Arnott’s Arts Happenings Jan. 27-Feb. 1

What time is it? The Year of the Horse trots in with a plethora of festivities held at city universities and elsewhere. There are also continued homages to Martin Luther King Jr. (whose holiday was last week), a reminder that Valentine’s Day is nigh, and an ever-timely recommendation that you should bring your kids to the library.

Monday, January 27: One (and Four) Man Bands

A low-key night of alterna-rock merriment (and other emotions) tonight at Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281), with Patrick Dalton (of The Proud Flesh), Dan Greene (of The Mountain Movers) and Sidewalk Dave (of Sidewalk Dave; it sounds like it’s one guy but it’s a band).

Tuesday, Jan. 28

More Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was last week, but the commemorations go on. Yale’s and New Haven’s arts communities merge for “Commingling: A Performing Arts Celebration” 7 p.m. at the university’s Harkness Hall (Room 201, Sudler Hall, 100 Wall St.). The event features the groups Shades, Teeth, WORD, the Premier Jazz Ensemble, Nya Holder of the Heritage Theater Ensemble and others. It’s sponsored by Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center. Free.

Working for Scale
New Haven Park Ranger Joe Milone is bringing some creepy-crawlies to the Fair Haven branch of New Haven Free Public Library at 4 p.m. for an hour of “fun facts about Ranger Joe’s friends the amphibians and the reptiles.” (203) 946-6796,

Drinking Songs
When the General Manager of Music Haven, the local non-profit classical music organization, mentioned the musical terms “dominant” and “tonic” to John Ginnetti of the 116 Crown St. bar & restaurant, Ginnetti knew he had to create a special cocktail with those words in its title. Music Haven’s resident ensemble, the Haven String Quartet, will perform at the unveiling of the Dominant Tonic drink at 6:30 p.m. tonight at 116 Crown. The event also includes a gallery exhibit of photos of the Music Haven students and faculty in action, taken by the aforementioned drink-naming General Manager, Kathleen Cei. The bar (which is named for its actual street address, 116 Crown St.) will then donate $1 from the sale of each Dominant Tonic to Music Haven—for a whole month, through Feb. 28.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Card Stock
Valentine’s Day is closer than you think. Creative Arts Workshop (80 Audubon St., 203-562-4927) is opening its “XOXO: A Valentine’s Sale” today. It runs through Feb. 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy valentiney cards and boxes made by the school’s Studio Binding program.

Gun Culture
There’s an opening reception for the labor-history exhibit Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story, 5-7 p.m. at at the Gateway Community College Art Gallery (20 Church St.). The community in question is of those who worked at the Olin-Winchester plant that closed in 2006, with stories drawn from union archives (namely the Greater New Haven Labor History Association) and private sources.

The Revolution Will Be Projected on a Screen
Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is a mindblowing documentary by Goran Olsson, featuring footage of everyone from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Louis Farrakhan and Talib Kweli. It gets screened, for free, at 7 p.m. in Room 250 of the Loria Center for the History of Art at 190 York St.

Almost Blue
Greensky Bluegrass (from Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Tumbleweed Wanderers (from Oakland, California) warm your winter cockles with a little downhome pickin’, harmonizin’, roots-rockin’ and modern variations on those traditional artforms. 7:30 p.m. at Toad’s Place (300 York St.). $17, $15 in advance.

Thursday, Jan. 30: Short Shakes

The theater department of the Educational Center for the Arts magnet program has scaled down two Shakespeare plays to their one-hour essences and presents As You Like It tonight and Twelfth Night tomorrow (Jan. 31) as a “Shakespeare Festival.” 7 p.m. each night in the school’s Arts Hall (55 Audubon St.; enter on Orange). (203) 777-5451.

Friday, Jan. 31

From Russia With Lore
Tonight’s the first preview performance of Meg Miroshnik’s The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls at the Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel St., 203-432-1234). Miroshnik graduated a few years ago from the Yale School of Drama, which presented her heartfelt heartland sports play The Tall Girls as part of the Carlotta Festival of New American Plays. This is another Miroshkin premiere, chronicling the fantastical adventures of a young woman when she returns to modern-day Moscow. $20-$98.

Saturday, Feb. 1

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Horse kicks off with a “Lunarfest” celebration sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale and the Yale-China Association. The day-long festival offers dance and music performances, workshops in martial arts and calligraphy, art exhibits, a film screening and a lot of community joy, spanning several downtown locations: New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave.), Yale’s Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave.) and the Yale-China Association (442 Temple St.). Lunarfest is free and public, but registration is required. A full schedule is here.

Children’s Books
It’s National Take Your Child to the Library Day. If you’re a parent and can read that sentence, you know what to do. This celebration of community and literacy coincides with the annual Chinese New Year party at the main (Ives) New Haven Free Public Library (133 Temple St.). That’s at 11 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by Mark Ingram showing off early African American musical instruments. There’ll be prizes, activities and “crafty fun” in the Children’s Library all day. Adults, meanwhile, benefit from a 2 p.m. “Dream It! Plan It! Work It!” workshop with motivational speaker ChaChanna Simpson.

The Wilson branch of the same wondrous NHFPL will spend National Take Your Child to the Library Day by screening the same one-hour film over and over. The must-see video is the local documentary The Hill by Lisa Molomot, about the eminent domain battle to take out a whole New Haven neighborhood and build the John C. Daniels magnet school. Read the New Haven Independent story on The Hill here. 303 Washington Ave. (203) 946-2228. There’ll be a separate Wilson Branch movie screening at 1 p.m. for kids (title to be announced), preceded by the library’s regular Saturday crafts project.

Yet another movie for National Take Your Child to the Library Day: The Stetson Branch Library is showing the penguin panic Happy Feet at 2 p.m. Kids are encouraged to wear pajamas and slippers, and to bring pillows. They’ll be given popcorn, juice and other snacks at this special Slumber Saturday. 200 Dixwell Ave. (203) 946-8119.

Leading Remarks
The theme of the 6th annual Women in Leadership Conference at Yale is “It Starts With Us: Paths from Yale to the World.” It welcomes over 30 speakers—from politicians to athletes to business execs, many of them Yale faculty and alumnae—at over 15 events. A panel discussion of “Careers in Words and Art: Express Yourself” features poet/editor Cynthia Zarin, painter Marie Hines Cowan, and Lisa Kereszi, the director of Undergraduate Studies in Art at the Yale School of Art.
The day-long event, held between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Yale Law School (127 Wall St.), is hosted by the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Sunday, Feb. 2

More Horsing Around
Happy New Year from the Southern Connecticut Chinese School! The school is marking the Year of the Horse with a Gala and Festival at Southern Connecticut State University’s Lyman Hall (on the SCSU campus, 501 Crescent St.) at 3 p.m. The event is free.

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