Sunday, September 30, 2012

'Dark Shadows' at the Stratford Library Oct. 12

The Stratford Library's "Friday Night Movies" series will screen the 2012 comedy, "Dark Shadows" at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12. 
The series presents recent, popular films on monthly Friday evenings, September through June.  The film showing is free and open to the public, according to a statement.
"Tim Burton's take on the cult Gothic soap follows a centuries-old vampire," Johnny Depp, "as he returns to his now-crumbling estate to meet his modern-day descendants. But what he finds is a house full of secrets and shadows.  The campy comedy also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Johnny Lee Miller and Helena Bonham Carter, the statement said" 
Movies in the series are shown uncut on widescreen in the Stratford Library Lovell Room"Dark Shadows" is rated PG-13 and runs 113 minutes.  Complimentary snacks are served.   Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, call the library at 203.385.4162 or visit

In the photo:  Johnny Depp camps it up as a long-dead vampire with Eva Green as his nemesis in the Tim Burton comedy, "Dark Shadows."                                             

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.


Friday, September 28, 2012

New Haven celebrates creativity--and you can too--at Create On9 on Oct. 5

NEW HAVEN — Create On9 celebrates New Haven’s rich arts scene with a creative crawl through the historic Ninth Square on Friday, Oct. 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On9, the first Friday open house, collaborates with Artspace and L.A.M.P. for an evening of innovative art, music and experiences.

The evening sounds off at Piazza On9 (created by closing Orange Street to vehicular traffic between Crown and Center Street) with Club Culture 360. The company will create and film a dance-party-like television show with a live audience, a DJ spinning Top 40 hits, dancers, and Aspen Powers hosting the event from 6 to 7 p.m. The production will be set up near the corner of Orange and Center streets.

Adae Fine Art will conduct free drawing and painting lessons from 5 to 7 p.m. on the piazza for anyone who wishes to create. Nine easels, drawing boards and art supply tables will be set up near Crown Street where participants will be challenged to render the storefronts on Orange Street. Instructor Kwadwo Adae will provide teaching assistance, but all are welcome to create whatever they wish. In the event of rain, participants are invited to the Adae Fine Art Academy at 817 Chapel St.

Also on the piazza, Plural Work/Shop, a Project Storefront initiative, has pouches available and provides stamps for kids and adults to print their own patterns on the pouches. The pouches are on sale for $20.

Elm City Market, 777 Chapel St., will host artist Daniela Balzano for a “Paint Away Hunger” event aimed at young families and children. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., a 30-foot community mural will be available for paint, pastels, craypaws, crayons and various mixed media creations. The event is free and all donations benefit FISH of Greater New Haven, a mobile food pantry serving children, elderly, and families with special needs.

Reynolds Fine Art, which celebrates its first anniversary at 96 Orange St., will present a two-person exhibition featuring the gallery debut of California native Mary Black, alongside new work by Robert Reynolds from 5 to 8 p.m. Painting exclusively in encaustic paint for over a decade, Black has mastered an often unruly medium and is available to speak about her encaustic process. Reynolds, the gallery owner and namesake, exhibits a new series of work derived from a collection of sketches made over the past 20 years.

Artspace, 50 Orange St., celebrates the 15th anniversary of City Wide Open Studios with an opening night party and crystal ball. Meet all the 250-plus artists and pick up the limited edition CWOS passport made by Dexterity Press while supplies last.

On display at The Lot, 812 Chapel St., is the new installation Playhouse/Beyond What Was. The Lot, a project of Artspace, is the 8,000-square-foot pocket park located between Chapel and Orange streets.

Art @ The Grove, 71 Orange St., will host an opening reception for David Ottenstein’s exhibit Almost Nowhere, which is also a City-Wide Open Studios event.

Yoga enthusiasts can get creative on the mat at Fresh Yoga, 49 Orange St., from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. This free yoga class with Heidi Sormaz begins with a brief warmup of the core and shoulders before working towards a pose to pose flow. About every five minutes during the class, a suggestion will be given and you will have the opportunity to create your own yoga pose and sequence! Find your own creative, organic flow as the room heats to 85 degrees. Capacity is limited to 40 students so be sure to arrive 10 minutes early!

