ThoughtsarethingsChristopher Brown, Production Manager of HPL studios, recently wrote and directed Thoughts Are Things, a short film executive produced by Hartford Public Library (HPL). “Thoughts Are Things is a story about the importance of the reading, libraries, and small acts of kindness” said Christopher. “Neither of which are popular subjects, so it’s an honor to see the film be embraced in the way it has been. The little boy in the film that pulled himself up through reading, and the use of library represents me”

Thoughts Are Things has been making its way around the awards circuit and making a name for itself. The film won Platinum Remi Award for Dramatic Original short film production at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival 2022 and Best Short Film at Charlotte Black Film Festival. It was nominated for the 54th NAACP Image Award, Hollywood. Thoughts Are Things screened in the Hampton Block on August 8th at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. It was selected for Hollyshorts 2023 where it screened in SAG Indie Block on August 12th. Thoughts Are Things was also selected for the 2022 Palm Springs International Film Festival’s ShortFest, in the Market Library.

The Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) is one of the most accredited short film showcases. The film screened to a packed Hampton University: One of the Wonders of the World, HBCU Audience in the vineyard. Thoughts Are Things participated in the Facebook Virtual Winter MVAAFF from December 23-31, 2022, where it accumulated over 17.5k views by December 31, 2022.

HPL Studios is the media production arm of the Hartford Public Library that will provide access to media production tools and experts to support lifelong learners, partners and community stakeholders with guided learning and opportunities for self-paced exploration and content creation with digital storytelling as a means of workforce development.

HPL Studios will produce industry-standard- audio and visual content that represents, supports, and helps to innovate the culture of HPL, while inspiring and informing Hartford residents about the vast possibilities & career opportunities offered in professional media.

“The success of this film is evidence that reading, libraries, and small acts of kindness are subjects people appreciate. Thoughts Are Things is a testament to the vision and foresight of HPL CEO Bridget Quinn, who was the first to see the values in the story. We need more Bridget’s. We need more visionaries, who are able to see outside the box” said Christopher Brown.

Thoughts Are Things is still making it’s rounds and is excited to be included in more Film Festivals and hopeful to bring more awards home to Hartford.


For a full list of awards and festivals, see below:

  • The Pan African Film Festival
  • WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, where it won the Platinum Remi Award for Dramatic Original Short Production
  • March On Washington Film Festival
  • San Diego Black Film Festival
  • Charlotte Black Film Festival, where it won Best Short Film

IMG_1876Nelson Bello, a well-known Connecticut-based percussionist and Hartford native, is featured on Hartford Public Library’s (HPL) The Beat, a 24 hour streaming service featuring the some of the best of Hartford regional musicians. Nelson began his musical studies at the Hartford Conservatory Jazz Summer Program at age 13 and the Performing Arts Academy in Hartford Connecticut. At 15, he traveled to Cuba for the International Jazz Festival (with Latin Flavor, now better known as INSIGHT) and invited guest Pianist Chucho Valdez.

Nelson is co-founder of the Latin Jazz band TROMBEATZ. You can find their first recording titled A Caribbean Thing on The Beat. Over the years, Nelson performed with Andy Gonzalez, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda, Tony Vega, Charles Flores, Zaccai and Luques Curtis, among others.

The Beat is a collection of Hartford regional based music, curated by the Hartford Public Library and a group of Community Curators from the Hartford music community. Streaming the sounds of Hartford’s diverse communities The Beat delivers commercial-free, curated music from artists who represent CT’s Capital City. Jam, groove, or vibe out to Hartford’s best tunes, which can be accessed, 24/7, through a user-friendly digital music platform, free of charge. You can also download your favorite tracks for free, as long as you are a Hartford Public Library card holder.

HPL is honored to have someone of Nelson’s talents be included in The Beat. Discover your new favorite musician on the current The Beat’s roster that includes up-and-coming artists and Hartford music legends. To learn more about The Beat head to their website:

Our Communications and Marketing Director, Jess Emonds, had a chance to ask Nelson a few questions. Read the full interview below!


Can you tell us a bit about what you play/group/genre? How long have you been playing music?

