New Haven Free Public Library Tapped as Finalist for National Award

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL Public Services Administrator

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions.”

Open to all, the NHFPL is a community pillar of learning, exploration and inspiration. Through community engagement, inclusive growth, and equity of access to resources and opportunities, the NHFPL builds connections as one city with one future.

“We are honored that the New Haven Free Public Library is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and appreciate the inaugural nomination by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut,” said City Librarian Martha Brogan. “We proudly share this nomination as recognition of our home, the community and the City of New Haven.”

“Share Your Story” about NHFPL on social media. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the NHFPL to share their story on social media. Please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls and use #IMLSmedals and #myNHFPLstory.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website www.imls.gov.

Ashley Sklar, nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, (203) 946-8835.

Gasping Whiteness: A Play & Community Workshop

Bregamos Community Theater (BCT), 491 Blatchley Ave., presents Gasping Whiteness at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, which explores the impact of white supremacy on parenting in progressive, middle class communities. The play tells the stories of two families (one white and one African-American) as they encounter divides of race and struggle to respond, as well as the story of a masked figure who is buried at the play’s end — a funeral which also serves as a call to action.

Presented as a staged reading, the play runs one hour and is followed by a one hour facilitated dialogue, exploring how the themes of the play speak to our lives and our stories.

Gasping Whiteness’ cross-racial, cross-generational ensemble includes playwright Will MacAdams and social justice educator/theatre maker Trenda Loftin (who co-direct and also perform in the piece); two Western Massachusetts child actors, ages ten and 11; and Atlanta-based visual artist Angela Davis Johnson, who developed its visual landscape.

Sliding scale ticket prices. 100% of the proceeds benefit local organizers for racial justice: CTCORE-Organize Now! (www.ctcore-organizenow.org) and Students for Educational Justice (www.students4edjustice.org).

For tickets and more information, go to: gaspingwhitenessnewhaven.brownpapertickets.com. Seating is LIMITED. Get your tickets early!

New Haven Free Public Library Augments Outreach to Residents in Need of Basic Services

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL

A Community Engagement Award from the National Network of Library of Medicine (NNLM) will allow the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) to expand its successful partnership with Liberty Community Services (LCS) beyond Ives Library to the Fair Haven and Wilson Branch Libraries starting this winter. The All of Us grant effectively doubles the hours of LCS counselors on-site at NHFPL locations and also provides funds to augment the library’s print collections on health and wellness in English and Spanish.

The goal of the NNLM grant is to strengthen health literacy and increase access to high-quality free health resources in partnership with public libraries. Integral to the NNLM grant, LCS staff members inform their library clients about MedlinePlus.gov, a freely available federal government website that aims to provide “information on health conditions, wellness issues and more in easy-to-read language.” The NNLM promotes public libraries’ vital role as trusted sources of health and wellness information in the community. Building towards that trust, NHFPL continues to foster its successful partnership with LCS, now in its sixth year. LCS offers one-on-one consultations at Ives Main Library for those with basic needs (jobs, food, shelter, and health and wellness issues), conducting 976 appointments and serving 563 individuals in 2018.

City Librarian Martha Brogan praised the collaboration, asserting that “NHFPL and LCS will continue to seek stable funding sources to sustain their productive partnership and to extend services to all five locations.”

Liberty Community Services Hours at NHFPL:

Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St.
* Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (last appointment at 2:30 p.m.)
* Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (last appointment at 12:30 p.m.)

Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Ave.
* Thursdays, 5-7 p.m.
* Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 9, 23; April: 6)

Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Ave.
* Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m., Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 2, 16, 30; April: 13, 27)

Ashley Sklar, Public Services Administrator, NHFPL, www.nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, office: (203) 946-8835.

Politics in Plain English at the Institute Library

by Bennett Graff, Institute Library

The Institute Library, 847 Chapel Street, is proud to announce the launch of a new monthly program Politics in Plain English. Following in the tradition of the Library’s one-time role during the Civil War — when it served as a lyceum where such luminaries as Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Henry Ward Beecher, and Theodore Parker spoke — the Institute Library once more seeks to become New Haven’s center for a conversation about civics in the America at a time when such a conversation has never been more needed.

The discussions are hosted by John Stoehr, editor and publisher of The Editorial Board, contributing writer to Washington Monthly, and columnist at the New Haven Register. $10 suggested admission—free light refreshments served.