Arpaia Lang, 806 Chapel St., will serve homemade cookies and, while supplies last, shoppers receive a free charm personalized with one initial.

green well Organic Tea & Coffee, 44 Crown St., presents “Essential Elements,” featuring natural stone jewelry creative designer Carolyn Foster, whose pieces are on display and for sale. Come adorn yourself with beautiful jewels while sipping a delicious latte and enjoying the creative stylings of musician Kyle Flynn. Companion business green well BEING, 38 Crown St., provides the opportunity to create a full day’s menu of delicious meals with mix and match healthy recipe cards created by Holistic Health Counselor Sarah Greenwell.

FITWEEK New Haven celebrates its weeklong event and the 10K Step Challenge sponsored by Fitbit offering a circular walking tour to take some steps around Ninth Square. Walkers meet at Elm City at 6 p.m.

The second annual L.A.M.P. (Light Artists Making Places) event projects throughout the Ninth Square of New Haven at 8 p.m., following Create On9 and Artspace’s opening celebration.
Come down to the Ninth Square and experience artists in action making a fun, bright night for people of all ages!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Haven Votes presents forum on civic engagement in Connecticut

A press release from New Haven Votes Coalition:

Two Connecticuts

The state of Civic Health and Engagement in Connecticut is very different, depending on town, race and income level.
October 4th, 2012 at 6 PM
The People’s Center 37 Howe St, New Haven

Join us for a forum on civic engagement levels in Connecticut. High levels of civic engagement are associated with better quality of life in communi- ties. How can we work toward equalizing civic engagement in Connecticut?
Our panel will discuss what causes the varying levels of civic engagement in our state and how to increase civic participation in disenfranchised communities.
Light refreshments will be served.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Mayor John DeStefano 
*Panel of Speakers Amos Smith, CAANH
Orlando Rodriguez, CT Voices for Children
Mongi Dhaouadi, CAIR
Lee Cruz, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Angel Fernandez Chavero, CONNECT
*Moderated by Veronica Douglas

Special thanks to the People’s Center of New Haven for providing the venue

For more information:           (860) 549-1220 or

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Haven Arts Council presents: Eye on Nature

NEW HAVEN - The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presents "Eye on Nature: Five Natural Science Illustrators," an exhibition in the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery at 70 Audubon St., 2nd floor, according to a statement

The exhibition will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F, from Oct. 12 to Dec, 7, the statement said,

 A public reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 8.


"Eye on Nature is an exhibition of botanical studies, drawings, and paintings of amphibians, mammals, birds, and insects in their habitats in graphite, colored pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, and oils," the statement said. "These works were specifically chosen by the members of the Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators (CTNSI) to accurately depict specific species, rendered in the traditional media and techniques of natural science illustration."

The artists exhibiting work will be: Cindy Gilbane, Susannah Graedel, Linda Miller, Dorie Petrochko, and Jan Prentice, the statement said.

"CTNSI is a group of professional artists offering an educational art program in natural science illustration, in collaboration with the Yale Peabody Museum at its west campus in Orange," the statement said.


For more information visit:

For more information about Eye on Nature, the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery, and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, visit


Pets: Animal Awareness Day Pet Party to be held in Branford

BRANFORD — An Animal Awareness Day Pet Party “Do You Look Like Your Pet?” will be held from 12 to 5 p.m., Oct. 7 on the Town Green.
The Branford Cosgrove Animal Shelter is seeking the area’s best Pet/Owner Look Alikes.
Submit a digital photo to with your name, your pet’s name, phone number and email address by Sept. 30.
Call the Branford Animal Shelter for more details at 203-315-4125, ext. 198 or email

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Haven's St. Michael's told hold special Mass and ceremony to honor 'protectors'

NEW HAVEN - There will be a special ceremonial Mass and musical program to celebrate the 123rd Anniversary of the Church of St. Michael, and its parishioners, past and present, at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30.

