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. 

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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.

Hartford's Artists Collective
Shana Sureck / WNPR

A group of Black and Latino artists will convene today for the first time to find ways to support and diversify Greater Hartford’s arts community.

The Artists of Color Advisory Group was formed in response to a study by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Its 2019 Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Study concluded that the region had a wealth of diverse artists but a limited amount of opportunities for them.

Quick Quarantined Play Festival / Facebook

While certain public places are finding ways to reopen safely, theaters still have a long way to go. Socially distancing the audience is doable but probably not cost-effective. And what about the actors? Keeping 6 feet apart onstage could make for a bizarre evening of theater.

Budapest Operetta Theatre / Bartók Plusz Opera Festival

What we’ve all been through in this pandemic has sparked renewed interest in the work of 19th-century physician Ignaz Semmelweis. He is considered to be the first person to find a correlation between hand-washing and disease prevention.

Semmelweis’ discovery was the subject of a recent Google “doodle.” It’s also the basis of a 2018 chamber opera, which is currently streaming online.

theater closed sign
Corey Doctorow / Creative Commons

State officials have released a set of guidelines for arts and cultural organizations to follow when considering reopening. The guidelines were compiled by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development along with arts advocacy groups from around the state.

Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport / Facebook

Gov. Ned Lamont’s strategy to open certain businesses on May 20 is welcome news to the Mystic Seaport Museum.

The maritime museum closed its doors March 13, and made the tough decision to layoff  most of its staff on April 1st. But at Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, Lamont listed outdoor museums as being the first type of business that could reopen on May 20.

hartford symphony orchestra
hartfordsymphonyblog.com

You’ve probably heard the old showbiz saying “The show must go on.” Well, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is going ahead with its annual gala this weekend. Only, this year, people will be sipping cocktails in their tuxes and gowns and enjoying the music from the comfort of their own living rooms.

zoom meeting
Facebook

As the world shifts to online communication during this pandemic, people are finding creative ways to replicate face-to-face situations in the virtual world -- think business meetings, online cocktail hours and livestreaming concerts.

But technology hasn’t quite caught up with at least one type of real-life endeavor -- choral singing.

Rob Ruggiero
TheaterWorks Hartford

Social distancing has forced performing arts organizations to find creative ways to stay relevant. TheaterWorks in Hartford has responded by stepping up its online presence as a way to stay connected with patrons and supporters.

Urban Hope Refuge Church
Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public

For Christians around the world in self-isolation, the celebration of Easter will be a stark reminder of the impact coronavirus has on their lives.

A pastor in Hartford's North End will bring his congregation together for Easter while still practicing social distancing -- it’s called an Easter drive-in service.

theater closed sign
Corey Doctorow / Creative Commons

Three and a half million dollars. That’s the estimated negative economic impact of the coronavirus on Connecticut’s arts and cultural organizations, according to a new survey.

children chorus
Chorus Angelicus / Facebook

Social distancing has musicians missing not only performances, but also the camaraderie and fun of just getting together to rehearse and make music.

Members of the Torrington-based children's choir Chorus Angelicus are no different. So in between Zoom rehearsals recently, they came together in the virtual world to record a song that has special meaning for all of them.

Cuatro Puntos

As many people around the world hunker down in isolation, performing artists find themselves in uncharted territory. With no upcoming performances to practice for, how are they managing their time? Does creativity take over when boredom sets in?

One Hartford-based music director finds social distancing antithetical to his organization’s main purpose.

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum will lay off a large portion of its staff April 1 in an effort to weather the impact of COVID-19.

The maritime museum closed its doors and suspended all classes, programs and events on March 13. At that time, they had hoped to reopen March 30. But as coronavirus cases in Connecticut rise, it’s unclear exactly when the museum will be able to welcome visitors again.

music never sleeps
Facebook

Because of the coronavirus, New York City is now home to an abundance of underemployed, world-class musicians. Many of them will be participating in a 24-hour, live streaming music marathon beginning this evening.

violinist
Hartford Symphony Orchestra

As many people around the world hunker down in isolation, performing artists find themselves in uncharted territory. With no upcoming performances to practice for, how are they managing their time? Does creativity take over when boredom sets in?