I’ve been a percussionist for over 25 years and have played with many artists in both tropical music (salsa) and Latin Jazz. I am the co-founder of Trombeatz, and we specialize in Latin Afro Caribbean Jazz.


What made you want to become a musician or who inspired you to make music?

Listening to Tito Puente, Giovanni Hidalgo and local legends is what got me inspired to want to become a musician.


What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

I love music of all sorts, but when I preform for the people and they love it, it gives me more drive to leave it all on the stage.


What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I was giving as a youth was “practice every day”.


What is your favorite thing about Hartford?

My favorite thing about Hartford is the diversity! Every show I do, I see all ethnicities enjoying what we do.


Do you have a favorite library memory?

I remember as a kid, going to the original Park Street Branch to get books and later in life I gave workshops there.


Would you mind sharing what you are currently reading and/or listening too?

In my listing rotation I have various artists. Cuban singer and musician Alain Perez, Diego “El Cigala”, who’s a flamenco singer and Mario Bauzá, an Afro-Cuban Jazz musician, just to name a few.


HPL’s Digital Library Lab (DLL) welcomes Elviana Guterres as its summer intern. Elviana, or Via for short, will be with the Library’s digital lab through the end of August. The DLL@HPL is a 1,900 square foot photography and digitization lab offering a full range of digitization services for for-profit and non-profit customers.

Via is a rising sophomore at Trinity College. She is from Timor-Leste, studied abroad in Hong Kong and attending Trinity College marks her first time in the United States. She intends on double majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. When asked why she wants to go into that field, she replied “I am passionate about sustainability and interested in understanding the complexities of urban environments. By studying these disciplines, I hope to contribute to creating more sustainable cities and addressing environmental challenges.”

Via has a passion for photography and is looking forward to taking some photography classes this upcoming school year. “One exciting aspect of working at the Digital Library Lab in Hartford Public Library is the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology and collaborate with experts to digitize, preserve, and provide global access to valuable digital collections. I am also interested in Photography; therefore, I am excited to be able to apply the skills in DLL and learn at the same time.” Via said.

The DLL team is delighted to have such a bright and passionate intern this summer. When asked what’s next for Via, she said “I also dream of opening a public library in my country, Timor-Leste, because we don’t have one.”

To learn more about the DLL@HPL on their website:

Our Communications and Marketing Director, Jess Emonds, had a chance to sit down with Via her first week with the DLL. Read the full interview below!

What is your name, and where are you from?

My name is Elviana Guterres, and I am from Timor-Leste. This is my first time in the United States!


That’s awesome! How are you liking it so far?

It’s great. It’s different, but I’m enjoying my time here. The country has a vibrant energy, and there are many things to see here. I’ve already visited iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and prominent universities like Harvard University, which left me in awe. Overall, I’m having a fantastic experience and looking forward to discovering more of what the United States offers.


Where are you going to school, what’s your major and what year are you?

I’m a rising sophomore at Trinity College here in Hartford. I am intending to double major in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. I am passionate about sustainability and interested in understanding the complexities of urban environments. By studying these disciplines, I hope to contribute to creating more sustainable cities and addressing environmental challenges.


That’s really important work. What is one thing that excited you most about working at HPL?

One exciting aspect of working at the Digital Library Lab in Hartford Public Library is the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology and collaborate with experts to digitize, preserve, and provide global access to valuable digital collections. I am also interested in Photography; therefore, I am excited to be able to apply the skills in DLL and learn at the same time.


Super cool. I have a love of photography as well. Can you tell me about your favorite library memory?

I studied abroad at United World College Li Po Chun Hong Kong. I did the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is considered one of the most challenging school curricula. I remember I pulled all-nighters to write 4000 words of an extended essay at our school library.


Will you share what you are currently reading?

I am currently reading Designing your life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans and Brainscape by Rebecca Schwarzlose


What’s next for you?

Next semester, I am looking forward to taking some photography classes and am excited to take a documentary film class. I also recently applied for a grant to purchase a camera and start documenting my life. I also dream of opening a public library in my country, Timor-Leste, because we don’t have one.