St.Michael's Roman Catholic Church is 123 years old and was the first Italian church in Connecticut, the statement said.
The church "is  filled with many beautiful religious works of art.  Many of these beautiful statues were brought over from Italy and dedicated to the Church more than 100 years ago by the ancestors of the parishioners who pray to them today," the statement said.
"The Church of St. Michael is a strong community of over 500 families and it is the host for Italian religious societies of St. Ann Society, St. Andrew the Apostle Society, St. Andrew’s Ladies Society; St. Maria Maddalena Society,  San Trofimena Society,  San Catello  Society and the Santa Maria Della Vergini Society," the statement said.
"In honor of St. Michael, who is the patron saint of all warriors and protectors, the Church of St. Michael will be paying special thank you and recognition to these two distinguished individuals for their bravery and commitment to protecting the community," the statement said.
Honorees this year will be New Haven police Sgt. Rose Turney and retired New Haven Firefighter Andrew Bonito, the statement said. A dinner will be held at Anthony ‘s Oceanview in New Haven. 

Cocktail hour will begin at noon and  dinner at 1 p.m. including open bar. Tickets are $50 per person.  The event is open to the public.   Reservation are required.

          To purchase tickets for the dinner contact the chairmen Ron Abbott 203-468-0778 and Guiliana Gioiosa 203-772-4729.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Connecticut DVM starts 2013 DMV teen safe driving video contes

WETHERSFIELD – The state Department of Motor Vehicles has launched its 2013 DMV teen safe driving video contest and wants to know: Are You In?
That question, in fact, is crux of the contest’s theme, which was designed by students, including some from Greater New Haven, according to statement from the DMV.
The DMV and corporate prize sponsor Travelers Companies launched the contest Wednesday, the statement said sent by DMV spokesman Bill Seymour said.
Students working on the project are Juhi Gupta, a Rocky Hill senior from Mercy High School in Middletown; Michael Brainerd of East Haven; Luke Edwards of Madison; Daniyal N. Khan of Berlin; and Patrick Kudej of Norwich. The students also are members of DMV’s Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Teen Safe Driving, the statement said.
“Keeping Connecticut’s roads safe is everyone’s responsibility,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said, also in the statement. “Teaching our youngest drivers how to be safe behind the wheel saves lives. Stronger laws and innovative programs are one part of the solution, but raising awareness among teen drivers and their parents is the key to road safety. I applaud these young people for their commitment to get the word out to their peers.”
The statement also noted that a recent “parent survey as well as analysis of DMV teen driving laws show that the laws are helping to reduce teen crashes, injuries and deaths, but that public outreach like the contest is needed to help all parents and teens better understand the laws.”
The contest awards $15,000 in cash prizes to the high schools of winning students, the statement said.
“The five students volunteered to help make the contest, which has run annually since 2009, more appealing to teens across the state. They said a simple-to-understand theme that engages influential people, such as parents, friends or other teens, is at the heart of a convincing safety message,” the statement said. “The 25-second videos also must illustrate two or more of the state’s teen driving laws, too.”
The submission deadline is Jan. 23. The contest is open to all high-school age students. Information and rules can be found at
The teens plan to help increase the number of entries and participants from the 105 submissions in 2012,  to reach out to student councils, parent-teacher organizations and school officials through e-mails and to use social media to help promote the contest to other teens, the statement said.

. They have setup: 
•    Twitter:
•    YouTube:
•    Facebook:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Community Book Festival on Saturday celebrates reading in New Haven

A celebration of books and reading will take place at Wexler-Grant School on Saturday when Soul Passages: A Book Club will hold its Community Book Festival.

The event will include several authors doing readings, as well as book discussions. There also will be panel discussions about book clubs, self-publishing and political literacy; events and activities for children; and an open mic for new writers and poets.

