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

Alex Dueben / Judy Dworin Performance Project

An exhibit of works by the late abstract impressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler is in its final days at The New Britain Museum of American Art. On Thursday, The Judy Dworin Performance Project, a Hartford-based dance and theater ensemble will perform a new work inspired by Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003.

Classical artist Paul Armesto
Allison Minto / Connecticut Public

You might say muralist and painter Paul Armesto is a throwback to the past. Rather than using modern means to create his mostly religious works, Armesto has steeped himself in the classical style, adopting the techniques and even materials of the Renaissance masters, like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. For the last several months, Armesto has been working on a giant mural for the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury.

Charter Oak Cultural Center / Facebook

Poetry by young Hartford-area writers is reaching a wider readership -- on a CTtransit Bus.

The “Poetry Bus” will inspire riders for the next few weeks with excerpts of poems written by students who participate in creative writing classes at the Charter Oak Cultural Center’s Youth Arts Institute. The poems form a graphic display on the outside of the bus.

Legacy Theatre / Facebook

It was a silent movie theater, a factory that made women’s undergarments and the home of summer stock theater productions in the 1930s and ’40s. Now, after decades of neglect, a newly renovated building in Branford has begun a new chapter as the Legacy Theatre.

Rod Cornish
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

This month, the CUTLINE series on Connecticut Public Television looks at the many ways small, independently owned retail businesses in Connecticut survived the downturn caused by COVID-19.

There is no doubt that small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic. According to the U.S Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, 34% of small business owners in Connecticut say the pandemic has had a “large negative effect” on their business -- that’s about 4% higher than the national average.

Kevin Kennedy / The Sphinx Organization

Sphinx Virtuosi is a conductor-less chamber ensemble comprising 18 Black and Latinx classical musicians. The group will present a virtual concert this weekend and then launch a mentorship program for student musicians from Bridgeport.

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.

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