz audience to vote on its favorite solo artist each week. Four finalists will be selected and invited to perform one song as a soloist during the intermission at the 2018 Paul Brown Monday Night Jazz series July 9 through Aug. 13.

For more information on how to apply, go to the website

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Hartford to Host Drill and Drum Team Competition

HARTFORD — Get ready for the rumble and tumble.

Hartford’s Proud Drill, Drum and Dance Team will host its fourth annual Stomp The Violence East Coast Explosion Drill and Drum Team competition on May 26 at Dunkin Donuts Stadium.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. at the Stadium 1214 Main Street in Hartford and is expected to host team from New York, Philadelphia, Delaware and others from the northeast.

The reigning champions, including Brooklyn Unite, are expected to return this Saturday.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To order tickets, go to Or call Terry Starks at 860-913-8282.

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GMChorale to Host Festive Gala for Music Lovers

MIDDLETOWN — The members of the GMChorale invite friends and music lovers to join them for a festive gala event in Middletown.

With 80 singers from 34 Connecticut towns, the GMChorale is known for its compelling performances of choral masterworks and the commissioning of new music from emerging and established composers.

The event will befrom 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 10 at the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill, 421 Wadsworth St. in Middletown.

The GMChorale just completed its 41st season with an electrifying performance of Jepthe, a ground-breaking but seldom-performed oratorio by the early Baroque composer Giacomo Carissimi.

At the June 10 gala, the GMChorale will celebrate the season just ended, announce programs for the upcoming season, and thank and honor Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, who has led the artistic programs for twenty years.

Attendees will enjoy music and conversation at the Wadsworth Mansion, a beautifully restored grand property nestled into the gently rolling hills of Middletown. During the event, guests may partake of fine food, an open bar for beer, wine and soft drinks, and a cash bar for mixed drinks.

A variety of tempting gifts and experiences will be on auction, including a week at a Maine vacation spot; a special weekend in Stockbridge, Mass., including tickets to Tanglewood; framed artwork from Ursel’s Web; tickets to Long Wharf Theater, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Talcott Mountain Music Festival, the Yard Goats, and an array of museums and cultural centers; and an abundance of gift baskets.

Tickets for the GMChorale’s Summer Gala are just $75 each; reservations are required by May 26, 2018. Order online or write to

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Pulitzer Prize Board Will Review Junot Díaz Sexual-Misconduct Claims

By Anne Branigin, The Root

Author Junot Díaz is stepping down from his role as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board following allegations of sexual misconduct. The board says that it will investigate allegations of harassment against Díaz, who remains on the board.

As The Guardian reports, the 49-year-old writer, himself a Pulitzer Prize winner, was elected Pulitzer Prize board chairman in April, the same month the New Yorker published an essay in which Díaz revealed that he was raped as a child.

In that essay, Díaz also disclosed—to varying degrees—the harm he caused women as a result of his rape, which happened at the hands of a “grownup [he] truly trusted.”

Last week, on a Sidney Writers’ Festival panel, writer Zinzi Clemmons publicly confronted the revered Dominican-American writer over the harm he caused her when he forcibly kissed her six years ago while she was a graduate student at Columbia University.

Clemmons, who was 26 at the time, had invited Díaz to speak at a campus workshop on representation in literature when, she says, he cornered her and kissed her without her consent. After the May 4 panel, Clemmons repeated the allegations on Twitter, where they were quickly shared and discussed.

“I’m far from the only one he’s done this to, I refuse to be silent anymore,” Clemmons wrote. Sure enough, more women spoke up with stories about Díaz, saying that the writer had made misogynistic comments and acted aggressively or inappropriately toward them.

In a statement made to the New York Times, Díaz said that he “took responsibility for [his] past,” adding that it was the reason he “made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath.”

“This conversation is important and must continue,” read the statement. “I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries.”

The Pulitzer’s board said that Díaz welcomes the review and will cooperate fully with its investigation, according to The Guardian.

MIT, where Díaz works as a professor, says it’s also looking into the recent allegations.

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ActUp Theater Company to Present Hip Hop Remix, The Wiz

HARTFORD — The ActUp Theater Company will present The Wiz, a remixed hip-hop, reggae, jazz version of the legendary movie, The Wizard of Oz.

The event will be at Annie Fisher Magnet School, 280 Plainfield St. in Hartford on June 7 at 7 p.m., June 8 at 7 p.m. and June 9 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are from $15 to $25 and can be ordered online at the wizofoz@Eventbrite.ct

The Wiz was first presented on Broadway in 1974 and later made into a movie in 1978. It starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Act Up will showcase a multicultural cast or more than 50 inner city youth and community members.

The show includes famous songs such as “Ease on Down the Road”, “Be a Lion” and “Don’t Go Bring Me No Bad News”.  Choreography is by JusMove Studio.

For more information about ActUp Theater Inc, visit, or call Preistley Johnson at 860-918-8405, or email

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Festival of Gospel and Folk Music Comes to Woolsey

NEW HAVEN — The GMChorale and Alchemy will perform in “Singing Together for Peace,” an inter-generational festival of gospel and folk music on May 12.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall in New Haven.