Wexler Grant, 55 Foote St., is a change from the original location of the festival, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The book festival co-chairwomen are Gloria F. Perry and Saundra Stepherson

A partial schedule is as follows:

Main Stage

9 a.m.: Opening ceremony, African drum call, Ronald Edens

9:15: Community book discussion, “32 Candles” by Ernessa T. Carter. Moderator: Evelyn Knight

10:30: “Verse and Flow.” Moderator: Kate Rushin, poet, writer, teacher. Panelist: Shireal, MindEvolution. Darell Fitzgerald, Connecticut Youth Team members Maggie Kearney and Evan Knoll, Richard Michelson

11:30: Rita Williams-Garcia, award winning author of “One Crazy Summer” reads and answers questions about her books. Introduction: Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise

12:30: Solomon Jones talks about writing the Coletti trilogy: “The Last Confession,” “The Gravedigger’s Ball” and “The Dead Man’s Wife,” in addition to his other novels, and “Daddy’s Home: A Memoir of Fatherhood and Laughter.” Moderator: Barbara Davis

1:45: Closing ceremony on Main Stage

Conversations with Authors (Library)

9:30 a.m.: Richard Michelson, award-winning poet and writer, reads from his book “Twice As Good,” illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Moderator: Marie Baskerville (free copy of book given to first 10 children)

10:30: Exploring family values from an African-American male perspective with David Asbery, author of “My Wife, My Kids, My God.” Moderator: Penny Smith

11:30: Ex-con Randy Kearse talks about his book “Changing Your Game Plan: How to use Incarceration as a Stepping Stone for Success.” Moderator: Sandra Christie
Workshops on Writing and Money Management (Classroom1)

10:00: Richard Hammond shares wisdom and answers questions about his book “Practical Money Management and Wealth Creation”

11:00: Benjamin J. Janey, author of “Up The Way,” talks about his novel and writing urban fiction

Noon: Memoir writing: unwrapping the gift of memory, with Cindy Brown Austin, author of “By the Rivers of Babylon”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

West Haven to hold concert Saturday to benefit WHEAT food pantry

WEST HAVEN -- Concert to benefit WHEAT food bank at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15

West Haven will hold a benefit concert Saturday, Sept. 15, for the food bank at the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force.

The four-hour show, sponsored by the Holiday Festivities Committee, will feature two bands and will take place in Old Grove Park, off Captain Thomas Boulevard.

At 6 p.m., Fast Lane Band will play a set of party and dance classics, followed by Stevie Nicks tribute band The Navels at 8. The rain date is 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17.

Like last month’s benefit concert, the city will not honor cars with beach parking stickers the night of the show. Instead, organizers will request a $5 contribution from both residents and nonresidents to park. The proceeds will go to WHEAT.

Organizers are also asking people to bring nonperishable food for WHEAT, which provides food and necessities to residents in need.

For the first time in 38 years, WHEAT closed its doors July 31 after running out of food. It reopened the next day, however, thanks to donations from the public and a delivery from the Connecticut Food Bank.

WHEAT has experienced a food shortage recently for a host of reasons, according to its executive director, Rose Majestic. But perhaps the most significant factor has been that in five years, the nonprofit organization has gone from serving 1,850 households to 3,000 households annually.

The WHEAT food pantry, which accepts food and money, is based at 674 Washington Ave. For more information or to donate, go to

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The New Haven Museum and Music Haven will present a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Museum and Music Haven will present a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration beginning at 6 p.m. Sept. 15  at the New Haven Museum.
During the event, children and their families will be able to make masks, a tradition common in many South American countries, a statement said. The Haven String Quartet will present “Immigrant Voices from South America,” at 7 p.m., performing the music of Paquito d’Rivera (Cuban), Conlon Nancarrow (Mexican), Osvaldo Golijov (Argentinian), Gabriela Lena Frank (Peruvian), and Javier Alvarez (Mexican). Suggested donation is $15. Kids 12 and under are admitted free.
Music Haven is “a non-profit organization committed to building a vibrant urban community through performance and music education that empowers young people, their families, and professional musicians,” the statement said. Learn at
The New Haven Museum is at 114 Whitney Ave.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Wild about flowers!

According to a release from Shaun Roche, visitor services manager at the  Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, "Each spr...