52 Years In, Love Marches On

by Lucy Gellman, The Arts Paper, Jan. 17, 2022

Tenikka Hampton lowered her mask and lifted her face toward the sky, her breath wispy and white in the morning air. Portraits of President Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. peered from a sign that read “We Shall Overcome: The Dream Still Lives” in her hands. Around her, Humphrey Street was still waking up to the bone-cracking cold. She began to sing, collapsing hundreds of years onto a single city block.

“We are marching/On Dr. King’s birthday,” her voice rang out, and a chorus joined in around her. “We are marching/ Each and every day!”

Ten-degree temperatures couldn’t stop Hampton and members of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church from keeping spirits high at the 52nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Love March Saturday morning, held on what would have been Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 93rd birthday. Braving the cold and the wind, close to five dozen marchers began at the church’s Lawrence Street home, wound through the streets of East Rock singing, and ended with a short speaking program and mask and test giveaway outside the church.

“You are a drum major for justice,” said Pastor Kennedy D. Hampton Sr., whose father, the late Rev. George W. Hampton Sr., started the march in 1970. “We can’t get comfortable. We can’t become complacent. We can’t become satisfied. Because until there’s equal justice for all, we have no reason to be satisfied.”

…Mincing no words, State Sen. Gary Winfield said he was tired of hearing about the “Santa Claus version of Dr. King,” the mild-mannered beacon of harmony and racial reconciliation that Republicans tweet glowingly about once a year. He wants his children—and all children—to know the Dr. King who rallied for labor rights and against capitalism, who led the Poor People’s Campaign, who the then-nascent F.B.I. saw as one of the most dangerous men in the United States for his basic belief that Black people should have equal rights.

[You can read the article in its entirety at www.newhavenarts.org and click on Arts Paper]

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Shifts To Story

by Lucy Gellman, Arts Paper, Oct. 11, 2021

The drum coasted over the New Haven Green, a steady heartbeat as voices began to swell above it. Huddled around a microphone, members of Red Territory led each other in a round, the song catching on something as it wove upwards. Four dozen pairs of eyes turned toward the sound and listened. The smell of sage hung low in the air.

Monday afternoon, Native artists, activists, and storytellers gathered at a now-annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration on the New Haven Green. Organized by Norm Clement and Ricky Looking Crow, the event sought to create a space for Indigenous people to gather, celebrate, and share the stories of where they come from and who they are.

Lucy Gellman photo

Clement is a member of the Penobscot Nation of Northern New England and a confederate member of the local Quinnipiac tribe. Looking Crow is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Northern New England, primarily Maine.

“I got a few things on my mind today,” Clement said early in the ceremony. “It’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day here in New Haven. People are still fighting to be recognized in this state, around this country, we’re still fighting to get rid of the colonizer’s day.”

“I think today is all about unity, about praying together. It’s about awareness of the day,” said Looking Crow as he and Clement laid out sage, sweet-grass, turkey feathers for smudging, and a large bag of tobacco for prayers. He motioned to the grass beneath him, where yellowjackets buzzed through patches of overgrowth. “This is our church.”

This year’s celebration came almost 15 months after the city’s Board of Education, which recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day, voted to change the name of Christopher Columbus Family Academy on Blatchley Avenue. The City of New Haven does not yet recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day; alders voted on “Italian Heritage Day” instead last September.

For over two hours, attendees approached a communal mic with the same message: We’re still here. We always have been. And we’re going to keep resisting.

[This article can be read in its entirety at www.newhavenarts.org/arts-paper/articles/indigenous-peoples-day-shifts-to-story]

FREE Hamden Fall Drive-In Movie Series

Every Friday in October, all movies start at 7:30 p.m. at Town Center Park, 2761 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, 06518.

The Hamden Recreation Department, in partnership with the Hamden Town Center Park Commission and Hamden Police Department, announces a special Drive-In Movie Series inside Town Center Park this October!

The Drive-In Movie Series will take place Friday nights, Oct. 8 thru Oct. 29 on the 40 ft. “Big Screen” and is geared towards families, teens and couples of all ages! Limited concession vendors will be on-site, though families are encouraged to bring a meal to share in their vehicles. At this time, no picnic-style seating is available at the venue – only vehicles will have access to movie sound.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure a parking spot. Please be sure to follow directions from volunteers as they assist with your parking. As Town Center Park is relatively flat, parking rows will be staggered to provide the best possible viewing angles. Attendees should enter through the Hamden Middle School and continue into Town Center Park via the access road.

The Drive-In Movie Series will run every Friday night with the following schedule:

  • Oct. 8 Jurassic Park (Original)
  • Oct. 15 Hocus Pocus
  • Oct. 22 Tyler Perry’s BOO!
  • Oct. 29 The Sixth Sense

All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Grab a free “goody bag” from the Hamden police department on October 29.

Tap into the New Haven Cultural Fund

A partnership between the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture, and Tourism and the Arts Council of GNHV with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Eligible individuals and organizations will be able to request up to $2,500 for community-based arts and cultural initiatives taking place within the City of New Haven now through September 2022.