While the Downtown Library is temporarily closed, Hartford Public Library has redeployed staff to expand hours at our branch locations. Branches will operate on the schedule below beginning this week:

Albany Library
1250 Albany Ave.
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm,
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

Barbour Library
261 Barbour St.
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm

(On the second and fourth Thursday of each month Barbour will only be open from 3-6 pm to accommodate our Connecticut Foodshare distribution)

Camp Field Library
30 Campfield Ave.
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm

Dwight Library
7 New Park Ave.
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm

Park Street Library @ the Lyric
603 Park St.
Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

Sands / Ropkins
1750 Main St.
Monday-Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm

The Boundless Library @ Rawson (260 Holcomb St.) will reopen for public service from 3:30-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning the week of January 16th.


Once again Hartford Public Library is a designated venue for First Night Hartford and we’ve got plenty of activities planned to help you ring in 2023.

Here’s the full lineup of events at the Downtown Library (500 Main St.)

2-6 p.m.: Mask decorating, New Year’s wand craft, 2023 Happy New Year community coloring poster

2-7 p.m.: School choice information available

6-6:50 p.m.: Magic show with Ed Popielarczyk’s comedy magic, balloon twister and flea circus ring master

8-11:30 p.m.: biblioDISCOteque, a disco-themed New Year’s Eve party DJ-ed by Sonia Sol and Ym of Nimbus with a cash bar

Find the entire First Night Hartford lineup of activities at 


Do you or someone in your life want to brush up on basic computer skills? Hartford Public Library is offering this important training at all of its branches. Registration is recommended but walk-ins are welcome.


  • Computer first steps
  • Internet basics
  • Using email
  • Creating a resume
  • Google
  • Microsoft Office
  • And more!

Classes will be held at regularly schedules times beginning this winter. Please see the complete schedule below.

Albany Library
2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 11 a.m., beginning Dec. 13th

Barbour Library
3rd Thursday of the month, 2 p.m., beginning Jan. 19th

Camp Field Library
1st Thursday of the month, 11 a.m., beginning Dec. 1st

Dwight Library
2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 11 a.m., beginning Dec. 14th

Park Street Library at the Lyric
Wednesday, Dec. 7th — English
Wednesday, Dec. 14th — Spanish

Beginning in January classes will be held the 2nd Wednesday of the month in Spanish, and the 3rd Wednesday of the month in English

Classes will use a combination of NorthStar and to teach computer basics.


Wave Book I by Barbara Hocker.

Wave Book I by Barbara Hocker.

By Tricia Haggerty-Wenz

There would be no life without water. It is the essence of everything” — Barbara A. Hocker

Trained as a fiber artist, Hocker weaves and layers photos, prints and paintings together, creating works on paper, panels and books. These are her visual expression of skies, waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes, and the sea. Her exhibition, “Ebb & Flow,” opens on the Hartford Public Library ArtWalk with a reception Friday, Dec. 2, from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Downtown Library, 500 Main St. It will remain installed through Jan. 22.

The following interview had been edited for length and clarity.

I love this exhibit. I am excited to learn more about you and your process.

Thank you.

You went to school for fiber arts your current work is photography and painting, Tell me about that transition.

In college I concentrated on tapestry weaving, printmaking and handmaking paper. After college I went in the direction of sculpture and now I’ve pretty much come back to paper and printmaking in a different way, working with monotypes – where you don’t need a press to print.

How so?

My use of digital photography has me thinking more like a printmaker than a photographer. Cutting the paper in strips and weaving it together has actually brought me back to my roots and education around weaving.

Barbara Hocker.

Barbara Hocker.

The colors of the work are beautiful. Being in the presence of this exhibit you can’t help but feel calm and centered.

I like the subtle colors of the blues and the greens combined. I spent my childhood near the ocean. These colors remind me of the ocean and of water in all of its forms  salt water marshes, waterfalls, lakes.  I create monotype prints inspired by the photographs, I cut the prints/photos into strips and weave them together and mount them on a panel. The final part of the process is the encaustic wax. The magic of the encaustic wax is that it causes the rice paper to disappear so the images meld together, which creates a dreamlike experience. The layers of my work, combining photography, painting and printmaking, connecting abstract and realism  highlights the complexities of nature.