Politics is simpler and more complex than most realize. Fortunately, there are good people able to see through the haze and talk about issues plainly and honestly. Hosted by the Institute Library and sponsored by The Editorial Board, Politics in Plain English brings a panel of writers and thinkers to New Haven to debate current events and bring you into the conversation.

Tuesday, March 12, 7:30-9 p.m. What’s Up with Liberalism and the Left? Josh Holland, contributing writer for The Nation, and Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward, takes on the revived embrace of the once-maligned term “liberal” by the left and explore the pushes and pulls of the collection—or is it a coalition?—of interests and political leanings that now make it up.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30-9 p.m. Peeking Under the Hood: The “Invisible Primary” of 2020. Our guests, Jacob Hacker of Yale and Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg News, will look not only at the role primaries play in the rough and tumble of selecting candidates, but also at the early jockeying of the “invisible primary,” as candidates coyly deflect press inquiries, leak intel on primary opponents, and position themselves before the starting gate opens.

For more information, please contact John Stoehr at johnastoehr@gmail.com or (912) 247-0515 or Bennett Graff at bennett_lovett_graff@hotmail.com or (203) 640-3573.

The Great Migration: Then and Now — 45th People’s World African American History Events Feb. 24

Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

“The Great Migration: Then and Now — Fleeing Terror, Searching for Jobs and Equality,” is the theme of the 45th People’s World African American History Month celebration on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., New Haven. The day includes a march at 2:30 p.m., arts and writing competition, guest speaker, drumming and dance.

Some stories will be told of the many African American families in New Haven who trace their roots in the city to the great migration from the South in the 1930s and 40s when companies like Winchester recruited workers to come up from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. They were fleeing Ku Klux Klan terror and looking for a better life.

Stories will also be told of the migrants from Central American countries coming to New Haven and the United States today, fleeing terror and economic devastation in their countries and hoping to find new opportunities for their families.

The “Jobs for Youth — Jobs for All” march will call on Yale to meet its signed commitment to hire from neighborhoods with high unemployment such as Dwight, Dixwell, Newhall, Fair Haven and the Hill. The march leaves the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St., at 2:30 p.m. and will wind through the Dwight neighborhood to Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., for the 4 p.m. program.

Guest speaker Chauncey K. Robinson, journalist and social media editor of peoplesworld.org from Los Angeles, California, believes that writing and media, in any capacity, should help to reflect the world around us, and be tools to help bring about progressive change. She says she seeks to make sure topics that affect working-class people, peoples of color, and women are constantly in the spotlight.

The program will include drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and African dance with Ice the Beef. Ice the Beef Youth supports each other through education, dreams, goals, and talent by meeting, sharing stories, laughing, joking, and expressing feelings. They are on Facebook.

Prizes and acknowledgments of entries to the Arts and Writing Competition grades 8 to 12 will be presented. Students are asked to reflect in artwork, essay, poetry, rap or song about grandparents or great-grandparents who came up from the South in the past, or about someone who came up from Latin America or elsewhere recently. “What did they find? How can we continue the struggle for good jobs and equal rights to fulfill the dreams of those who came and made New Haven home?  What are your dreams for a better life?” Entry deadline is Feb. 14. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com.

During the Great Migration (1916 to 1970), six million African Americans left the South. They moved to cities like New Haven in the North and the West. They were fleeing discrimination, lynchings, denied rights and a lack of jobs. They were searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

As they settled they found that segregation and racism were not just in the South. The migration gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement and before that to the art, literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance that stirred the country and the world.

Artist Jacob Lawrence created a series of paintings about the Great Migration in 1940. He said, “And the migrants kept coming…their struggles and triumphs ring true today. People all over the world are still on the move, trying to build better lives for themselves and for their families.”

In 2018 famed activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I believe that the major civil rights issue of the 21st Century is the issue of immigrant rights.”

Learn about New Haven Scholarship Fund Feb. 2: FREE Money for College!

New Haven Scholarship Fund has awarded over $8.5 million in scholarships to more than 8,500 New Haven public high school graduates. The funds can be used at any college or trade school, in or out of state. You do not need a specific GPA.

Awards are based on financial need. Please call to register (203) 946-8117. Breakfast will be served. Parents are highly encouraged to attend with their students.

Saturday, February 2, 10:30 a.m. at the Mitchell Library, 37 Harrison St.

Institute Library Administration Restructures

The Board of Directors of the Institute Library has decided to restructure the administration of the library to operate with greater fiscal prudence and ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability. The executive director position has been eliminated, effective Jan. 11, 2019, and a new position of operations manager has been created.