Arts organizations are at a virtual standstill as much of the world hunkers down to avoid spreading the coronavirus. It’s predicted that many organizations will not survive the crisis. Even long-established institutions are feeling the pinch.

Carolyn Paine
Facebook

As many people around the world hunker down in isolation, performing artists find themselves in uncharted territory. With no upcoming performances to practice for, how are they managing their time? Does creativity take over when boredom sets in?

Virtually all local arts performances and events in the state have been canceled in the face of the coronavirus crisis, meaning lost revenue for these organizations and tough decisions going forward regarding staffing and other budget issues. Other cultural institutions, like museums and libraries, are facing similar concerns as people hunker down at home in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Lee “Mixashawn” Rozie is a multi-instrumentalist who fuses jazz with the music of many cultures, especially Indigenous people. His latest work, An American Songbook, gets its world premiere Saturday in West Hartford.

The title may be misleading to some. Rather than a celebration of popular music from the first half of the 20th century, Rozie’s interpretation of the phrase is quite literal.

mike casey
Courtesy: Mike Casey

Jazz saxophonist Mike Casey returns to his old Connecticut stomping grounds for a performance in Old Lyme this week. The performance coincides with the release of two new singles. 

ammunition
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut General Assembly will consider a proposal this legislative session that would impose an excise tax on ammunition. Revenue from the tax would support gun violence prevention efforts in affected communities.

puppet slam
Facebook

When you think of puppetry, you may think of the Muppets, or King Friday and the other hand puppets on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. But puppetry can also be a powerful way to convey more adult themes and emotions.

UConn’s Puppet Arts Program, along with the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, explores the edgier side of the art form with the Winter Puppet Slam this Friday night.

Simsbury High School is using the school’s musical production as a way to talk to students about issues of race and discrimination.

The musical Hairspray is set in 1962 Baltimore.

Teenager Tracy Turnblad has secured a spot on the Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance show. The dancers on the show are white, but once a month the show has “Negro Day.” Tracy, who is white, campaigns to make the show integrated.

Rob Mead Photography

Actor John O’Hurley is probably best known for his guest-starring role on Seinfeld as Elaine’s boss, J. Peterman, the pompous and often clueless catalog guru. In real life, the West Hartford native is a busy performer and an accomplished singer and dancer. He brings his one-man show to the Ridgefield Playhouse this Sunday.

Connie Tsang

According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the artists in most museums’ collections are 87% male and 85% white. Only 27% of major exhibitions are devoted to women artists world-wide. The New Britain Museum of American Art has taken the initiative to buck that trend. 

Sound Underwater Survey / Facebook

New archival research has revealed the identity of an unknown shipwreck off the Connecticut coast.

There are more than 100 historic shipwrecks in Long Island Sound by most accounts, but one particular wreck that was discovered by divers seven years ago off the coast near New London was initially a mystery. Only a few artifacts remained from the wreckage, which made it impossible to identify the ship.

The National Arts Program

Artists in Hartford and Middlesex counties are encouraged to submit their latest creations to the 2020 National Arts Program. Hartford is one of 90 venues nationwide chosen to participate in the program. The project culminates in a juried show, where artists in a host of categories can win cash prizes.

Carlos Giusti / Associated Press

The island of Puerto Rico remains in a state of emergency as it recovers from a string of earthquakes that have rattled the island in recent days. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Puerto Rico’s southern coast caused major damage in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The holidays are traditionally a time of celebration and good cheer. But for many, this season of joy compounds feelings of sadness, stress, and loneliness. Many places of worship respond to those who are hurting during the holidays with what’s called a “Blue Christmas” worship service.

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