You practice Tai chi. How does your practice inform you art?

I studied yoga and my practice led me to Tai chi which I’ve been practicing for the past 12 years. Both combine energy and breath, gathering energy into your body and moving it around for balance and health. Through my Tai chi I’ve learned to take my internal energy and express it into the world through my art. So, when I am taking photographs, I try to connect with the energy of nature and the place on that day.

What do you hope for the viewers experiencing this exhibit?

I hope they are inspired to notice nature in their daily lives, to stop and appreciate the beauty around them, as well as think about the importance of water in our lives. There would be no life without water. It is the essence of everything

Along with the ocean, libraries also played a vital role in your childhood.

I spent a great deal of time in my public library growing up. My older sisters both worked at the library and the oldest even became a librarian.

I love exhibiting my work in the ArtWalk gallery at the Hartford Public Library.  With the big windows it provides a greater connection with the outside world than there would be with four white walls. It’s cool to see how the time of day and amount of light play a part in how the viewer experiences the art.  Also, the gallery is a part of this unique ecosystem which allows my work to reach a wider audience and be a part of people’s everyday living.

So, what does this ArtWalk exhibit mean to you?

I am taking my childhood  spending my time by the ocean and in libraries  and I am weaving them together to make books. It all lines up.

Barbara will be leading a Zen yoga and Qi Gong workshop for health and energy on the ArtWalk on Jan. 14. Register HERE.


(Hartford, CT) – From 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th at the Downtown Library in Hartford, Hartford Public Library and UConn will host an opening reception for “Picturing the Pandemic,” the first public exhibition of photos and journal entries collected by the team at the Pandemic Journaling Project detailing the experience of ordinary people during COVID-19.

Since its launch in May 2020, the Pandemic Journaling Project has given ordinary people a place to chronicle and preserve their pandemic experiences. Over the following two years, more than 1,800 people in 55 countries created nearly 27,000 individual journal entries – for themselves, and for the history books.

“After collecting photographs, audio recordings and written journal entries from people around the world for two and a half years, we’re honored and thrilled to be partnering with the Hartford Public Library in launching what we think is a quite unusual exhibition,” said Sarah S. Willen, co-founder of PJP and co-curator, together with fellow UConn Professor Alexis Boylan, of the exhibition. “Our PJP team often describes PJP as a form of grassroots, collaborative research and history-making. In this exhibition, we’re expanding that mission to show how all of us, no matter our age, background or life stage, can find strength, solidarity and maybe even healing in creative expression and in recording, and sharing, our stories.”

Select submissions from the project will be displayed at Hartford Public Library through December alongside a selection of images from the library’s Hartford 2020 collection, a collection of photographs by Hartford-based photographers Andy Hart, Jasmine Jones, and Ray Shaw that capture Hartford’s public sphere in 2020: protests, parks, buses, testing clinics and outdoor performances.

In addition to journal entries collected digitally, the project hosted a series of in-person programs this summer at Hartford Public Library locations across the city where children were encouraged to create art that captured their thoughts and feelings about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their daily lives. Selections from those programs will be displayed in the Children’s Department at the Downtown Library as well as at Hartford Public Library branches across the city.

“A core part of Hartford Public Library’s mission is providing resources to encourage individual exploration, as well as preserving and recording Hartford’s history,” said Hartford Public Library President and CEO Bridget E. Quinn. “We are proud to partner with the team at the Pandemic Journaling Project on this exhibition that not only chronicles a tumultuous time in our collective history, but hopefully sparks conversation about claiming our voices, learning from others and creating meaningful change in the world, as well as inspiring others to share their stories.”

The opening reception at the Downtown Library will include remarks from the exhibition curators, as well as from project participants. Refreshments will be served and guests will be invited to view the exhibition that has been installed throughout the library.

Future public exhibitions of Pandemic Journaling Project materials are planned at Providence Public Library in Rhode Island; the Mark Twain Center for Transatlantic Relations in Heidelberg, Germany; and the Centro de Estudios de Género, el Colegio de México in Mexico City, Mexico.