The decision to restructure came after many months of analyzing the library’s financial and fundraising challenges. Finally, it became clear that repairing the physical structure of the building, including a leaking roof, needed urgent and costly attention. The library will continue to remain open and serve its membership while it works through these challenges.

The Board is pleased to announce that Eva Geertz, a New Haven resident, former board member, and longtime local bookseller, has accepted the operations manager position, effective Jan. 14, 2019. Eva has spent most of her career working with books, primarily as a bookseller specializing in out-of-print and rare books. A loyal library member since 2002, who has volunteered countless hours on the library’s behalf since 2008, she is pleased to be able to assist the library in this transitional phase.
“We look forward to a smooth transition as Eva takes on this newly created position next week,” stated Maryann Ott, chair-elect of the Board of Directors. “Members, volunteers, donors, and the Greater New Haven community are the life-blood of the library, and we will continue to depend on the support of all who value our beloved institution.”

The Institute Library, founded in 1826, is New Haven’s oldest independent lending library, one of 20 historic circulating libraries in the U.S. The library, located in its own 140-year old building on Chapel Street in downtown New Haven, has an extensive book collection, including many rare and first editions. The library hosts a number of programs, including Listen Here, a literary theater program co-presented with the New Haven Review; the Poetry Institute, a collective who present monthly open mic poetry sessions; Story Sharing, a program co-facilitated with the CT Storytelling Center; and more. The library also has a contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits focused on words, language, collections and archives.

For more information about the Institute Library, please visit www.institutelibrary.org. Its address is 847 Chapel Street. The phone is (203) 562-4045.

United in Struggle for a Better World — People’s World Amistad Awards

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College St, New Haven. We come together “United in Struggle for a Better World – Unidos en La Lucha por un Mundo Mejor.”

We are excited to announce this year’s awardees, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Shellye Davis and Louise Simmons. Three women on the front lines resisting the policies of white supremacy, hate, division and fear that threaten democracy and our future. Three fierce warriors in the forefront demanding workers’ and immigrant rights, social justice, peace and equality for a better and sustainable world.

A solidarity tribute will be made to Nelson Pinos and his family in sanctuary at the church since last November. Special recognition will be given to Chaz Carmon, director of Ice the Beef Youth, for his extraordinary talent and dedication to provide opportunities for young people in the performing arts. A reception will follow.

Eva Bermudez Zimmerman made history as the first Puerto Rican candidate for Lt. Governor in Connecticut. An SEIU union organizer representing childcare workers, her passion for justice began as a child and touches communities everywhere.

Shellye Davis is president of the Hartford Labor Coalition and co-president of the Hartford Federation of Paraeducators affiliated with AFT Connecticut. She is a leader for the rights of public sector union members and the people they serve.

Louise Simmons is an acclaimed educator and labor-community activist. She was a City Councilperson in Hartford (People for Change Party), has led many racial and economic justice organizations and has chaired CT Center for a New Economy board.

The annual Awards are presented to allies by the Connecticut People’s World Committee on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. We come together in hope and unity as increased economic and racial inequalities, climate change and war give rise to new organizing by youth, low-wage workers and the 99% toward a society that puts people and planet before corporate profits.

 

Arts of the Syrian Revolt

by Stan Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

There’s no way to pretty-up the immense suffering in Syria, but at our program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, we used photos, photos of artwork and music as a way to keep spirits up. The audience of mostly Syrians was very appreciative.

Featured was a world class professional photographer whose work has appeared in many news sites and newspapers. Dylan Connor, a teacher, professional singer and member of the Syrian-American Congress spoke and sang. He visited the Jordanian “Free Zone” right next to Syria this year and distributed aid to Syrian refugees and recorded their stories.  We showed Connor’s music video “Idlib” and he sang songs including “Man of Peace” which was part of Little Gandhi, the first Syrian film considered for an Academy Award. In addition to viewing the art we discussed the remaining liberated zones in Syria, Idlib in the northwest, Rukban in the south and the third of the country controlled by Kurdish forces. In Connor’s music video we saw large crowds waving the original flags and chanting the same slogans that appeared in 2011.

The event was sponsored by Promoting Enduring Peace, the Middle East Crisis Committee and cosponsored by nearly ten other groups.

Interestingly enough the New Haven-based Syrian artist Mohammed Hafez has an exhibit in the city of Fairfield at a different university. It’s called “Collateral Damage” and it will run until Dec. 15. It’s at the Fairfield University Museum in the Walsh Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts. Hafez’s works, which highlight the trauma of refugees and the destruction inside Syria, have gotten enormous attention.

