T he city hits an impressive stride this week with four of its annual keystone cultural events happening in as many days. The first of them is distinctively artisanal and intellectual; the second is earthy and energetic; the third is artsy and classy; and the fourth is celebratory and communitarian.
Mash ’em up and what do you get? New Haven.
Monday, April 21
Time is short to see the long-running Windows into Heaven: Russian Icons and Treasures exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum (1 State St, New Haven; 203-865-0400). Windows includes “more than 225 examples of Russian Orthodox iconography,” among “other liturgical and devotional items,” and it closes this Sunday. Until then, you can visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week. Free.
Tuesday, April 22
The grammatically rebellious “urban SEED [ ] ponics lab” (847 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-446-6228) is celebrating Earth Day tonight with a panel and film screening. The panel’s speakers—Brad Armstrong (urban SEED), Justin Elicker (New Haven Land Trust), Eric Ciolino (One World Coffee Roasters) and Greg Celantano (Hearts For People)—are charged with answering the question, “Why organic?” The screening to follow features Earth Days, a 2009 documentary tracing the rise of environmentalism in the 1960s and 70s. $10 donation suggested. 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, April 23
From 5:30 to 7:30 tonight, the Ives branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835) is hosting the next installment in its “Spring Entrepreneur Series,” intended to help budding small business owners. Led by accountant Tom Mazzafero, this one’s about money and finance and is geared towards “entrepreneurs who are currently in the planning stages or ready to launch,” though it seems likely that it’ll still be useful even if you’ve already gotten going. Free.
Thursday, April 24
“Knot What You Imagine” is the thematic title of this year’s Leonardo Challenge, which for twenty years has challenged artists to come up with deliriously creative answers to crafty questions posed by the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop (915 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-777-1833). This year’s question is “What can you make of knots?”, and a benefit reception tonight from 5:30 to 9 p.m.—promising “fine food, festive spirits and tidy invention”—is the public’s first chance to see the artists’ answers. Tickets to the benefit are $60; if you can’t make it, the items will be on display for a few weeks to come.
Friday, April 25
Starting at 4:45 p.m. inside the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (121 Wall St, New Haven), the Yalie quintet Brass celebrates its fifteenth year with “Hollywood Brass,” a concert event featuring tunes from movies including The Lord of the Rings series and The Incredibles. This is the latest show in the group’s “Marble & Brass” series, which has been running at the Beinecke since the quintet’s first spring in 2000. Preceding the performance is the premiere of a short documentary film about the ensemble. Free.
From 5 to 9 p.m. this evening at the corner of Temple and Chapel Streets (and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at Broadway Triangle), the Elm City Dance Collective erects “The See Yourself Project,” wherein “passersby [are] invited to shape and direct the movements of living statues,” a.k.a. dancers from the troupe. Free.
From 6 to 9 p.m., Haven Events packs an impressive number of local and regional vendors into Trolley Square (1175 State St, New Haven) for “Spring Haven.” In addition to goods for sale by 20+ arts, fashion and beauty vendors; food for purchase from the likes of Fryborg, Meat & Co. and Taco Pacifico; and a photo booth for preening in, DJ Lokash presides over a dance floor for tearing up. $2 admission.
Providence-based “8-bit punk” duo Math the Band tops an 8 p.m. bill with New Haven’s higher-bit duo Mission Zero and Hartford-hailing ska trio The Excitement Gang tonight at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400). Thrashing around as if they care deeply about trivial topics (“Why didn’t you get a haircut?”), Math is great fun to watch on Youtube, but the group’s probably even more enjoyable live, where you can thrash around too. $10, $8 in advance.
Saturday, April 26
The sixth annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride kicks New Haven’s bicyclers into gear this morning at Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave, New Haven), where a preliminary period of “registration, breakfast and entertainment” opens at 8 a.m. Throughout the day, Rock to Rock rocks two pre-Ride rides and four official Ride rides, each with their own parameters and itineraries. Riders then converge on East Rock Park from 1 to 3 p.m., for more food and entertainment, plus an eco-fair and games for the kids. Registration is $15 for those 18 and under, $35 for adults aged 19-59 and $25 for the 60+ set.
“Something Blue,” Artspace’s big 2014 fundraising gala, gets going at 5 p.m. Things begin in Artspace itself (50 Orange St, New Haven; 203-772-2709) with cocktails, wine, hors d’oeuvres and a silent art auction, then shift down the block to the cavernous former bank building at 45 Church Street for a live auction and dessert. Tickets are $110, and to really get into the spirit of things, try and work some blue into your wardrobe.
Sunday, April 27
It’s never a guarantee at the time of the event’s scheduling that the cherry blossoms will show off their finery in time for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Wooster Square, but this year we’re in luck, as some of them will have already been in bloom for a week. Held from noon to 5 p.m. today, the festival includes “entertainment, food booths, art-related events, activities for children and pets” and “lots more.” Among the entertainers is St. Luke’s Steel Drum Band, back after getting stage watchers out of their chairs last year, and kids (such as the ones pictured above during last year’s event) can find plenty to entertain them, including face-painting. Food vendors’ menus range from Italian to Ethiopian to Mexican to Indian, and 30+ arts, history and other cultural organizations, along with 10 artists and authors, are set to table the event. Free to attend.
Written by Dan Mims. Image courtesy of the Historic Wooster Square Association. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.