“Singing Together for Peace” is presented by the Saecula Choir Foundation (SCF) in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Elm City & United Girls’ Choirs. The event is a fundraiser for the SCF’s Sisters in Song Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for girls and young women who would otherwise be unable to afford high-quality musical training. In addition to the public concert, the singers will participate in a masterclass on gospel and folk music led by renowned singer-songwriter Michael Brown.

With 80 singers from 34 Connecticut towns, the GMChorale is known for its compelling performances of choral masterworks and the commissioning of new music from emerging and established composers.

“The ‘Singing Together for Peace’ festival is an excellent opportunity for the singers of the GMChorale to share their extensive choral experience with younger singers from other ensembles. And in turn, they will learn from others who also bring a wealth of experience, and they will be enriched by singing alongside fellow musicians from other communities and other music traditions,” said the GMChorale’s Artistic Director, Joseph D’Eugenio.

The Festival concert on May 12 is open to the public; tickets are available on a “pay what you can” basis. For more information on the Festival, visit


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Hooker Day Parade and Festival to End in Bushnell Park

HARTFORD — The Hooker Day Festival will culminate on May 12 in the Bushnell Park.

The parade, founded in 1991 by former mayor Mike Peters, will have a new format. It will include a weeklong festival that ends with a parade in the Bushnell Park on Saturday.

The one-day event was expanded to five events from May 5 to May 12 and includes an art exhibit, literary reading, food market, a parade and park festival.

Notable participants include award-winning dancer Arien Wilkerson, hip-hop group Uzoo and Hartford Proud Drill, Drum and Dance Team. Hartford recording artist Tang Sauce will be the master of ceremonies.

After the parade on Saturday, there will be performances on Trinity Street.

The event is free and open to the public.

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CONCORA’s Summer Festival Seeks Choral Singers

HARTFORD — Experienced choral singers are invited to apply to participate in CONCORA’s Summer Festival, “Wonderful Town! A Bernstein Centenary.”

The festival runs from July 29 through Aug. 4; all events take place at Bethany Covenant Church, 785 Mill St. in Berlin. The deadline to apply is May 20.

Up to 150 singers will be accepted for the 2018 Festival Choir. The 2018 Summer Festival will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Leonard Bernstein.

Now in its 20th season, CONCORA’s Summer Festival offers amateur singers an opportunity to rehearse, learn, and perform with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest and best-known professional choir, and Artistic Director Chris Shepard.

The Festival offers a week of exceptional music-making, uplifting repertoire, and high artistic standards in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for socializing, renewing friendships, and making new friends. In evening and weekend sessions, participants rehearse with Artistic Director Chris Shepard and an ensemble of CONCORA’s professional singers, enjoying informal social events along the way. The Festival culminates in a public concert on Aug. 4 at 4:00 p.m.

As 2018 marks the 20th edition of the Summer Festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, Shepard has chosen a celebratory all-Bernstein program.

“Choral organizations all over the world are marking the Bernstein centenary with performances of the composer’s popular Chichester Psalms,” said Shepard. “Because the Summer Festival Choir performed that music fairly recently, we are taking advantage of the centenary to explore and perform some of Bernstein’s other wonderful choral music, with choral selections from West Side Story, Mass, Peter Pan, Candide, and Wonderful Town. It’s going to be great fun for the singers and a treat for our audience.”

Qualified high school and college-age students may apply to attend the Festival on full scholarship as choral scholars.

Information about the Festival, including details on schedule, registration, application and scholarship forms, and more, may be found at the “Summer Festival” page at CONCORA’s website:

Tickets for the Aug. 4 summer festival concert will go on sale in June at

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East Hartford Public Library to Host Poetry Reading

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Public Library will host poet John L. Stanizzi on April 17.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is free at the Library at 840 Main St.

Stanizzi is the author of six collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, and High Tide – Ebb Tide. Besides the CRR, his poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Cortland Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and many others. He’s been translated into Italian and appeared in El Ghibli, the Journal of Italian Translations Bonafinni, Poetarium Silva, and L’Ombra delle Parole. His new collection, Chants, will be out in 2018 with Cervena Barva Press.

Stanizzi has read at venues all over New England, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and Mystic Arts Café, and he is a teaching artist with Poetry Out Loud, as well as the coordinator of Hill-Stead Museum’s Fresh Voice Poetry Competition

A former New England Poet of the Year, Stanizzi grew up on Collimore Road in East Hartford. After graduating from St. Mary’s School he went on to East Hartford High School, where he first began to work seriously on his poems, with the help of his English teacher and dear friend, Teresa Vincenzo. John also worked in his father’s upholstery business, “Office Seating Service,” on John Street in East Hartford before heading off to Wesleyan University. These days, he teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

Stanizzi’s reading is co-sponsored by the East Hartford Public Library and the East Hartford Commission on Culture and Fine Arts. For more information and to register, visit or call the library at 860-290-4332.

Posted in A & E, East Hartford, NeighborhoodComments (0)

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