Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Vista Arts Center’s production of 'The Wizard of Oz' coming up

The Vista Arts Center will return to the stage at The Ivoryton Playhouse with performances of the beloved musical adventure, “The Wizard of Oz!” in February, according to a release.

“The Wizard of Oz affords members of the shoreline theatre community the opportunity to join with Vista members to tell the story of Dorothy’s adventure in the Land of Oz. Using simple props and scenic elements, the all-ability cast portrays characters from L. Frank Baum’s story and performs musical numbers from the beloved movie,” the release said

Vista members will perform on stage and provide support backstage and had the chance to be involved with the production, and “support their peers while showcasing their own talents and abilities,” the release said.
“A group of Vista members worked to create promotional videos for the show by interviewing cast and crew members to learn more about what it takes to put on a show of this magnitude. Another group of Vista members greatly contributed to the show by creating the scenic elements for the show which will be projected on stage.
"These efforts and the inclusive nature of this production are sure to set the show apart and provide a memorable version of The Wizard of Oz, like you’ve never seen before.”

In a partnership with Ivoryton Playhouse, The Wizard of Oz opens at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 2 p.m. Feb. 15, the release said.

The playhouse is at 103 Main St., Ivoryton. Tickets are on sale at For more information, contact Amanda Roberts at or 860-399-8080.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snowstorm images across Greater New Haven and Connecticut

Do snacks taste better in the snow?
A bit of weather hit Connecticut Friday night into Saturday and folks got busy on social media sharing what they were seeing around the region.

Check it out here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sea Tea Improv presents a Winter Sketch Show Saturday

Live from HARTFORD…it’s Saturday Night!

Sea Tea Improv presents a Winter Sketch Show!

Tickets are $10 and you can buy them here:

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 24 at the Hartbeat Ensemble Theater in Hartford.

"Watch seasoned sketch comedians and talented debut performers alike in this showcase of Hartford's comedy community," organizers said in a release.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Traditional Irish music on tap in Milford

Find our where and when:

MILFORD -  Jerry O'Sullivan, uilleann pipe player, will take part in the free, traditional Irish music session at 7:45 p.m. Jan. 15 in St. Gabriel Parish hall, 26 Broadway.

The monthly event is sponsored by the P.V. O'Donnell Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and includes other musicians.

There may be visiting storytellers, poets, singers and dancers.  O'Sullivan also plays the tin whistle, the low whistle, the Highland pipes and the Scottish small-pipes.

Bring your own food, beverages. More Infomation: 203-257-8737.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New England First Amendment Coalition seeking nominations for citizenship award

The New England First Amendment Coalition is seeking nominations for the 2015 Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award.

"The award is given to an individual from one of the six New England states who has fought for information crucial to the public’s understanding of its community or what its government is doing – or not doing – on its behalf. The candidate should have shown tenacity or bravery in the face of difficulty while obtaining information that the public has a right to know," according to a web release.

“We are looking for private citizens who have experienced difficulty accessing information important to their communities,” Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director said, also in the release. “We want to recognize those individuals who act as public watchdogs not because they are obligated to, but because they have a personal desire to educate themselves and others, and to hold their elected leaders accountable.”

The award will be presented at NEFAC’s annual First Amendment Luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane in Boston, Mass., the release said.

Learn more: here

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hartford Improv Festival is coming in March

The second annual Hartford Improv Festival will be held March 27-29 

Submissions are now open and the deadline to submit as a team is January 16, according to presenter Sea Tea Improv.

Submissions for workshop instructors also are being accepted. Apply to teach a workshop at HIF2015!

Follow  Hartford Improv Festival on Twitter and on Facebook to get the latest news.

See a sample of Sea Tea in video below.

The Hartford Improv Festival is (the website says):

" HIF is a three -day comedy festival designed to attract local and national talent to Hartford and showcase the art of improv comedy. Join us March 27-29 for three days of shows, workshops, jams, meetings and greetings! Short form, long form, musical, weird and experimental–if you’re doing it, we want to see it!"




General Assembly Black and Latino Caucus picks leadership team

HARTFORD - In a release, the Black and Latino Caucus of the Connecticut General Assembly - a group made up of members from the House of Representatives and Senate -   announced its 2014/2015 leadership team.

Rep. Bruce Morris, D-Norwalk, House deputy speaker, will lead the caucus as chairman, and Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, House assistant majority leader, will serve as caucus vice-chairwoman, the release said. Rep. Minnie Gonzalez ,D-Hartford, will serve as treasurer, and Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, is secretary, the release said.

“The Black and Latino Caucus plays a very important role in shaping major policy initiatives, including education reform, and I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me to chair the caucus,” Morris said, also in the release. “We have a significant number of experienced lawmakers, and our caucus takes its job seriously as we advocate for all people of Connecticut.”

Santiago said, also in the release: “It is a great honor to be selected by my peers for this position. I look forward to supporting our new chairman, as well as the entire caucus, as we build upon our past accomplishments and service to our communities and state.”
Santiago also is vice-chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

"The caucus has many members who also serve in leadership positions in the House and Senate," the release said.

“I want to thank my colleagues for choosing me to be the caucus secretary,” said Lesser, who is House chairman of the Banks Committee, in the release. “I believe that this caucus is critical to addressing issues that affect hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents, particularly residents of our cities.”
“The need to truly represent all people of Connecticut is greater than ever and I am eager to help our caucus use its influence to make our state a better place to live,” said Gonzalez, who is the House chief majority whip, in the release.
Also in the release: 

 House members in leadership positions are:

Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford), deputy speaker;

Larry Butler (D-Waterbury), co-chair of Housing Committee;

Ernie Hewett (D-New London), assistant majority leader;

Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven), deputy majority leader;

Douglas McCrory (D-Hartford), deputy majority leader;

Ezequiel Santiago (D-Bridgeport), deputy majority whip;

Robert Sanchez (D-New Britain), assistant majority leader and vice-chairman of the Education Committee;

Charles Stallworth (D-Bridgeport), assistant majority whip and vice-chairman of the Banks Committee;

Toni Walker (D-New Haven), co-chair of the Appropriations Committee;

Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford), deputy majority leader.

Senate members in leadership positions are:

Eric D. Coleman (D-Bloomfield), deputy president pro tempore, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and vice-chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee;

Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven), assistant majority leader and co-chairman of the Housing Committee and Labor and Public Employees Committee;

Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), majority whip and co-chair of Human Services Committee.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Massaro Community Farm to hold event on Rock to Rock ride

Massaro Farm in the Fall
Massaro Community Farm will hold an open house event about the annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride at the Woodbridge Town Library from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 28, according to a release.
Thw event will serve as an advance registration for those who wish to join Team Massaro in this year’s ’quest for the gold’ and ride with the team in the 7th annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride in New Haven, the release said.

The ride will be held April 25 this year. It runs from West Rock to East Rock.
Atop East Rock
"The farm will also be inviting community members to get involved at the farm this year, and to drop off their CSA subscription forms for the coming season," the release said.
"Last April, on a cold and rainy day, a dozen or so riders braved the elements and rode with Team Massaro, helping them raise more than $10,000 towards the purchase of a much-needed new tractor for the farm," the release said. (The number of riders is an estimate, the release noted)
The view from East Rock
The Angel of Peace atop East Rock
"In only its second year participating in this event, which raises funds for area environmental organizations, Team Massaro eked out first prize in fundraising by a slim margin on the morning of the event. As a result, the team won several prizes, including a cruise for the team aboard the classic schooner, Quinnipiack, which sails from Long Wharf Pier. But most importantly, we achieved our fundraising goal and purchased that new tractor," the release said.
Stop by the Woodbridge Town Library for the event to learn how to register and learn what it would mean to be the "phantom rider."
Information also will be available "about individual and group volunteering at the farm, and accepting CSA subscription forms for the 2015 season."
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

'19th-Century Racism and 20th-Century Civil Rights' at the New Haven Museum

NEW HAVEN - Former Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr., will discuss the impact of Prudence Crandall’s life and actions at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, at the New Haven Museum, according to a release.
  Francis Alexander, portrait of Prudence Crandall.
Oil painting, #6953.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections,
Cornell University Library.
The event is free and is co-sponsored by The Amistad Committee Inc., the release said. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture, the release said.
The snow date Jan. 29.
"When Prudence Crandall opened her 'school for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color' in Canterbury, Connecticut in 1833, she endured a violent public and political backlash that included being jailed, and the burning and eventual closing of the school," the release said. "But according to (Williams) the seeds of the 14th U. S. Amendment were sown during the arguments presented in Crandall’s defense, the case reversing the notorious Connecticut 'Black Law'.”
"The storm of controversy that catapulted Crandall to national notoriety in the 1830s also drew the attention of the most significant pro- and anti-slavery activists of the day," the release said. "The Connecticut state legislature passed its infamous Black Law in an attempt to close down her school. But Crandall’s legal legacy had a lasting impact—Crandall v. State was the first full-throated civil rights case in U.S. history. Her attorney’s arguments played a role in two of the most fateful Supreme Court decisions, Dred Scott v. Sandford, and the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1995, Crandall was designated the official state heroine of Connecticut as a symbol of courage for her stand against prejudice."

 The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Ave.
According to historian and Association for the Study of Connecticut History board member Peter Hinks, “Williams has authored what will become the authoritative history of Prudence Crandall and her controversial academy. He richly intertwines the life of Crandall with other key protagonists of the struggle for abolition and black equality, and demonstrates how Crandall’s courageous stand in Canterbury helped shape the struggle for black equality into the Civil War and beyond.”

 Find the museum on

Statement by the President on the Attack in France

The White House Wednesday released the following statement on the killing in Paris (shared unedited here):

"I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.  France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.  Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended.  France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers.  We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Festival

NEW HAVEN - The state  Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will co-sponsor the 19th annual two-day family festival, "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice,"  from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 18  and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, according to a release.
The festival is free and will be held  at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave. It "will focus on environmental and social justice, civil rights, nonviolent advocacy, equality of resources and community enrichment," the release said..
“For almost 20 years, DEEP has co-sponsored this Family Festival that honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recognizes his life-long actions and determination for social justice in the world,” said DEEP Commission Robert Klee, also in the release.  “This celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has become a real tradition and targets families and children, offering a wide variety of educational activities that set the stage for a lifelong commitment of engagement in social and environmental justice practices.” 
"The two days of educational activities for families and people of all ages and backgrounds include performances by members of the New Haven community and from around the world, including music, poetry, children’s storytelling and dance," the release said
Also in the release: "The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Family Festival has grown during the last 19 years, with attendance increasing from 1,400 visitors the first year to more than 5,500 last year.  Activities are for adults and children of all ages, including teens. For further information contact the Yale Peabody Museum at (203) 432-6646 or visit
More (all per the DEEP release):
Teen Summit
In addition, on Sunday, January 18, 2015, from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m. the Yale Peabody Museum will host their free 6th annual Teen Summit celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, Jr.  In this interactive event, teens from all over Connecticut will come together to showcase their talents to promote social and environmental justice.  Submissions, due by January 15th, will be accepted in the forms of oratory, spoken word, video and essay. All teens are welcome to attend the Teen Summit. Participation in the showcase is encouraged, but not required. FREE pizza with registration, certificates of participation, service hours, and prizes are included.   
To register and for more information visit
Background on Environmental Justice
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to raise awareness about urban environmental issues and public health concerns that disproportionately affect communities of color. While these issues have not disappeared, progress has been made in many places to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions.
Environmental justice is based on the principle that all members of a society have the right to clean air, water and soil, as well as a right to live in communities where they can raise their families in healthy and nurturing natural environments. Further, environmental justice includes a guarantee of equal access to relief and the possibility of meaningful community participation in the decisions of government and industry.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History thanks the following for their generosity Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Subway and Stop & Shop.
Schedule at the Yale Peabody Museum:
Sunday, January 18, Noon to 4:00 pm
World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)
1:00                      Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble
2:00                      Nation Drill Squad Youth Program
3:00                      Kouffin Kanecke Company — Traditional West African dance and drumming performance
Auditorium (3rd Floor)
12:00–3:30          6th Annual Teen Summit
Monday, January 19, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)
11:00                    Pan Jam and Lime Steel Band
12:00                    Solar Youth Drummers
12:15                    Tarpukay Peruvian Art & Culture
1: 00                     Brian Jarawa Gray and Friends
2:30                      Michael Mills — Drumming performance and drum circle finale
Auditorium (3rd Floor)
11:00–12:00       Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Poetry Open Mic
— An opportunity for people of all ages to share their original poetry or rap and speak their minds on issues of justice and injustice. Pre-registration required.
12:30–4:00          Annual Invitational Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Poetry Slam
Invited Poetry Slam Participants: J-Sun, Influence, So`re Agbaje, Chilo, Anthony Ragler, Roya Marsh, Yadira Delariva, Porscha Olawiyola, Thomas Fucalaro, Mind Evolution, Ms Reign, Nichole Acosta, Michael Chief Patterson, Jashua Sa Ra, Chelsee Johns, Venessa Marco
Directions: In New Haven, Connecticut, take Exit 3 off Interstate 91 (either north or southbound) onto the Trumbull Street connector, and make a right turn at the second intersection onto Whitney Avenue (follow the posted signs to the Yale Peabody Museum). The Museum is located at 170 Whitney Ave., at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street, one block north of the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Trumbull Street.
Parking: Weekend parking is free in all Yale University parking lots.
In the photo: Richard Yanowitz of Hamden stops to look at literature in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum during the 18th Annual Dr. King’s Legacy of Environmental & Social Justice family festival Sunday. (Arnold Gold - New Haven Register)

Read the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling

Read the U.S. Supreme Court case: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission . Masterpiece Cakeshop Court Decision by H...