This Week in New Haven (May 25 – 31)

This Week in New Haven (May 25 – 31)

H orses and miniature donkeys—plus a Monday holiday—make for a great start to an eccentric week, with smart homegrown hip hop, fringe multimedia endeavors, a carnivalesque food festival and a bonafide pow wow doing their best to wow us.

Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day
One of the most peaceful things you can do today happens at animal-assisted therapy barn Red Skye (110 Hatfield Rd, Bethany; 203-891-6787), where a “Hug a Horse” open house event is doubling as a welcoming party for BOGO, a weeks-old miniature donkey. Attendees get to “interact with the horses and mini donkeys, meet Red Skye’s skilled staff and learn more about Red Skye’s programs and services.” Noon to 2 p.m. Free.

Tuesday, May 26
It’s about to be summer, when the utility of a hand fan goes way up. Today from 4 to 6 p.m., Xiaoxing Cao, leader of the Yale Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Group, offers a traditional Chinese fan-painting workshop inside the university’s International Center (421 Temple St, New Haven). Intended for beginners ages 7 and up, the “family-friendly” event’s $20 registration fee covers “all… painting materials,” including the silk fan. Later this week, on Thursday, Cao is leading a second, similar workshop, with one key difference: today’s focuses on “realistic” artwork, while Thursday’s emphasizes a “free-style” approach.

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Answering the Call - Knights of Columbus Museum

Wednesday, May 27
New Haven-based group Political Animals isn’t hip hop as usual. The quartet keeps away from the shallow, selfish bluster that’s come to define mainstream rap, while keeping a concern for the world’s many imbalances and injustices close to heart. (“Agencies training me since the age of three, making believe beauty’s on the outside…” goes one lyric; “police soldier pull me over fully sober [two-week quota]. Dude, you don’t really do your duty and it’s duly noted,” goes another.) But also, it’s got an unusual musical configuration featuring live instruments (bass and drums) to go with the rhymes and turntables. Tonight, Stella Blues (204 Crown St, New Haven; 203-752-9764) hosts the group, also known as PACT (Political Animals Connecticut), during a 9 p.m. bill featuring headliner eMC plus The Lynguistic Civilians and Mertz. $10.

Thursday, May 28
From 6 to 10 p.m. and beyond, Baobab Tree Studios (71 Orange St, New Haven; 475-227-3581) is hosting the tripartite “A/V Xperiment,” a.k.a. “A/V X.” From 6 to 8, anyone’s invited to plug in to an available projector or monitor and show off their art. From 8 to 10, five artists—like Hu Man, who’s presiding over a “live interactive texting” and “multimedia posting” session, and Dan Gries, who’s showing “generative visuals” forming “abstract moving colors and shapes”—take over. From 10 on, “Damir the Hong Kong Kid spins deep house and rare groove,” while “visuals and live projected internet continue.” As for admission, the event is “free and open-source,” organizers say, though donations are accepted.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra presents “Cinematic Dances” tonight at the Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666), and here’s the kicker: it’s the kicker—the last official show—of the orchestra’s 2014-15 season. Conducted by William Boughton and welcoming guest violinist Bella Hristova, the 7:30 p.m. program features music from the movies: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia, “Chaconne” from The Red Violin, “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story and “Bolero” from 10 (among a number of other films). Regular tickets run between $15 and $74, with $10 pricing for students and free “KidTix” admission for youth aged 6 to 17.

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The Second Mrs. Wilson at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, May 29
Approaching 50 years as a professional performer, Livingston Taylor (pictured above) has decorated his once thoroughly folksy pipes with a more ebullient, pop-tinged sheen of late. Tonight at 7, Taylor’s thin, smooth timbre in the orbit of another long-lived Taylor (James), laced with carefully placed zips of southern twang, comes to Trinity Church on the Green. The first in a “Music for Music” concert series to benefit the church’s very active choir program, individual tickets are $25 at the door or $20 in advance, with a $60 family option available as well.

Saturday, May 30
The New Haven Food Truck Festival, billed as the “first annual” one, takes over Long Wharf Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 11 to 6 tomorrow. Among the 30+ food vendors are names you don’t normally associate with mobile dining—like Zuppardi’s Apizza and Mamoun’s Falafel—plus carnival-style amusements (try not to lose your lunch), kid-friendly activities and live music from a variety of acts across both days. Admission is $5, or free for the under-17 set, with food, drink and rides served up à la carte.

In close collaboration with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, three neighborhood steering committees are each putting on a tight-knit local pop-up party in the run-up to IFAI’s kickoff on June 12. Two of the three happen this weekend, starting today with “Celebrate Our Fair Haven” at the Christopher Columbus Family Academy (255 Blatchley Ave, New Haven), where live music, a volleyball tourney, a free-throw contest and a food tour of the area dot the 2-to-7 p.m. itinerary. Tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m., it’s “Celebrate The Hill” in Trowbridge Square Park (164 Cedar St, New Haven), hosting more live music, free burgers and hot dogs, a climbing wall and an exhibition by local drawer Krikko Obbott.

Sunday, May 31
The Connecticut Native American Inter-Tribal Urban Council is putting on its fifth annual Pow Wow this weekend. Lasting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both yesterday and today, “dancing, scouting, drum[ming], native food and a variety of vendors” help “represent and demonstrate many historic, cultural [and] spiritual practices of the first peoples of New England.” Happening at the “beautiful and sacred” summit of East Rock Park, the free-to-attend event is open to the public—or as the press release puts it, with no emphasis added, “ALL ARE WELCOME.”

Written by Dan Mims. Image depicts Livingston Taylor. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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