This Week in New Haven (February 19 - 25)

This Week in New Haven (February 19 - 25)

An intellectually and culturally active week aims to expand and maybe blow our minds.

Monday, February 19 – Presidents Day
In a 4 p.m. online talk under the auspices of the Beinecke Library and the New Haven Museum, Jennifer Coggins and Charles E. Warner, Jr., reach back as far as the 1830s to discuss “Early Black Students at Yale.”

Starting at 5 in cavernous College Street Music Hall, 10 local bands take the stage for Woodbridge community arts hub 10Selden’s 27th Annual Battle of the Bands.

Tuesday, February 20
A week later than originally planned—and with no new snow expected—the New Haven Free Public Library’s annual Mardi Gras party kicks off at 5:30 p.m.

At 6, East Haven co-op brewery The Beeracks hosts a show headlined by the refreshingly grounded-feeling Sadurn, a four-piece fronted by singer-songwriter Genevieve DeGroot. Openers include “Long Island emo/indie” rockers Innerlove and New Haven-based indie band The Knife Kickers.

At 7 in Yale’s Humanities Quadrangle, a film screening showcases a movie with its own real-world arc: New York Ninja. As organizers explain it, “a New York TV technician becomes a ninja to avenge the death of his wife at the hands of villain Freddie Cufflinks—but that’s not the real story of this recent rediscovery. When hours of silent, unedited 35mm film shot in the 1980s was found by Connecticut’s Vinegar Syndrome, Spieler assembled the footage, found actors to record dialogue, and discovered what it’s like to make a 1980s ninja movie in 2021.” Speiler, by the way, is set to attend.

Thursday, February 22
At 12:15 p.m. in Yale’s Sterling Law Building, climate reporter Georgina Gustin and Yale Law lecturer/researcher/administrator Viveca Morris discuss “Animal Agriculture’s Climate Lobbying and Misinformation Strategies.”

At 5:30, the Yale University Art Gallery celebrates the recent opening of Sheila Levrant de Bretteville: Community, Activism, and Design by hosting a conversation with the artist herself.

At 6 in Fair Haven Library, “Calvin Ramsey, author of Ruth and the Green Book, discusses the history of Black baseball team owners and players and Black Latinos who operated their own leagues when the sport was segregated.”

Meanwhile, according to a mailer from the New Haven Museum, expect “tales of daring maneuvers and deadly encounters” during a 6 o’clock virtual talk by Eric Jay Dolin. Echoing his book, Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution (2022), “Dolin will present the American Revolution as few have encountered it,” arguing that privateers—“armed vessels owned by private individuals,” including 200 from Connecticut—were “critical to the Revolution’s outcome.”

At 7:30 at the back of EBM & Civvies Vintage, the New Haven Theater Company opens a two-weekend run of Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out, a “comedy with dark edges” that “takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the power of female friendship, the dilemma of going back to work, and the effect class has on parenthood in America.”

Friday, February 23
Love & Basketball (2000)—the last in a Black History Month-aligned series of films “featur Black actors who starred in a Yale Repertory Theater production while attending the Yale School of Drama and then went on to star in feature films in Hollywood”—screens at 2 p.m. at Ives Main Library.

At 7:30 in Yale’s Luce Hall, Hamza Akram Qawwal & Brothers—a pedigreed ensemble from Pakistan specializing in “the ecstatic improvisational Sufi vocal tradition” qawwali—“build<> a state of ecstasy through rhythmic handclapping, drumming and powerful vocals, performing songs that range from 13th-century mystical Persian poems to more recent Punjabi poems that speak of the intoxication of divine love.”

Saturday, February 24
Yale-China’s annual Lunarfest celebration of the Lunar New Year feels especially big this year. Attended by a scavenger hunt, the marquee Lion Dance Parade event starts at 10 a.m. at Whitney Avenue/Grove Street and is followed by a slew of performances, workshops, arts activities, shopping specials and a new popup “Dragon Market” spanning nine locations and zones.

At 8 p.m., Mardi Gras returns, this time at Christopher Martins, where a theme party is headlined by the venerable Motown/dance funk band Boogie Chillun.

Sunday, February 25
A 2 p.m. reception at City Gallery marks the closing of FAMILY ACT, an exhibition of works by “gallery member William Frucht, his sisters Sara Frucht and Martha Rives, and his wife, Candace Ovesey.” The show spans William’s photography, Sara’s code art, Martha’s mixed media and Candace’s sculpture.

Written by Dan Mims. Image, featuring a moment during last year’s Lion Dance Parade, photographed by Maza Rey Photography. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations, prices and other details before attending events.

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