A ctions speak louder than words this week in New Haven. A powerful film festival inspires us to think and act differently; a storied playwright acts in his own play; a health initiative takes over the green to get people active; and an annual tradition gets New Haveners turning words into deeds.
Monday, March 31
Silk Road Art Gallery (83 Audubon St, New Haven; 203-772-8928), intended to be “a contemporary art space where East meets West,” opens to the public for the first time at 9 a.m. this morning. Its first exhibition embraces that newness wholeheartedly: Emerging Chinese Artists showcases “six young painters,” some of them pursuing artistic modes not often celebrated in these parts, including ink-and-wash landscape painting and calligraphy. Such works hang on the pristine space’s walls; in-between, Chinese artifacts have been meticulously placed atop white pedestals (such as the statuette pictured above), with colorful traditional silk garments peeking out one of the gallery’s street-facing windows.
Tuesday, April 1
It’s April Fools’ Day, so watch out for pranks.
The Environmental Film Festival at Yale, on the other hand, is no joke. This year’s edition sprouted at 7 p.m. last night in Burke Auditorium (195 Prospect St, New Haven) with a screening of the feature Il Etait un Foret (“Once Upon a Forest”), a love song for the world’s tropical forests sung by French botanist Francis Halle and directed by Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins). A stream of screenings and special events flows the rest of the week—including showings of Marmato, named for a mountain in Colombia where “inhabitants are at risk of being displaced by an open-pit mining project,” tonight at 7 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven) and the exquisitely shot The Ghosts in Our Machine, which highlights the plights of the animals consumed by industrialized systems, on Thursday at 6:30 (room LC 101, 63 High Street, New Haven; see second image above). The festival reaches a fever pitch with several events on both Saturday and Sunday, helped along by “EFFY After Dark,” a dance party at GPSCY (“gypsy”). That’s the Yale grad student hangout at the end of one of those nondescript alleys extending west off York Street, just north of Chapel. The party starts Saturday at 10 p.m. and, like all festival events, is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, April 2
Once called “the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world” in the pages of Time Magazine, octogenarian Athol Fugard is pulling double-duty at Long Wharf Theatre (222 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-787-4282), starring in the world premiere of a play he also wrote. That play is The Shadow of the Hummingbird, wherein a grandfather and young grandson teach each other a thing or two about life. The show, which officially opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. following a week of previews, runs until Sunday, April 27, skipping Mondays along the way. $64.50-74.50.
Thursday, April 3
Splash, photographer Phyllis Crowley’s new exhibition featuring “photographs of swimmers, pools and fountains,” gets its feet wet today at City Gallery (994 State St, New Haven; 203-782-2489) before jumping into the deep end on Saturday, when an opening reception lasts from 2 to 5 p.m. The images are meant to capture the “joy and ebullience of human motion in water, with hints of the risks of staying under.”
Friday, April 4
Tonight’s On9 event has not one but two special themes, and unlike most of the other salvos in the long-running series, there’s just one venue: the cavernous historic bank building at 45 Church Street. Things get going at 6 p.m. with Cocktails On9, which pits local mixologists against each other to see who can make the best mixed drink. At 7:30, it’s Design On9, which centers around local fashion hero Neville Wisdom’s spring runway show. Tickets are $20 and include “admission, a sample of all cocktails to be judged, food tastings by local restaurants and the chance to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ cocktail.”
Saturday, April 5
The 11th annual Edible Book Tea at Creative Arts Workshop (80 Audubon St, New Haven) invites amateur cooks and bakers to make and share dishes of food inspired by books they’ve read. Past contributions have included a big dog bone-shaped cookie referencing Marley and Me and a chocolate cake shaped into a stack of books topped by Where the Sidewalk Ends. Dish-preparers should arrive at 9 a.m.; at 10 a.m. the public is invited in to gawk and talk, and at 11 a.m., the food is set to be devoured like a Harry Potter book on release day. To attend, as the website puts it, “There is no fee, just bring some tea!”
Over on the green, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Get Healthy CT is putting on a “Get Fit Day.” Mayor Toni Harp presides over “activities for all ages” including exercise classes, a climbing wall, food vendors and health screenings.
Sunday, April 6
Today’s the start of New Haven Restaurant Week, when many of the city’s best restaurants offer $18 lunches and $32 dinners drawn from special prix fixe menus. 29 restaurants are participating this time, from Barcelona to Thali to Cask Republic to Miya’s. Check out the full rundown here.
Written by Dan Mims. Photo #1 by Dan Mims. Photo #2 by Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals © 2012), courtesy of The Ghosts in Our Machine.