For more information about the Pandemic Journaling Project visit To register for the event on October 27th visit

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin
UConn President Radenka Maric
Jasmin Agosto, education and community outreach manager, Hartford Public Library
Michael Lynch, director of UConn’s Humanities Institute
Kathryn Libal, director of UConn’s Human Rights Institute
Ty Hughey, executive director of Haddam-Killingworth Youth and Family Services
Melina Das, 10th grader, Wethersfield High School
UConn faculty and Picturing the Pandemic Co-Curators Alexis Boylan & Sarah Willen 

Hartford Public Library
Atrium, Ground Floor
500 Main St.
Hartford, CT

5-7 p.m.
Thursday, October 27th

Amanda Rodarte.

Amanda Rodarte.

Hartford Public Library is pleased to announce that Amanda Rodarte of Los Angeles, California, is the 2022 recipient of the Caroline M. Hewins Scholarship, given annually to promising library school students who intend to become children’s librarians.

Amanda began serving as a volunteer reader at Los Angeles Public Library in 2014 and later joined the library staff as a messenger clerk while completing her undergraduate degree.

It wasn’t until several years ago that Amanda came to the realization she wanted to go back to school and pursue a career as a children’s librarian. As a person of color from a working-class background, Amanda says she has seen firsthand the many effects impoverished neighborhoods experience when it comes to literacy and resources. She is studying for her Master of Library and Information Science degree at the University of Southern California and expects to graduate in December.

“It wasn’t until the pandemic that I started really thinking ‘I wish I could work in an organization where I can help people, empower them, share resources,’” Amanda says. “I had that lightbulb moment. It’s unfortunate it took me many years to realize. Nonetheless I realized it and I’m going for it. This is what I want to do.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience volunteering and working in libraries.

I never went to the library as a child. When I was about 16 years old I desperately wanted to exit ESL (English as a second language) classes and forced myself to start reading. I met a librarian who didn’t make me feel welcome … and so I would only pick up books but not come inside the library or really spend time there. A couple years later I found out about a program where you can read to children and because I never went to the library, and struggled with literacy as a child, I wanted to encourage children in my community to read. What started off as a volunteering position turned into a job and has evolved into my passion.

What are your goals for your library career?

I want to improve the library experience for immigrants. My mother was an immigrant, she didn’t go to the public library, she didn’t know about the resources or programs that were available. … I think a lot of people fail to realize that libraries are exclusive in other countries or they don’t exist. People may not know and they need to be guided toward our resources.

Another thing I’d like to work on is more programs that promote social awareness and inclusivity. As a child my world was very small, I lived predominantly in a Mexican community. I’d love to show children at a young age about different ethnicities, cultures and customs. … Libraries are no judgment zones. We have a space where everyone is welcome no matter what background you have.

I really like the modern-day librarian because it’s just totally different from the old concept of librarianship. It’s a lot more active, community-oriented and hopefully once I become a librarian I’m able to change other people’s minds as to what librarianship is like.

What do you enjoy about working with children?

I’ve always loved working with children. After working at the library for a couple years and learning a lot from the children’s librarian I knew I wanted to be in a field where it didn’t feel like I was working, where I was enjoying every moment of it. Children’s librarians have such an impact on children and families. You’re not just working with the children but the family as a whole and providing resources to all of them. 

Have any book suggestions?


Gustavo the Shy Ghost
by Flavia Z. Drago

This is a cute story about a shy ghost who wants to make friends but he’s quiet, and that’s OK. It teaches children to appreciate who they are and that people are going to like you no matter what. You  just need to be confident in yourself.


Wow! Said The Owl
by Tim Hopgood

This is perfect for read aloud. Children love it because they get to be expressive and loud whenever the owl says “Wow!”


The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett

I like anything that’s historical fiction and I really like this book because it has a lot of themes: race, gender identity, education. It really exposes another person’s experience. … I make an effort to try to read books from people of color, that’s a big way you can incorporate DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) concepts in your own life.

About the Caroline M. Hewins Scholarship

The Caroline M. Hewins Scholarship Fund was established in 1926 as a tribute to one of the great pioneers in American librarianship in special recognition of her creative work for children throughout the country.

