Arts & Ideas hits hard at the end of this week, and continues to overwhelm the city with global and local cultural delights through June 28. But, as you’ll see, it’s far from the only thing happening in town. New Haven Museum and Artspace are doing their first major collaboration. Saturday is Open House Day at Connecticut museums. The Orbit Art Gallery resurfaces. And even though it’s closed for two days this week, New Haven Free Public Library has a packed schedule of readings and screenings.
Monday, June 9
New Haven’s public libraries are closed today. Why?—because it’s Denture Day? Donald Duck’s Birthday? Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day? No, it’s actually library Staff Training Day. Has to happen sometime. Like today. And Wednesday too.
He Stoops to Jam
Keyboardist Todd Stoops is known from the jam bands RAQ and Kung Fu. Stoops leads his own “and Friends” night at Stella Blues (204 Crown St.). Expect some antic improvisation.
Tuesday, June 10
You Might as Well Laugh
Sandi Kahn Shelton, the novelist and former New Haven Register features writer and columnist, leads a Creative Writing Seminar at the main New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.). The fee is $10, but you might win her latest book The Opposite of Maybe in a raffle. Shelton’s class is competing with another event in the same library building at the same 6 p.m. time: a screening of If These Knishes Could Talk, a documentary about how New York’s immigrant population helped shape the city’s distinctive speech patterns and accents.
Wednesday, June 11
Pony and Bear
Two acclaimed local singer/songwriters, Ponybird and M.T. Bearington (not their real names), are at Café Nine (250 State St.; 203-789-8281) along with a performer from a little ways out of town (Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley), Lexi Weege. That $5 show begins at 8 p.m., but before that, at 5 p.m. (for no cover charge), there’s Ed Peccerillo’s guitar work-out La Cantina Flamenco (with sangria and Dos Equis drink specials, naturally).
Poor Beatle Richard Starkey—musicians can’t stop punning on his Fab name. While the band Ringo Deathstarr opens for Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy at The Space in Hamden tonight, Gringo Star headlines at BAR (254 Crown St.). Gringo Star is a fine neopsychedelic pop band from Georgia that’s been visiting New Haven for over a decade, since they were known as A-Fir-Ju-Well. That moniker came from the surname of band members Nick and Peter Furgiueles. So, hey, Ringo Starr—you’re not the only name they’ve mutilated for band needs. The 9 p.m. BAR show also features Atrina, and is free of charge.
Thursday, June 12
The World of New Haven is Flat
The Flat File at Artspace and the permanent collections of the New Haven Museum have collided for a new joint exhibition called Value Systems, which opens at the museum (114 Whitney Ave.) with a reception tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. The shared inspiration is the City of New Haven, the curator is the New Haven Museum’s Director of Photo Archives, Jason Bischoff-Wurstle and the contemporary artists involved are Aspasia Patti Anos, Louise Barry, Gary Duehr, Julian Gilbert-Davis, Andrew Hogan, Janne Höltermann, Keith Johnson, Aurora Pellizzi, Amy Pryor, Kirsten Rae Simonsen, Paul Theriault and Laura Watt. Not only is this a whole new way of utilizing the Flat File (a curated collection that’s kept in a metal cabinet at Artspace for public perusal), it’s the debut of a new way of displaying the fileworks: FOLD, a “specially-commissioned portable exhibition kiosk.”
Whitney Three Kings
Before he hit his award-winning stride with The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, film director David O. Russell scuffled with George Clooney on the set of Three Kings. The movie turned out great despite all the friction. The “Treasures from the Yale Film Archive” series is screening it tonight at 7 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St.). Free.
Friday, June 13
Start Your Arts & Ideas Engines
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas officially begins tomorrow, but it kind of starts tonight with the four-hour Festival Kick-Off Gala. That means a big cocktail and dinner party, with a bunch of festival artists in attendance, at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (121 Wall St.), followed by a special performance of Erik Friedlander’s thematic concert Block Ice & Propane at the Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel St.). Tickets start at $150; the gala proceeds help offset all those free and inexpensive shows A&I will deliver in the coming weeks. While all that’s going on, the festival’s first non-gala events happen: screenings of the hour-long Alan Berliner films Intimate Stranger and Nobody’s Business, part of an extensive tribute to the filmmaker, starting at 7 p.m. in the Yale Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St.).
