Ray Hardman | Connecticut Public Radio
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Ray Hardman

Host/Reporter

Ray Hardman began his broadcasting career at WFSU in Tallahassee Florida where he served at different times as a producer, Operations manager, and Morning Edition host. Ray joined the WNPR staff in 1996, as a reporter and host. He later became the Music Director for WNPR, and in 2002 he went back to his newsy roots as the host of WNPR’s Morning Edition.

From 2002 to 2009 Ray divided his time between WNPR and CPTV, first serving as a correspondent on CPTV’s news magazine Main Street. He later became the host of Main Street, and from 2005 to 2009 was the host and producer for CPTV’s Front and Center with Ray Hardman.

Ray holds degrees from St. Mary's College of Maryland and Florida State University. In his spare time, Ray fronts a garage band called The Radiation. Ray lives in West Hartford with his wife Kathleen, and their sons Benjamin and Jackson. 

Ways to Connect

Courtesy: UConn Muslim Student Association

The University of Connecticut’s Muslim Student Association is hosting a virtual art show and contest Thursday evening to raise awareness about the plight of China’s Uighur population.

Ken Cormier

Many of us have retreated into hobbies and pastimes to deal with the stress of nearly a year of self-isolation and pandemic-related restrictions.

Quinnipiac English professor and poet Ken Cormier has taken it a step further, using his spare time to single-handedly create an indie pop album full of catchy hooks, wistful lyrics and masterful production value.

City of New Haven

The City of New Haven Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs is hosting a one-day virtual event to foster anti-racism in arts and culture.

Saturday’s event is titled "Unapologetically Radical" and is intended for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as community activists, and arts organizations doing anti-racism work.

Radical Black Art and Performance series / Facebook

The Radical Black Art and Performance Series features virtual performances, film screenings, discussions and workshops by LGBTQ artists and scholars of color.

Michael Jackson

Avant-garde jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith has been named a 2021 United States Artists Fellow. United States Artists is a national arts funding organization based in Chicago.

Facebook

As the original guitarist for the British Invasion group The Animals, Hilton Valentine will probably be best remembered for the now-iconic arpeggiated opening riff from their 1964 hit “The House of the Rising Sun.” But Valentine was a lot more than that one moment. As a guitar player and composer, he was comfortable playing folk, skiffle, rhythm and blues and, of course, rock ’n’ roll music over his long career.

Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program / Facebook

Since its inception six years ago, the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program has become a focal point nationally for up-and-coming Native American playwrights, storytellers and actors.

Every year the program, also known as YIPAP, presents the Young Native Playwright’s Contest, the Young Native Storytelling Contest, and for the first time this year, the Young Native Actor’s Contest.

Robert Caughron

Today’s inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C., will feature a new work by a composer who studied at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.

Well, less than two weeks into 2021 and the surprises just keep coming. Among the more pleasant ones so far: The popular app TikTok seems to have been taken over by sea shanties. Yes, sea shanties -- those catchy, sometimes bawdy songs of the sea. Just a few measures into one of these ditties and you can almost picture a ragtag group of sailors hoisting the jib in time with the rhythmic pounding of the shanty.

Roger Christiansen / Facebook

Every fall, it seems hundreds of new holiday records flood the market. It’s a lucrative move for established artists – fans love new material, and what could be better than your favorite singer performing their own version of “Silver Bells” even though there are literally thousands of versions of the holiday classic out there?

Facebook

2020 is ending on a brighter note for Connecticut arts organizations, which have struggled to remain operational through the prolonged pandemic.

John Abbott / Facebook

A new project by Yale’s Oral History of American Music chronicles how the pandemic and months of self-isolation have affected prominent musicians. Alone Together: Musicians in the Time of Covid is a collection of thoughtful and surprising interviews with performers, conductors and composers from the world of jazz and classical music.

Facebook

Holiday shoppers now have an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s called “Artists Sunday,” a new nationwide marketing initiative that encourages shoppers to take advantage of deep discounts on arts and crafts created by local artists.

Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

Racial justice advocacy group CT Core – Organize Now! and spoken word artist Salwa Abdussabur are hosting the first Black Haven Film Festival. The live virtual event gets underway Friday.

Cuatro Puntos

The Hartford-based music ensemble Cuatro Puntos and the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford have partnered for a yearlong series of virtual concerts and discussions that intersect music and positive social change around the world.

Tim Matson / Pilobolus

Nearly 50 years ago, a group of Dartmouth College students met in a dance class. That chance encounter would later evolve into the world-renowned, Connecticut-based modern dance troupe Pilobolus.

Yale Repertory Theatre

Gov. Ned Lamont has announced a new grant program that will help arts organizations impacted by COVID-19. The $9 million COVID Relief Fund for the Arts will support not-for-profit performing arts centers, performing groups like orchestras and theaters, and community arts schools.

Hartford Opera Theater

Zoom meetings have become a ubiquitous part of pandemic life. Business meetings, social functions -- really any gathering that used be held in person has moved to Zoom or a similar platform. Now that virtual world has become the setting of a new chamber opera being performed this weekend by Hartford Opera Theater -- live, on Zoom.

The Ella Burr McManus Trust / Wadsworth Atheneum

Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, the Old State House and the Hartford Public Library are offering a series of self-guided walking tours showcasing the art and history hiding in plain sight in the capital city.

theater closed sign
Corey Doctorow / Creative Commons

Hartford-area arts organizations impacted by COVID-19 can apply to participate in a new program aimed at building audience and capacity post-pandemic. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Catalyst for the Arts will feature six weekly group sessions, as well as private coaching sessions facilitated by HFPG and the consulting firms Fathom, CO:LAB and the Free Center.

Megan Moss Freeman / Pilobolus

The Connecticut dance ensemble Pilobolus’ annual Five Senses Festival is a go for this year, but with a new social distancing twist. The world-renowned company will take this year’s festival into the lush hills of northwest Connecticut for what’s being called the “Five Senses Safari.”

New Haven Symphony Orchestra
New Haven Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will not perform in front of a live audience until 2021. Instead, the ensemble will focus on virtual programming. The decision is a response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Ray Hardman / Connecticut Public Radio

Lake Compounce bills itself as “the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America,” but COVID-19 threatened to end that 174-year streak.

Now, with clearance from the governor’s office, the Bristol amusement park is ready to open, but there will be some notable changes to ensure the safety of guests and staff.

Yale School of Music

The Yale School of Music is implementing a series of initiatives in an effort to address issues of racism and diversity at the school and beyond.

Hartford Stage
Courtesy Hartford Stage

Three months of COVID-related measures continue to take their toll on arts and culture organizations in the state. The prolonged closure of Connecticut’s performing arts venues and museums has cost those organizations nearly $29 million, according to the national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts. 

Facebook

For the last several months, nine African American men -- fathers -- have been workshopping their own personal stories of fatherhood. “The Fatherhood Manologues” is a Moth-style storytelling project that has its virtual debut on Father’s Day.

Yale Repertory Theater
Yale Repertory Theater

The Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre will skip the entire 2020-21 season in response to COVID-19.

In a press release, the school says the decision was made due to the “incompatibility of theatrical production with the best public health practices in response to COVID-19.”

eggy band
Eggy / Facebook

Self-isolation and social distancing have forced musical groups -- choirs, orchestras and other ensembles -- to temporarily disband or use unsatisfactory videoconferencing to rehearse because of the pandemic. But one Connecticut band whose members share a house in Woodbridge decided to self-isolate together, and they are making the most of it.

time magazine titus kaphar
Time

Audio Pending...

This week’s Time Magazine cover is a painting by New Haven artist Titus Kaphar created in response to the killing of George Floyd. 

The painting, Analogous Colors, is powerful -- a black mother, eyes closed, holds her child close to her body. But Kaphar cuts the image of the child out of the canvas, revealing a mother holding the empty silhouette of her baby.

Facebook

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, theater companies in Connecticut are promising to do more to deal with racial injustice in their communities and within their own workplaces.

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