The fund originated by the Hartford Librarian’s Club as a personal gift to Miss Hewins on the occasion of her fiftieth anniversary as Librarian of the Hartford Public Library.  When Miss Hewins chose to use this gift as a basis for a scholarship award, generous contributions were received from family and friends and professional associates throughout Connecticut and the United States, thus assuring to the Scholarship a national character in keeping with the memory of the Librarian it honors.

The fund is administered by the Hartford Public Library as trustee, and current income permits an annual scholarship award of $4,000.

The scholarship is open to those who plan to specialize in library work with children: who have received, or are about to receive a four year undergraduate degree; and who have applied for admission to a library school or are already attending a library school accredited by the American Library Association.  Preference will be given to applicants who plan to pursue a career in public library service.


Hartford Public Library is partnering with Hartford’s L.I.T. (Literary Integrated Trailblazers) to co-host the fourth annual Hartford Book Festival as a three-day event with workshops, poetry readings and more from Friday, Sept. 23, to Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Downtown Library at 500 Main St. and the Free Center at 460 New Britain Ave.

Hartford’s L.I.T. is a group of local authors, artists and entrepreneurs. Their mission is to establish presence and awareness of Greater Hartford’s local authors, diverse artists and entrepreneurs to revitalize literary arts and communication. H.L.I.T. focuses on literacy, literary productions, entrepreneurial building and networking within Hartford communities, including the underserved and nontraditional communities.

H.L.I.T., along with local artists, business owners and Hartford residents, came together for the last three years to host the first, second and third Hartford Book Festival at Hartford Public Library with the themes “How are the Children?,” “2020 Visions & Reflections” and “ 202One Love One Life,” respectively. This year, the theme is “Double Up 2 Double Up,” and this three-day event will be a celebration of reading and writing for children, teens and adults in the City of Hartford. The festival will feature local authors, book stores, workshops, panels, live stage, youth activities, open mic, literary highlights, publishers and a vibrant cultural live stage and more.


For more information about Hartford’s L.I.T. visit or email

Hartford’s L.I.T. (Literary Integrated Trailblazers) Team
Nzima Sherylle Hutchings: Visionary, founder, curator and CEO
T’challa Williams: Executive co-founder
Lashawn Henderson Middleton: Founding member
Alphonso McGriff: Founding member


Day One: Writers Gotta Write! Writer’s Workshops 

Friday, September 23rd, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT
Center for Contemporary Culture

Writing does not always happen smoothly or immediately. There are times when writers find they need to learn a new way, method or approach that allows their imagination to be as free as they need to. A great place to begin the process is a conference. Nothing is more inspirational than being among other writers and finding you are not as alone as you think you are in this journey of creativity. This year Hartford’s L.I.T. presents workshops to assist your approach to writing while also providing resources to help build out a writer’s stories. Join us as we kick off our fourth annual Hartford Book Festival Weekend with an opportunity to expand our writing gifts while celebrating our love of the written word.

Café hour (doors open)
11 a.m.: Coffee and networking, HLIT merchandise for sale
11:30 a.m.: Morning pages and meditative writing


Ekphrastic poetry and healing words with Nzima Sherylle Hutchings
12:15-1 p.m.

Workshop core objectives: Participants will receive an overview of ekphrastic poetry, write from inspired writing prompts and visual art and learn the power of healing and affirmative poetic writing. Ages 13 and up.

Descriptive writing: Space as a character with T’challa Williams
12:30-1:15 p.m.

Workshop core objectives: To demonstrate how space, location and even a world can be a character within a work of fiction. Writers will learn ways to use their five senses in order to describe space as a character.

Poetic Narratives in choreopoems: Whole body dramatics, music and tongue cadence with Nzima Sherylle Hutchings
1:30-2:15 p.m.

Workshop core objectives: To learn about choreopoems; which are a form of dramatic expression that combine poetry, dance, music and song, coined by Ntozake Shange in 1975. In this interactive workshop participants will write and share their drafts of choreopoems. Participants will learn the fundamentals of a choreopoem. Moreover, they will learn how full-body expressions, dance movements, sound and music recreate and maximize messages in a poem. Ages 16 and up.

