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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.

Hank Bolden, Atomic Vet
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Hank Bolden is an 83-year-old undergraduate at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. He is also an atomic vet — one of thousands of soldiers exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War.

Bolden is one of only a few African-Americans still here to tell the story.

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.

music never sleeps
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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
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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.

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons

Sanders won big in Nevada. Biden won big in South Carolina. Steyer and Buttigieg are out, Bloomberg is in, and Warren and Klobuchar are pulling up the rear.

There will be 1,357 delegates from 14 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday. We try to make sense of it.

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. 

Andrew Deacon / Creative Commons

Most of the characteristics we associate with hotels -- the welcoming yet alienating effect they have on our psyches -- we absorbed from the artists, musicians, and filmmakers who have long been fascinated with the relationship between our physical travels and our spiritual journeys.

Courtesy: The New Haven Museum

The New Haven Clock Company Factory opened on Hamilton Street in the mid-1800s. At its peak, it was the largest timepiece manufacturing facility in the world. Hundreds of Connecticut workers built clocks and pocket watches -- and later fuses during World War II. 

puppet slam
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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.

Nestled in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University is an audio and video collection featuring many of the major musical figures of our time. 

The Oral History of American Music includes interviews with a wide range of musical figures, from Charles Ives to Laurie Anderson.

Xiaphias / Wikimedia Commons

Spend just a few minutes with young children and you’ll marvel at their imagination. Maybe they’re pretending to be a dragon running a bakery, or they’re coloring the sky purple instead of blue. But somewhere along the way, most of those kids turn into adults who say, “I’m just not a creative person!”

This hour, we ask: how can we foster children’s imaginations? What is creativity, anyway? We talk with psychologists and art teachers to explore what we can do to keep our kids, families, and society inspired by a lifelong curiosity for the arts.

Connie Tsang

When you got to an art gallery, how much of what you see has been made by women? Women artists are underrepresented in most museums. But this year, a special series at the New Britain Museum of American Art will exclusively feature exhibitions by female artists. This hour, we talk with the museum’s director, Min Jung Kim.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

Timothy Norris / Courtesy: The Hip Hop Nutcracker

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” returns to The Bushnell for its third holiday season this Friday. 

In this Thursday, April 27, 2006, file photo, Caroll Spinney, right, who portrays "Sesame Street" characters Oscar The Grouch, left, and Big Bird, arrives for the Daytime Emmy nominee party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
Reed Saxon / AP Photo

For many, puppeteer Caroll Spinney and his iconic “Sesame Street” characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are unforgettable. Longtime Connecticut resident Spinney, who passed away over the weekend, was one of the original cast members on the show and later wrote a book about his experience.

John Atashian

The nonprofit Judy Dworin Performance Project harnesses the arts to build social awareness, staging performances that draw on issues ranging from incarceration to immigration.

And it has been doing this for 30 years.

This hour, we sit down with Judy Dworin to reflect on this milestone. We also talk with performers and colleagues, and we hear from you, too. How has the Judy Dworin Performance Project touched your life?

Courtesy: The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

With more than 100 works of art, from sculptures and quilts to paintings and photographs, the Wadsworth Atheneum’s newest installation, Afrocosmologies: American Reflections, stands out as more than just an exhibit.

It’s an invitation to something curator Frank Mitchell calls a celebration.

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Avant-garde choreographer Alwin Nikolais was more than a modern dance pioneer -- he was a designer, an early multimedia artist, and a composer. Thursday in Hartford, dancers and historians will gather for a panel discussion on this 20th century icon, whose early years in Connecticut helped shape his later works. 

The Nobel Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

Eugene O'Neill doesn't get enough credit. His plays are a form of therapy. O'Neill forces us to watch the raw pain of our human condition, the disillusionment and existential fear that we push into the background.

O'Neill's plays are dark but there's a catharsis in confronting our deepest fears and illusions. 

Yale Center For British Art Welcomes New Director

Oct 30, 2019
Ryan Martins / Connecticut Public Radio

The Yale Center for British Art has a new director. Courtney J. Martin is a Yale alumnus, returning to New Haven after her tenure as deputy director at the Dia Art Foundation. Now, she’s leading one of the largest repositories for British art in the world, outside of the United Kingdom. 

Courtesy: The Wadsworth Atheneum

In conjuction with its newest exhibition Afrocosmologies: American Reflections, The Wadsworth Atheneum will host its Black Film Weekend featuring five films that celebrate and reflect stories of Black lives on screen. The films are a mix of fiction and non-fiction, from Toni Morrison and Harriet Tubman to two stories based in Jamaica, including the story of the island's national men's soccer team. 

Jeremiah Clapp and Calvin Leon Smith in a scene from On The Grounds Of Belonging, currently playing at the Long Wharf Theatre
Courtesy: Long Wharf Theatre

A big change is underway right now in American theater. More women and people of color are being appointed to lead theatrical institutions.

A recent survey called American Theater Leadership Change finds that of 85 artistic director positions that have opened since 2015, 41% have gone to women. People of color have been named to 26%. 

The Hartford Fringe Festival

The first Hartford Fringe Festival gets underway Thursday, a celebration of new and often edgier works in the areas of dance, theater, music and comedy.

Witney Browne / New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Has performing in front of a live audience been on your bucket list for a while? Well, you may be in luck. A modern dance group is holding a series of free workshops in New Haven this weekend. The workshops are for tailored anyone who wants to dance, regardless of age or experience. The end result will be a performance at next year's International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.

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