Last Notes for Spring
The last event of Firehouse 12’s months-long spring performance series is Satoko Fujii Trio + 1. Fujii is a keyboardist and vocalist and the rest of the trio consists of Yoshi Shutto on drums and Todd Nicholson on bass. The “+1”? That would be trumpeter Kappa Maki. Two sets, at 8:30 p.m. ($18) and 10 p.m. ($12).
Saturday, June 14
Arts & Ideas Arrives
Today’s the first day of the fortnight-long 2014 International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Outdoors on New Haven Green, that means the return of Box City (where you create a building out of a cardboard box, then place it in an appropriate part of the “city”—once you’ve applied for the appropriate zoning permits), the circus act Ile O (at noon and 5 p.m.) and vocalists Lalah Hathaway and Ruben Stoddard in concert at 7 p.m. Indoors, there are performances by Def Poetry Jam star Lemon Andersen (5 p.m.), the “readings” of works in development by the Yale Institute for Music Theatre (1 & 5 p.m.), a screening of Alan Berliner’s Wide Awake (at 1 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. panel discussion including the filmmaker), a jazz concert by Erik Friedlander (at the same time that Yale Art Gallery’s hosting an exhibit by Friedlander’s photographer father), plus tours and talks and more than you can do in a single day. Details, venues, ticket prices are all at http://artidea.org.
Ideat Back in Orbit
For years, the beginning of Arts & Ideas also meant the beginning of the local alternative arts festival Ideat Village. That event, which spanned numerous days and venues, shut itself down in 2012, but certain aspects of it have endured. Today, you can bring your artwork to the gallery space at 52 Howe St. (the YMCA building at Chapel and Howe) and hang it at the newly resurrected Orbit Art Gallery, an uncurated, uncensored, open-minded and occasionally cutting-edge art exhibit. Today, from 10 a.m. onwards, is when the bulk of the show will be installed (and when a post-hanging reception will occur at 8 p.m.), but you can contribute work through June 28 (by appointment via email@example.com). The Orbit Art Gallery will be up all summer.
State (Open) House
Today’s also the tenth annual Connecticut Open House Day. So visit a museum. Among the dozens of participating institutions statewide are New Haven Museum, Yale Center for British Art and, taking the whole “open house” thing rather literally, the historic Pardee-Morris House.
Big day at New Haven Free Public Library (the main one, 133 Elm St.). There’s “Crafty Fun” for kids at 10 a.m., the kick-off of the Teen Summer Reading program at 2 p.m. (the program for younger kids kicked off last week), a screening of Made in India (which is probably not about what you think it’s about; it’s “an award-winning documentary about international surrogacy”) as part of the Indian Film series at 2 p.m. and a talk by Eric Kabakoff, who describes the travels that led to his book Rally Caps, Rain Delays and Racing Sausages—A Baseball Fan’s Quest to See to the Game from a Seat in Every Ballpark. All the events are free.
Erector Square Dance
The Big Room performance space at Erector Square presents the modern dance duo Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser doing their piece “The Unrepeatable Moment,” as well as new work by Margaret Bennett “based on transition and attempting transformation through the movement potential of her body.” 8 p.m. 319 Peck St. $15.
Sunday, June 15
More Arts, More Ideas
Arts & Ideas Day 2 seems to have a travel theme: Jack Hitt’s talk “From Electric Car to Obsolete Highways” is at 1 p.m.; there’s a “Smart Cycling” outing guiding you along “the designated bike lanes through the city” at 2 p.m.; and a Yale Art Gallery talk on landscape paintings of Wales (1 p.m.). Even the day’s culminating concert on the Green covers a lot of ground: it’s the Martha Redbone Roots Project, which uses Appalachian folk styles to score the verses of William Blake. Redbone’s opening act is Cry You One, celebrating music traditions of South Louisiana.