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Asylum Hill Church to Host Immigrant Advocate


HARTFORD — Champions of immigrant and refugee’s rights will gather at Asylum Hill Congregation Church this June to hear a keynote address from Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.

Manning will deliver the keynote at a forum focusing on the problems and triumphs of immigrant and refugee students. Manning has spent the year advocating for refugee and immigrant teens.

The event will be held on June 9 at 11:45 a.m. in the church 814 Asylum Ave.

Contributed Photo:
Mandy Manning

The Council of Chief State School Officers praised Manning for her exceptional work in helping children to “overcome their fears and seek out new experiences.”

In her classroom, Manning emphasizes connections between her students and the community helping them to process trauma, celebrate their home countries and culture, and learn about their new community. When she was interviewed on CBS This Morning last year, Manning said she loves teenagers because “there’s so much possibility all the time.”

Two leaders in working with immigrants and refugees in Connecticut will respond to Mandy’s  remarks: Chris George, executive director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, a New Haven nonprofit that helps to resettle refugees throughout the state; and Homa Naficy, executive director of The American Place at the Hartford Public Library, which provides a range of services, including ESL classes and citizenship preparation, to immigrants and refugees.

George, like Manning, began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer. Manning served in Armenia and George in Oman. Naficy, on the other hand, was born in Paris to Iranian parents and was named Connecticut Immigrant of the Year in 2001.

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Mothers United to Hold Forum on Families and Trauma


HARTFORD — Mothers United Against Violence will hold a forum on May 23 about families living with trauma.

The free event will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Parker Memorial Community Center at 2621 Main St.

Families will get the opportunity to share their experiences coping with trauma and how they have been able to remain hopeful for a better future for their families and their community, organizers said.

The event will feature performances by Lance James and Youth Impact. Catering will be provided by Refined Twist.

Mothers United is a community organization in Greater Hartford that seeks to provide spiritual support, closure and social justice for victims and families impacted by violence.

The group is a part the Community Safety Coalition, which comprises of several local nonprofit agencies responding to the rising incidents of crime in Hartford. These organizations are working together to address the increased violence in the city.

Organizers said the goal is to create healthy communities through the reduction of urban violence and trauma in Hartford.

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East Hartford Summer Camp Invites Applications


EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for six different summer camps.

The summer camps are open to children and teens from three-years-old to 15-years-old. The camp will be held at different sites throughout the town  and will begin the week of June 24 and run for seven weeks, except for Camp Munchkin, which is for three and four year olds.

All summer campers will participate in a variety of activities including theme weeks, arts and crafts, sports, nature activities and more. Some campers will visit pools, where they will receive free swimming instructions. There will also be off-site field trips at places such as Jump Off, CT Science Center, Dinosaur State Park, bowling, batting cages and movies.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all campers through the Summer Meals program.

Camp brochures are available at the Parks and Recreation office at 50 Chapman Place or online.

Registration is available on a weekly basis for all camps. Pre-registration is required for all camps at the Parks and Recreation office.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 860-291-7160 or visit www.easthartfordct.gov.

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Hartford Agency Receives $2 Million for Reentry Programs


HARTFORD — The Community Partners in Action recently received a $2 million grant to help reintegrated ex-felons into the Greater Hartford community.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the five-year grant to the agency to offer reentry services for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Congressman John Larson applauded the award, saying that too many formerly incarcerated citizens are struggling to find the resources necessary to put them on a path to success.

“These programs are critical to helping citizens recently released from prison access basic needs, along with employment and treatment services that will help them live independently and contribute to our society,” Larson said.

This is the first SAMHSA grant for Community Partners in Action, said Beth Hines, the organization’s executive director.  The agency is a statewide organization that promotes recovery and restoration for those who have been incarcerated.

She said the award will expand the agency’s Resettlement program, which lost 80 percent of its funding in 2016 when the state eliminated its non-residential programs.

The Resettlement program, Hines said, will now be able to serve an additional 275 people returning home from prison. The program will provide pre- and post-release case management services.

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Real Art Ways Debuts Documentary on First Filmmaker


HARTFORD — When Alice Guy-Blaché completed her first film in 1896 Paris, she became the first female filmmaker. But she was erased from the history books.

Until now.

A new film directed by Pamela B. Green and narrated by Jodi Foster tells the untold story of Guy-Blaché . It’s called, Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché . It follows her rise from a Gaumont secretary to her appointment as head of production a year later, and her subsequent illustrious 20-year career in France and the United States. It also details her founding of her own studio and as a writer.

The documentary is 103 minutes long and is considered to be a “vital effort to right past wrongs and fix the messes made by men.” Be natural will open at Real Art Ways on May 24 and will run until May 30. Check her for show times here.

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Know Good Market Returns for Fourth Season in Parkville


HARTFORD — Hartford residents will have a chance to sample a variety of cuisines on Thursday at this year’s Know Good out-door market in Parkville.