One voice: Art as advocacy
1:45-2:30 p.m.

Workshop core objectives: Identifying three key elements to advocacy. Artists will determine if their art or administration will be their advocate as they give voice to the matters that concern them the most. Anything that we have passion about we can take a stand for, or shed light on. The most important thing is to take the first step to be heard. Advocacy is vital in community building. Participants will also look at the ways collaboration is part of advocacy. Ages 13 and up.

Writer’s symposium: Writing wildly and risking comforts

2:45-3:30 p.m.

A discussion on unblocking boundaries to write authentic, fresh, and mind-bending stories for any genre. Participants will learn of literary giants who pushed the envelope.

Day Two: The Fourth Annual Hartford Book Festival
Saturday, September 24th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford, CT

Time Room Workshop Title Workshop Leaders
10 am Center for Contemporary Culture (CCC) Opening introWelcome and mission Welcome from founders Nzima Hutchings andT’challa Williams
10:10 am CCC Library offerings and partnership HPL representative
10:15 am CCC 2022 year theme: Double Up 2 Double up Executive founding member and spokeswomen T’challa Williams
10:25 am CCC Highlight authors of the day Founding Member Alphonso McGriff III
10:28 am CCC Vendor highlight and author spotlight Mio and Lashawn
11:25 am CCC Community trailblazers  Joe Young
11-11:45 am Classroom 140 Advocacy and game changer Laresse Harvey
11:40 am Classroom 141 How to publish in 145 days Rosa Bailey
11:40am-12:25 pm Classroom 140 WORKSHOP: Journaling Our future stories vision board. Ages 5-13. Barara McClane & Nzima Hutchings
2:15-3 pm Classroom 141 WORKSHOP: Vision forward: Vision boards and the power of words and trusting the process to inspire goals, positive messages, as well as journey through truths, trials and triumphs. Ages 18 and up. Barbara McClane
2:30-3:15 pm Classroom 140 WORKSHOP: The plan: To offer you an opportunity to help yourself remove anger about a particular situation. The objective: To continue with life without anger for this particular situation. The result: A plan developed by you to help you eliminate the anger associated with a particular situation. Ages 17 and up. Alphonso McGriff
3:15-4 pm Classroom 141 WORKSHOP: Writing books on PTSD and healing without stigma. Intro of transformative writing: Helps take traumatic situations using coping skills to your narrative to a powerful positive, power-filled story. Ages 18 and up. Laresse Harvey
3:30-4:10 pm Classroom 140 ABC paper bag puppets and stories w/ parent or guardian. Ages 3-7. T’challa Williams
11:50 am CCC Poet laureate roundtable discussion Frederick-Douglass Knowles II – Hartford;Joshua “Urban Nerd” Brown – New London
12:45 pm CCC HoneyWata award Nzima and HLIT team, and family member and owner of My Peoples Clinical Services Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad
1:15pm CCC Ngoma Hill: Featured poet Ngoma Hill
1:40pm CCC When Women Speak Ameerah Bilal ShabazzMariah AyscueMwikali Words
2:05pm CCC Puppetry and storytime with Iyabo Mandingo Iyabo Mandingo
2:35pm CCC Gallery of Treasures Rosa Bailey and The Youth
2:55pm CCC HLIT YA Lit Mic Amy, OSO, The Trifecta
3:20pm CCC or Atrium WRITING COMMUNITIES:What is a writing community?What happens in writing?Unique experiences, retreats, partnerships and benefits?

Why is it necessary?Every Kinda Lady Writer’s Cafe LAWR Nzima Hutchings, Ameerah and Guest of EKLT’challa New York Writers CoalitionLaashawn Journey WritersGabriella Rubin – Haus Expression3:55pmCCC & AtriumHLIT spiel goal 1-minute announcementHLIT Team3:57pmCCC or AtriumLIT mic open4:25pmHLIT outro, vending closing

Day Three: An Evening of Poetical Musings
Sunday, September 26th, 3-8 p.m.
Free Center, 460 New Britain Ave., Hartford, CT

Open mic, poetic activities, homage to great poets dramatic reading, Love Jones poetry, special guest poets of New England.



Encore Search: