T he edges of downtown come alive this week, with progressive jazz at Bru Café, a fresh installation at Creative Arts Workshop, activities for kids near Science Park and the latest “On9” Ninth Square showcase.
Monday July 30
Arts on the Avenue is a thrice-a-week series of “free arts activities” offered by the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism in coordination with its Livable City Initiative and the Office of Economic Development. The opportunities to paint, sculpt, dance, play music and watch movies are all part of the Winchester Revitalization Art Project, reclaiming a large public lot near Science Park with upbeat community activities. On Winchester Ave., near Division St., New Haven every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (weather permitting) from 2-6 p.m. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, July 31
The Whitney Water Center, on the same land as the Eli Whitney Museum on the New Haven/Hamden border, hopes its waterfall and reservoir will inspire you to paint a landscape of the area and have it be part of the center’s “end-of-season art show.” 3 p.m. 945 Whitney Ave., Hamden. For details, contact email@example.com.
Wednesday, August 1
The Summer Film Series for kids at various New Haven Public branch libraries has some of the same titles in rotation to the different locations. Today, the Cameron Crowe flick We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson and a zebra, screens at 3 p.m. in the Mitchell Branch (37 Harrison St., New Haven). On Friday Aug. 3 at 2 p.m., the main branch (133 Elm St.) has Dolphin Tale.
Thursday, August 2
The summer edition of downtown New Haven’s popular wine and shopping event, Flights of Fancy, begins at The Study at Yale with registration from 4 to 7 p.m. A $10 fee gets you 25% discounts at participating shops, a wine glass for sampling wines provided by The Wine Thief, and a chance at winning a grand prize. It wraps up at the hotel at 8:15 with Willoughby’s coffee, an Insomnia cookie, and that prize drawing—for a free overnight stay for two at The Study itself.
Once you’ve wined and shopped, it’s time to hit a club. One of the coolest, most fascinating shows this week is sold out: Gruff Rhys of the bands Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon assails Yale’s Beinecke Library with a concert on his “Investigative Tour.” If you were unable to score one of the free tickets to that intimate concert, turn your attention to the eclectic Michigan roots/rock outfit Blue Pontiac at Cafe Nine (250 State St., New Haven; 203-789-8281; 8 p.m., $5) or a slew of jam bands (Green Bottle, Pluto is a Planet, The High Council and Euphoria) at The Space (295 Treadwell St., Hamden; 203-288-6400; 7 p.m., $10). Or walk across the lot to catch regional rockers from throughout New England (Todo Bien from New Hampshire, The Moving Company from Massachusetts and a third band TBA) as they descend on the Outer Space (295 Treadwell St., Hamden; 203-288-6400; 7 p.m., $10). Meanwhile, 1990s Canadian hitmakers Our Lady Peace play Toad’s Place (300 York St., New Haven; 203-624-TOAD; 8 p.m., $25), with Mean Creek opening.
Friday, August 3
Time for another On9 cultural crawl through the lively Ninth Square. Shops and galleries along Chapel, State, Orange and other Ninth Square streets offer special attractions, sales and events for the discriminating sidewalk-stroller. This month’s theme is Noise on 9 and features “singing bowls and gongs” at Breathing Room, a Cobalt Rhythm Kings concert at Olde School Saloon & Bistro, a transformation of Neville Wisdom’s NW Boutique into a “’60s dance club,” and more.
Saturday, August 4
The ear-opening progressive concerts in the Uncertainty Music Series continue with an intimate coffeehouse concert by composer Mario Pavone (pictured above) and his new quartet. The ensemble doubles up on the double bass, with both Carl Testa and Pavone himself playing the instrument. Dave Ballou is on trumpet, and Gerald Cleaver drums. 8 p.m. at Bru Café, 141 Orange St., New Haven. $10.
Sunday, August 5
The first Sunday of the month means free admission to New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave., New Haven), 1 – 4 p.m. Current exhibitions include “Letters Home to Addie: Civil War Correspondence of William Edwards Augur (1836-1903).”
Just a couple of blocks from the museum, at 5 p.m. there’s an opening reception for the special August installation at the Creative Arts Workshop. When the gallery takes a vacation, it still offers art, which you can view through the large front window. This year’s installation is “UN(Common) Sense” by Jason Noushin. The multi-media piece is a response to war crimes in Yugoslavia which have been heard by the UN International Criminal Tribunal since 1993, and to the 2008 arrest of Radovan Karadzic, the so-called “Butcher of Bosnia.”
Written by Christopher Arnott.