Go to www.newhavenarts.org/grants for information and online application forms. Applications are available in English and Spanish.

Want more information? Contact Megan Manton at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven: Megan@NewHavenArts.org, (203) 772-2788.

Libraries Expand In-Person Services

by Gina Bingham, NHFPL

The New Haven Free Public Library has expanded its in-person services with limited hours for technology use and short browsing visits at the Ives Main Library, Fair Haven Branch, Mitchell Branch and Wilson Branch. The Stetson Branch will continue to offer curbside services until further notice.

The following services will be available:

  • Picking up holds and requests
  • Opening or renewing a library card
  • Browsing and checking out new materials for all ages (limit to one 30-minute session per day)
  • Using a library computer by appointment (limit to one 90-minute session per day)
  • Photocopying/printing and faxing (self-service)
  • Check out of Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks to New Haven residents with adult cards
  • Research assistance

In addition to offering materials on-site and through curbside pick-up, the Library provides access to virtual programming, e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming video, information resources, and research assistance by phone and chat via the Library website nhfpl.org.
The Library has implemented a number of visitation and safety guidelines:

All patrons over the age of two are required to wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance from others at all times. Due to a limited occupancy rate, it is recommended that visitors make an appointment ahead of time by calling the location they wish to visit.

No food or drink will be allowed in the Library to ensure that masks are worn at all times for the safety of customers and Library staff.

Access to computers is available with a 90-minute time limit. Library staff may not be able to provide extensive assistance. Should visitors have any special needs, please call ahead to alert staff for possible options.

New Haven residents can get library cards over the phone or in person at our locations. Please call any branch for assistance. NHFPL no longer charges late fees for materials returned.  Material replacement fees for lost materials can be paid via debit/credit cards online or inside a branch with cash, check or card.

Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St., (203) 946-8130. Call for information about all the branches, or visit nhfpl.org.

NHFPL Launches Laptop Lending Program

by Gina Bingham, NHFPL

The New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) announces the expansion of its mobile Wi-Fi hotspot lending program to include a laptop lending program, expanding free internet and computer access to patrons beyond the five public service locations.  Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebook laptops are available for 3-week loan periods to adult (18+) NHFPL cardholders who are residents of New Haven and have accounts in good standing.  Devices not returned to the library within the 3-week loan period will be deactivated and a replacement fee will be charged to the borrower.

“The New Haven Free Public Library is committed to removing barriers to digital access and ensuring free internet access is accessible to all our patrons,” said John Jessen, City Librarian. “We are proud to further our work towards equitable access to technology to help bridge the digital divide within our city. While we realize that this is not a magic bullet, we support Mayor Justin Elicker’s efforts to bring connectivity to the entire City and want to deeply thank our partners at the State Library of Connecticut and at Verizon and T-Mobile for their contributions in ensuring all citizens of New Haven can more easily participate in the digital and civic life of the city.”

The Library’s Chromebooks were provided through funding made available by the State of Connecticut as part of the CARES Act.  Customers may call any New Haven Free Public Library location to reserve a Chromebook, a hotspot, or both with instructions available in English and Spanish.  Presentation of a valid photo ID and library card is required.

[To check out a laptop from the downtown Ives library, please call (203) 946-8130, ext. 114. For a laptop from a branch library, please call that branch directly.]

Virtual Women’s & Gender Studies Conference at SCSU, Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, 2021

This conference offers a creative, critical space for a two-day virtual inquiry across differences and communities into the intersections of gender, race, community, and conflict.  For three decades now, the feminist collective at SCSU has continuously hosted a national conference that reaches across communities and brings together minds and hearts for peace and justice. Keynote Speakers: Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor Emerita, San Francisco SU, April 23, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; Loretta Ross, Associate Professor, Smith College, April 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

On April 24, from 3:45-5 p.m., Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven (JVPNH) will present the session Women Rising: Stories of Six Courageous Palestinian and Israeli Women. The six women will speak about how their lives have been deeply affected by the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Palestine. JVPNH’s goal is to highlight the spectrum of responses that the women have had to the challenges brought on by the occupation, and to encourage discussion of those responses.

For more information, please contact wgs@southernct.edu  or visit https://inside.southernct.edu/womens-gender-studies/conferences/2021.

What’s Your Story? People Get Ready!

https://www.peoplegetreadybooks.com

March 19, 2021

Like many small businesses across the country, a socially-conscious bookstore in New Haven has employed some creative strategies to stay afloat after the pandemic forced its doors to close, National Public Radio reported.

Delores Williams and Lauren Anderson are the co-founders of People Get Ready (PGR), which focuses on works by authors from underrepresented groups, including people of color and authors who are LGBTQ+, multilingual and/or Indigenous.

When the pandemic hit last March, Williams and Anderson found new ways to serve their community. Among other strategies, they’ve offered virtual read-alouds, upgraded their online store, and even have delivered books locally for free. The two say that books have provided their customers with comfort, growth and connection in a time that has forced us to be apart.

“The most important lesson we have learned is that we can’t go wrong if we stick to our founding mission, listen to what our neighbors tell us they need from us, and extend grace to one another as we figure out what it means to nurture an emerging business in these times,” Williams and Anderson write.

For more info, contact PGR at
119 Whalley Ave., New Haven, CT  06511
(203) 954-6678
https://www.peoplegetreadybooks.com

Never Ending Books Collective at 810 State St.

neverendingbooks.net

Never Ending Books Collective: We’re friends who value our city and what Never Ending Books has been to us and countless others, and who want to help shepherd it into New Haven’s future. And we want you to be a part of it!

Late last year, news broke that New Haven’s Never Ending Books — for years a sanctuary for artists, bookworms, and performers — was closing. We want to keep it open. And we need your help to make it possible.

The Never Ending Books Collective will create a community-driven, independent art and cultural center dedicated to keeping art at street level by providing an inclusive space for both artists and audiences, a curated print media selection, low-cost events, exhibitions, and more in a multi-use storefront.

That will mean more regular hours; a curated selection of used books for sale; a selection of art, literature, comix, zines, and more from local creators; and eventually, when it’s safe, a space for musicians and performers.

Check out the article from the New Haven Independent: https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/neb_collective.

Sign up for newsletters at neverendingbooks.net. For now our hours are Saturday and Sunday 3-5 p.m. There is also an art exchange those hours: bring in a piece of art and take one from the bookstore. More hours will soon be posted on the website. When you’re in the neighborhood, stop by 810 State Street. If we’re open, please come in!

Paid Internships for High School Students Interested in Journalism

Do you know any local high school students who might want to learn about journalism? Then please share this information about the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Youth Arts Journalism Initiative.

Students admitted to our program have a chance to participate in a virtual, after-school activity where they’ll get to learn about journalism and get paid $75 for every story they write for the Arts Council’s digital publication, The Arts Paper. They’ll also get a stipend of $250 for their participation in our roughly 9-week program.

Please share our application with all the high school students you know. Applications are due March 6. https://www.newhavenarts.org/yaji

Book Review: The United States of War

by Jeffry Larson, PAR reader

Highly commendable is a dense and well-researched history of “the American way of war”: The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State. By David Vine, published by the University of California Press: 2020, in the California Series in Public Anthropology. Available in local libraries.

This admirable history could serve as a fitting documentation of the historical discussion at the beginning of the article from the New Haven Sunday vigilers on the recent attempted coup d’état at the U.S. Capitol that appeared in the February issue of the PAR Newsletter.  This comprehensive reference guide to the “American way of war” describes the aggressive, imperialistic wars that our country has waged since its foundation.

In his preface, Vine makes what may be a minor correction to the vigilers’ dating the U.S.’s regime-changing violence as starting in the 20th Century when he writes: “Some tend to think that this [present] period of forever war is exceptional. Some assume, as I did, that it’s unusual that most new U.S. recruits and new U.S. college students have no memory of a time when their country wasn’t at war. To the contrary, this state of war is the norm in U.S. history.  According to the …Congressional Research Service ,..  the U.S. military has waged war, engaged in combat, or otherwise engaged its forces aggressively in foreign lands in all but eleven years of its existence.” (p. xiv)

The “American way of war” was set forth in General George Washington’s orders to Maj. Gen. John Sullivan about what to do with indigenous tribes who sided with the British in the War of Independence: “Lay waste all the settlements around, that the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed… (Chapter 3: Why Are So Many Places Named Fort? p. 50). Little wonder that this soon-to-be first U.S. president was dubbed “Destroyer of villages” by the indigenous inhabitants.

Vine traces the development of U.S.’s aggressive imperialist policy through the lens of forts constructed largely in foreign lands; he supplies informative maps, tables, and charts.  A companion book by Vine is his Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, published by Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, also available in local libraries through the state’s collective online library catalog; this book serves as a catalog of the 800 foreign bases run by what Americans call their “Department of Defense,” Vine reaches out to families of US soldiers lost in our “forever wars;” he is admirable in his generous treatment of these indirect casualties of U.S. aggression.

“Unapologetically Radical”

The New Haven Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and Music Haven presented the virtual event “Unapologetically Radical” on Feb. 20 to promote anti-racism through arts and culture.

From the press release: “Unapologetically Radical is a one-day virtual event created to address, amplify, and activate anti-racism in arts and culture. This is a safe space for truth-telling and ground-breaking conversations around dismantling systems of racial injustice and applying immediate and direct change.

“….two unique tracks will explore themes around hip-hop & culture as a tool for activism and social change, preservation of black and brown culture, truth and reconciliation and busting the myths around what allyship looks like, just to name a few. This day is designed for Black, indigenous and people of color, community activists, community artists, and arts and cultural organizations doing anti-racism work.”

At this time, we do not know if any of the virtual event will be available on YouTube or Facebook. The website is https://unapologeticallyradical.splashthat.com. For more information, e-mail info@unapologeticallyradical.com to find out about availability of viewing this event “after the fact.”

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