Gandhi Peace Award to Jackson Browne

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace Administrator

Promoting Enduring Peace is giving its Gandhi Peace Award this year to singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. He will receive the award on Friday, Sept. 14, at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Starting the program will be two speakers: Frida Berrigan, who has worked for years warning of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. Singers Ben Grosscup and Luci Murphy will provide entertainment. Tickets can be reserved online for a donation. The Eventbrite link is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gandhi-peace-award-2018-tickets-48315261247.

Jackson Browne is the first artist ever to receive the Gandhi Peace Award. The award recognizes Browne’s extraordinary contributions of time and talent to the inseparable causes of world peace, environmental harmony, and social justice. The award comes with a cash prize and a medallion forged from “peace bronze” composed of metals salvaged from the control systems of U.S. nuclear missiles. Consistent with tradition, Browne has been invited “to present a message of challenge and hope” to those present. A reception will follow.

The Gandhi Peace Award, named after Indian anti-imperialist and nonviolence advocate Mohandas Gandhi, derives its international renown from those who have accepted it over the years. Among the 54 awardees are Martin Luther King, Jr., Benjamin Spock, Dorothy Day, Daniel Ellsberg, César Chávez, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Medea Benjamin, Tom Goldtooth, Omar Barghouti and Ralph Nader.

Browne has organized or participated in thousands of benefit performances to support the environment, social justice, and human rights as well as causes such as music and arts education in public schools and has worked with two former Gandhi Peace Award recipients, Amnesty International (1978) and the Children’s Defense Fund (1990). Browne has composed and performed songs widely regarded as among the most literate and moving songs in popular music, defining a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion, and personal politics. In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Download Films for Free on Kanopy and Hoopla!

All you need is your library card from the New Haven Free Public Library!

Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 titles, including award-winning documentaries; acclaimed, rare and hard-to-find titles; classics films; and world cinema with collections from The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, and PBS among many others. Users are able to access Kanopy through a variety of devices and platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, iOS and Android.

Hoopla offers a huge collection of films, TV shows, educational videos, documentaries, music, audiobooks, e-books and comic books to enjoy straight from your browser, tablet, or smartphone! Easy to use with your library card — and no waiting!

June 21, New Haven’s First Make Music Day

by Jennifer Gelband, Arts Council of Greater New Haven

The first annual Make Music New Haven, a wild and wonderful mix of hundreds of free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21, with performances 10 a.m.-10 p.m. throughout Greater New Haven in community centers, restaurants, backyards, front stoops, libraries, local businesses, parks, patios and auditoriums. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is spearheading Make Music New Haven, a part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music.
This year, New Haven is among 52 U.S. cities across the country, and the entire states of Vermont and Rhode Island, to host thousands of Make Music performances as part of the world’s largest annual music event.

“New Haven is a rich, creative cultural hub with so many talented artists,” said Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director of the GNH Arts Council. “This program is a fitting addition to our community, and we look forward to celebrating our local artists in every neighborhood. Make Music New Haven will give all of our residents and visitors a chance to experience the city’s diverse music in their own backyards – or explore the sights and sounds of other neighborhoods.”

Make Music Day began in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, and has spread to over 750 cities across 120 coun-tries. Completely different from a typical musical festival, Make Music concerts are performed by anyone who wants to take part and enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend. From classical to folk, hip hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock, live music of all kinds resounds on streets, side-walks, porches, plazas, parks, gardens, store fronts, and other public spaces on the longest day of the year.

Make Music New Haven is currently seeking participants, venues, community groups, and arts organizations who want to be a part of this historic inaugural event. For more info, please contact newhaven@makemusicday.org. To get involved and to view the full schedule of events, visit makemusicnewhaven.org.

Listen Here! Classic Short Stories Read Live

Listen to short stories selected by the editors of New Haven Review and read by actors from New Haven Theater Company at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St., New Haven. Talk back with New Haven Review moderator.

Tuesday, May 15, 7 p.m. Theme: Lovelorns: “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck and “Janus” by Anne Beattie.
Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m. Theme: Moving in Strange Circles: “Zanzibar” by Beena Kamlani and “The White Umbrella” by Gish Jen. RSVP

What’s to eat? Freshly baked treats each night. What’s to drink? Tea, chai, hot chocolate… Please note the Institute Library is one flight up and not wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit us at www.institutelibrary.org.

1 2 3