The Know Good Market will be held on May 9 at 30 Bartholomew Ave. — between 1429 Park St. and the Tradehouse on Bartholomew Ave — in Hartford from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The market, now in its fourth season, is on the second Thursday of every month from May through November with a holiday bazaar on Dec. 7. The Company — Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner — sponsors the family-friendly event.

Photo: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This year’s market will feature returning favorites like Samba Cuisine, Mercado, Craftbird, Taco Tequila and a rotating cast of greater Hartford’s best street food vendors. Hog River Brewing Co. will be open next door as well as local artisan and craft vendors purveyors.  A host of local DJ’s will be back on the loading docks stage as well.

Organizers said the market is designed to create space for a shared cultural experience in Hartford and offer an experience of raw community celebration.

The “community focused environment”, they said,  welcomes about one thousand patrons every month and seeks to engage the community’s heart and stomach.

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Study: Hartford Ranks High Among Millennials As Best Place to Live


HARTFORD — Millennials like Hartford.

That’s according to a new study by real estate search portal Homes.com, which ranked the top 50 US metropolitan areas to live for Millennials (ages 20 to 34), Generation X (35-54), and Baby Boomers (55 to 74).

Hartford was ranked as the eight best city to live in after Orlando, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C., respectively. Hartford beat St. Louis, providence and Seattle, according to the study.

The ranking came after averaging scores on Millennial share of the local population, entry-level jobs available per 100,000 people among other factors.

Hartford’s top 10 Millennial ranking was driven by the fact that there were more than 5,500 entry-level jobs available per 100,000 residents.

For Generation Xers, the city ranked 21. And it was based on factors such as school quality, generation population share and management jobs per 100,000.

For Babyboomers, the city ranked 18. The rank came after factoring share of local population, healthcare availability and retiree tax-friendliness.

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Agency to Host Session on Business Access to Capital


HARTFORD — This summer, small business owners will have access to training that will help them grow.

Thanks to a partnership with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Boston-based organization, Inner City Capital Connections.

ICCC will host an information session on Wednesday, April 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Trinity College. The goal of the event is to inform and encourage business owners in Hartford to take advantage of the free program.

The ICCC will bring its 40-hour executive leadership program to Hartford for the first time this summer.

The program aims to help position small and medium sized businesses in economically distressed areas for long-term growth through capacity-building education, one on one coaching and access to capital.

The program will kick off with an all-day training seminar on May 29, followed by a series of online webinars where participants learn strategy, entrepreneurial finance, marketing, and capital options.

The program also offers one-on-one coaching with local and virtual mentors ranging from small business bankers to top consulting firms. The program culminates with a national conference in Boston this November where participants will connect with different capital providers.

Organizers said the program was designed for urban entrepreneurs. Businesses must have been in operation for at least two years to participate.

For those interested in attending the information session, register here.

Those who want to apply should apply here.

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Choral Group Offers Opportunities for High School Singers


HARTFORD — The New England-based choral group Voce will conduct a day-long program of intensive workshops, coaching and performance opportunities for high school singers prior to its final concert of the season.

The final concert will be on May 11, 7:30 p.m. at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church, 285 Church St. in Hartford.

About 150 students are expected to participate in the program, which is sponsored by the Nicholas B. Mason Charitable Trust.

Organizers said this program will help students understand what it’s like to sing as a professional.

 “The program is designed to give students the opportunity to work directly with Voce Artistic Director Mark Singleton and Voce’s professional singers,” said Andrew Brochu, a choral teacher at Avon High School who sings with Voce as a tenor and serves as its Education Coordinator.

“Participating students, their choral teachers and Voce members will have a chance to hear and perform together. It is essentially a day of learning through collaboration. We hope that this festival shows students that they, their teachers and professional singers are all life-long learners.” 

The initiative, called the Voce Music Educators Festival, takes advantage of Voce’s large roster of music teachers who worked together to design the workshop. 

Voce’s concert on May 11, entitled “With OneVoice,” will close with individual performances by the student choirs and a finale featuring all of the students singing with Voce. 

Voce will perform works by Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Paul Mealor and Ēriks Ešenvalds.  The concert will also premiere a setting of “Loch Lomond” commissioned by Voce from composer Michael Merrill. 

  Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.voceinc.org.

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Hartford Public Library Offers Security Officer Training Program


HARTFORD — Do you want another way to make money?

If so, the Hartford Public Library will be offering training for those who want to make money as a security guard.

The library will offer its popular eight-hour security officer training program on a monthly basis. The next training is on April 17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 500 Main Street.

This is a required training to become a Certified Security Officer. The successful completion of this program will qualify candidates to apply for a Security Officer Identification Card.

The average pay for a Security Officer is $36,174 per year.

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