This Week in New Haven (May 7-13)

A rt trumps life in town this week, with a founding Situationist artist visiting Yale, two fashion show charity events, the wondrous Westville ArtWalk and all that jazz.

Monday, May 7
The Situationist International group which began in the late 1950s and ended in 1972 had a major influence on student riots in France in 1968, punk rock in the 1970s, graffiti art of the 1990s and many modern political movements including Occupy Wall Street. Jacqueline de Jong, editor-in-chief of the group’s publication The Situationist Times (which published half a dozen issues between 1962 and 1964) is at Yale’s Beinecke Library today to mark the publication’s 50th anniversary. Old issues, and the writings which led to them, will be on display, including a draft of the never-released seventh issue. 5 p.m. 121 Wall St., New Haven. (203) 432-2977.

Tuesday, May 8
Memoirist Wenguang Huang is the latest guest for a 4:30 p.m. Fireside Chat at the Yale-China Association 442 Temple St., New Haven). The Little Red Guard is a story of China’s Cultural Revolution, when many traditions—including how families prepared for their relatives’ eventual deaths—were changed or outlawed. The book, which made many Top Ten lists last year, will be available for purchase. If attending, call ahead: (203) 432-0884.

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Wednesday, May 9
Nearly two dozen local fashion designers converge for the charity event Project Style Spring Fantasy. It’s the fourth annual such soiree, sponsored by Liberty Community Services and dedicated to “helping New Haven’s homeless community living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness and addiction.” The festivities, hosted by Channel 8 news anchor Sonia Baghdady, begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the 7 p.m. fashion show. Tickets are $50; some special $75 “reserved front row seating” and $100 “reserved stage seating” tickets may still be available.

Thursday, May 10
The Big Food exhibition has caused a sensation at Yale’s Peabody Museum, not least because it’s homegrown, informed by Yale research and local attempts to curb the national obesity epidemic. Today, one of the people who put Big Food together—Jeannette Ickovics of CARE—hosts three New Haven area chefs who share her concerns about healthy and responsible eating habits. Claire Criscuolo of Claire’s, Tagan Engel of the New Haven Food Policy Council and Jason Sobocinski of the Caseus Fromagerie Bistro will discuss food trends and recommend cookbooks. Oh, and there’ll be real food to taste. 5:30 p.m. at the Peabody, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 432-5050.

Friday, May 11
Not just one but three cool jazz shows tonight.

Firehouse 12 (45 Crown St., New Haven) hosts bassist Michael Bates and his quintet Acrobat, which enlivens classical themes by Dmitri Shostakovich. Two sets, 8:30 p.m. ($18) and 10 p.m,. ($12).

Intercambio, the anything-goes culture center at 756 Chapel St., New Haven, has the African-tinged electronic jazz of Chicago Underground Duo, who’ve just released Age of Energy, the 11th album in the band’s 15 year history. 8 p.m. $5-$15 suggested donation.

At Yale’s Sprague Hall (470 College St., New Haven), it’s all about the Ellington Jazz Series, whose special guest is drummer Matt Wilson, performing with his band Arts & Crafts; the other members play everything from accordion to flugelhorn. 8 p.m. at Sprague’s Morse Recital Hall. $20-$30, $10 with student ID. (203) 432-4158.

Saturday, May 12
The 15th annual ArtWalk festival consumes Westville, with crafts and music outdoors, art exhibits and theater shows indoors, and a warm glow throughout the neighborhood. The event always kicks off with a few hours of Friday night events—a winetasting, a Haven String Quartet concert, art receptions… but the bulk of the action is today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the dozens of booths at the Artists & Artisans Market and nearly a dozen music acts on three separate stages, the Car Door art project and other spontaneous art demonstrations, kids’ activities and theater performances by Elm Shakespeare and A Broken Umbrella, and sales and special displays at Westville shops. For details, see

ArtWalk isn’t the only Saturday event for which you might need a hat. The annual Bethesda Nursery School spring fair has outdoor elements as well, and a “rain or shine” commitment. The fair boasts a plant sale, a bake sale, a tag sale (which opens at 9 a.m., an hour before the other events), a magician and a Moon Bounce. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 450 Whitney Ave., New Haven. Admission is free.

Cap it all off with tonight’s Creative Arts Workshop fundraiser titled “Hats Off!”—where hats will actually be on, local drag queens will model “millinery masterpieces,” headwear in general will be celebrated, and attendees are invited to “get into the spirit of the evening by wearing something—anything!—on your head.” 6 p.m. at the LoRicco Tower ballroom, 216 Crown St., New Haven. $60, $50 in advance, which “includes drinks, hors d’ouevres, dessert.”

Sunday, May 13
The latest national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been at the Shubert Theater (247 College St., New Haven; 203-562-5666, ) since May 11, with performances Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 & 7:30 p.m. and a final pair of B&B bows today at 1 & 6 p.m. It’s the second visit for the magical tale of enchanted teapots, blowhard suitors and that lovely bibliophile Belle. $35-$92.

Written by Christopher Arnott.

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Christopher Arnott has written about arts and culture in Connecticut for over 25 years. His journalism has won local, regional and national awards, and he has been honored with an Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. He posts daily at his own sites and New Haven Theater Jerk (

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