T his week, New Haveners are drinking to science, getting writing advice from an accomplished novelist, bobbing heads to a seminal musician and absorbing insights from über-successful entrepreneurs—and that’s not even counting the weekend, when the cultural powerhouse that is the International Festival of Arts & Ideas commences its jam-packed 19th season.
Monday, June 9
Astronomy On Tap, a multi-city event series featuring “accessible, engaging science presentations” held in places where beer is sold (“because science is even better with beer”), technically began in New York. But its origins can be traced back to New Haven, where Astronomy Uncorked, the series’s discontinued, wine-favoring progenitor, was conceived. So it’s only right that New Haven is one of the first additional cities to get its own AOT program, which gets going at 8 p.m. tonight at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven). Three astronomers—Louise Edwards, Stella Offner and Roy Kilgard—cover subjects from “supersonic winds and massive black holes” to astronomy in pop culture. The event is free (register here), so it’s a big bang for your buck.
Tuesday, June 10
Tonight at the Ives Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835), the enviably popular and well-reviewed writer Sandi Kahn Shelton, who’s adopted the pen name Maddie Dawson for her last two novels, is leading a writing seminar for “practicing and daydreaming writers” called “Is This Your Year to Write Your Book?” Topics of discussion include “how to get started, how to get past page 18, and how to develop believable characters and then torture them.” 6 p.m. $10.
Wednesday, June 11
Over at The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400), “godfather of goth” Peter Murphy, frontman of seminal late-70s/early-80s goth-rock band Bauhaus, is doing a solo show, but he isn’t alone. Opening the bill is Ringo Deathstarr, which adopts at least one of the musical trappings Bauhaus helped innovate: even when the melody’s upbeat, there’s an unmistakable but not unappealing residue of gloom. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, or there’s a $100 VIP option, which includes a meet-and-greet with Murphy, an “exclusive edition t-shirt” and an autographed poster.
Thursday, June 12
This evening at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 203-387-2522), Honest Tea co-founder Barry Nalebuff and Nantucket Nectars co-founder Tom Scott discuss “what goes into building a successful food business with a conscience.” The talk, part of the center’s “Food for Thought” series, starts at 6:15, but get there early (5:30) for organic cocktails and desserts from Edge of the Woods Natural Market. $30, or $25 for JCC members.
Friday, June 13
Though the two-week International Festival of Arts & Ideas begins in earnest tomorrow, there are kick-off events tonight, including a gala in the posh climes of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (121 Wall St, New Haven; tickets start at $150 a pop) from 5 to 9 p.m. and a couple of hourlong film screenings, 7 and 8 p.m., at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-0670). The films, Intimate Stranger and Nobody’s Business, are related in personnel and subject matter: both were made by documentarian Alan Berliner—who had a hand in seemingly every major aspect of the films, including direction, production, cinematography, editing and sound—and both focus on members of Berliner’s family. So he’s a particularly good person to ask about the movies, which you can do after the showings conclude at 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 14
Yesterday’s IFAI itinerary featured two events; today’s has 29. Starting at 9 a.m., bike rides and hikes, film screenings, absurdist “aquatic poetry and music,” shows by a variety of local performers and several others besides lead up to the day’s main attraction at 7 p.m.: a free headlining concert on the New Haven Green by rich- yet smooth-sounding R&B/jazz/pop singer Lalah Hathaway, with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard making a guest appearance (both pictured above). Come early to get a good seat and to listen to Music Haven’s Haven String Quartet, which performs on the green from 6 until about 6:45.
In the middle of the day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hindinger Farm (835 Dunbar Hill Rd, Hamden; 203-288-0700) holds its annual family-friendly, free-to-attend Strawberry Festival. In addition to the berries, hayrides, clowns and food served by beloved “high-quality fast food” joint Glenwood Drive-In make for an old-fashioned kind of fun.
Orbit Art Gallery used to be a mainstay of Ideat Village, the alt arts festival timed to coincide with Arts & Ideas. IV bellowed its last full-throated hurrah in 2012, but Orbit’s back as a “stand-alone” exhibition, providing a “free, unjuried,” “inclusive, DIY showcase open to all artists.” The opening reception is tonight at 8 p.m. at West Village Apartments (52 Howe St, New Haven), which might ring a bell as the old YMCA building. To get your work shown, simply drop it off at the venue between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. today. Somehow, organizers will get it all hung up by 8.
Sunday, June 15
You’re invited to a couple of Pardees today. Between noon and 4 p.m., the Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse Point Rd, New Haven) in Morris Cove, which is kept up by the New Haven Museum, is open to visitors. The house is one of New Haven’s oldest surviving structures, rebuilt in 1780 after the British burned the original structure there during a Revolutionary War raid. Then, at 4 p.m., stop and smell the Pardee Rose Garden, Greenhouse and Center (180 Park Rd, Hamden), which is hosting a special tour of the grounds.
Following another slew of IFAI events throughout the day, the Martha Redbone Roots Project presides over the festival’s second big free concert on the green. Back in the early to mid-2000s, before Redbone started emphasizing a stunning array of roots music (“folk, country, piedmont blues, gospel, honkytonk, bluegrass, soul, and traditional Native”), she put out some truly funky funk. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get some of that tonight as well. 7 p.m.
Written by Dan Mims. Photo, depicting Ruben Studdard and Lalah Hathaway, provided courtesy of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.