This Week in New Haven (April 17 – 23)

B udding filmmakers, a flower plucked too soon and a literal festival of blossoms proclaim that spring has truly sprung.

Monday, April 17
The 2017 Yale Student Film Festival is Yale student-run but, regarding both auteurs and audiences, it isn’t just for Yale students. Featuring a tantalizing selection of 42 short films by “university-level filmmakers, both foreign and domestic,” screenings across various categories—including tomorrow’s 6 p.m. “opening screening” of a former Yale student’s film, Ira Sachs’s critical darling Little Men (Loria Center, 190 York St, New Haven)—are free and open to the public, as are some of the festival’s offshoot events, like today’s 7 p.m. panel discussion about (and by) women in film (Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St, New Haven).

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Tuesday, April 18 – Tax Day
If you’ve finished and filed your 2016 taxes, a right-brain reward awaits at The Ballroom at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400). Tracing its beginnings to 1986 and “credited as the deathless ‘primal father’ of the lo-fi aesthetic,” the especially independent indie rock band Sebadoh headlines a 9 p.m. all-ages bill there, with “melodic punk/indie band” Blessed State opening. $18, or $15 in advance.

Wednesday, April 19
Comprising a series of interrelated talks given by a single speaker over the course of a week or two, this year’s Dwight H. Terry Lectureship commences today at Yale. Delivered in the past by luminaries like the popular science writer Stephen Jay Gould, the influential ethicist Peter Singer and the Pulitzer-winning author Marilynne Robinson, this year’s lecturer is Kwame Anthony Appiah, “a Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist” who currently hangs his hat at New York University. The first of his three lectures, titled “Gods & Spirits,” happens in Linsly-Chittenden Hall (63 High St, New Haven) at 4:30 p.m. Free.

Thursday, April 20
From 5:30 to 7 p.m., photographers Robert Lisak and David Ottenstein discuss their joint exhibit, Capitol America—featuring scenes from state capitol buildings throughout the United States—in the place where it’s exhibiting: the New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, New Haven; 203-562-4183). On the agenda are “tales of how their project was conceived and executed;” additional images that aren’t otherwise on display; technical insights; and “their growing awareness” that, more than admittedly beautiful architecture, they were capturing “sites of rich and sometimes contradictory history,” a.k.a. “the places where democracy happens.” Free.

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Friday, April 21
Yesterday through tomorrow, Yale Cabaret presents Circling the Drain (or, All That Vacant Possibility), a play inspired by the story and stories of fiction writer Amanda Davis, who died young just as her potential was being realized. “In this testament to the incredible strength it takes to be vulnerable,” organizers say, “we’re reminded that the most profound and intimate narratives can come from the strangers sitting next to us.” Tickets to all performances—tonight’s happen at 8 and 11—cost $20, with discounted seats available for Yale faculty/staff ($15) and students ($12). 217 Park Street, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

Saturday, April 22 – Earth Day
Two Earth-focused efforts converge on College Woods, a street-level section of East Rock Park extending north and west from the intersection of Cold Spring and Orange. It’s where cyclists participating in the ninth annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride—a fundraiser for local environmental causes whose itinerary begins at 7:15 a.m. at Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave, New Haven)—are scheduled to arrive between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., when they’ll enjoy a post-ride celebration featuring food, live music and a “mini ‘green expo.’”

Along the way, events related to a “March for Science” get going in the same spot. Organized by Action Together Connecticut and intended to “celebrate science, encourage curiosity and defend evidence-based policies,” the schedule begins at 1 p.m. with science demos and talks, followed by a rally at 2 and, after that, a march through the East Rock neighborhood.

Sunday, April 23
Wooster Square’s 44th annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the famous perimeter of trees that bloom this time of year around the square (pictured very partially above), happens from noon to 4:30. Starting with a “procession of the Italian societies” and ending with a reggae set by St. Luke’s Steel Band, with three other main stage acts between, the festival also boasts “expanded” children’s activities, a “pet-friendly area” and a slew of tablers and vendors including “more than a dozen” food sellers.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. 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.

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