Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

Spring is in the air – musically. Walsh kids have been preparing for their spring musical, “The Little Mermaid.” And on Sunday, jazz aficionados and friends of Stan Wheeler will flock to the Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School for an afternoon of great jazz. Looking ahead, there are various art- and film-related events, along with opportunities to help you navigate these complicated times. Got a cool event? Email sebahner@snet.net.

Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7

‘The Little Mermaid’

Walsh Intermediate School’s Spring Musical, “The Little Mermaid, will be performed at the school Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 7, at 3 p.m.

Director is Jeffrey Rizzo with Amy Buckley, music director; Gavin Hartney, conductor, and Tracy Izzo, producer.

For tickets, call 203-418-7529.

Saturday, April 7

Opening Reception

Branford Art Center, 1229 Main St., hosts an opening reception for April guest artist Pamela Morgan and new gallery artists, including Cheryl Ruppel, Kathy Testa, Drew Neal-Mingelello, and Lydia Tuttle, from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 7.

Live music by Sal Annunziato will be featured. Wine and refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit Branford Art Center on Facebook or call 203-208-4455.

Sunday, April 8

Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert

The 11th annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert will take place Sunday, April 8, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Levinson Auditorium, Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., New Haven.

The event is named after a stalwart of the ensemble as well as a pioneering legal thinker and scholar. It begins at 2 p.m. in the law school’s Levinson Auditorium at 127 Wall St. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

Featured will be the Yale Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Music Director Thomas Duffy, and the Reunion Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jeff Fuller. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Tuesday, April 10

No Man’s Land Film Festival

No Man’s Land Film Festival is an all-female adventure film festival based out of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, meeting a need and desire to highlight and connect women in pursuit of the radical. Hosted by Denali, a viewing takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at Stony Creek Brewery, 5 Indian Neck Ave.

The goal of the festival is to connect like-minded individuals who are adventure-oriented, wish to support a shared vision of gender equality, have a desire to experience their passions and environments through a uniquely female lens, and, above all, love adventure. Along with cultivating a deep interest in exploring the vastness of the planet from a female point of view, No Man’s Land strives to create a history of motivating audiences to implement and inspire change.

Admission is $10.

Wednesday, April 11

Need Help? You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

BranfordCares connects people to information and services quickly and simply, all in one place. That’s the concept that brings representatives of Branford’s social services and helping agencies together, the second Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Trinity Church on the Green.

Experts are available to provide information about their specific services, or make an office appointment, or assist with navigation to other resources. Just drop in. There is a wealth of resources and information, on every topic that impacts peoples’ lives. Knowing where to start, getting to the right expert, can be a real challenge. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and information that comes together under one roof. Each month a particular topic is highlighted - perhaps a guest expert will be on hand for Q&A.

For more information, visit: branfordcares.org or call 203-488-2681.

Saturday, April 14

African Violet Show, Sale

The annual Thimble Islands African Violet show and sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, 146 Thimble Island Road.

For more information, call Madeline at 203-481-9455.

“Your Vote” Information Session

The League of Women Voters of the East Shore and Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible will host a public information session about steps being take to protect our vote in light of the rising concern of outside influence in the electoral process. The event will take place at Branford Fire Headquarters, 45 N. Main St., on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Other issues related to state regulations on voting will also be presented. 

Invited speakers include Connecticut Secretary of State Denise W. Merrill and Elona Vaisnys, League of Women Voters Connecticut board member.

Merrill will address issues related to voter protection, including the safety of your vote and personal information, how they are protected, and who is responsible for implementation; early voting and absentee voting; and pending legislative actions.

Vaisnys will discuss the Connecticut Citizens Election Program and how can candidates receive public financing for their political races. CEP is a voluntary program that provides full public financing to qualified candidates for statewide offices and the General Assembly. To participate, candidates must agree to abide by certain guidelines, including contribution and expenditure limits and disclosure requirements. This voluntary public campaign financing program was designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of private money in the State of Connecticut’s political process. For more information, call 203-457-9888.

Uncover Branford Planning Meeting

An Uncover Branford planning meeting takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 14, at Blackstone Library. Friends and neighbor get together to share their favorite Branford places and stories, then plan a group outing to a special spot. As you go out into the community to explore and uncover new places, you’ll make new friends, have lots of fun, and discover the hidden gems of Branford.

The group will talk about talk about their favorite places in town, and plan their next venture. For more information go to http://www.blackstone.lioninc.org/events.

Saturday, April 21

Rise Up Singing!

Rise Up Singing – An Evening Of Folk, Jazz, Pop & Rock takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at the Guilford Community Center, 32 Church St. The concert benefits Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA), grassroots New Haven-based organization of immigrants defending labor, civil and human rights.

This benefit is sponsored by Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible. Performers will be Fernandito Ferrer – Nueva Trova, Cyd Slotoroff – singer/songwriter, Isabella Mendes and Jeff Fuller - Brazilian jazz duo, Alison Farrell – singer/songwriter, Julie & Lars Selberg – pop, rock duo, Cahoots – Patty Chamberlain, Nancy Wilson, George Bassett and David Chamberlain – jazz, folk, pop a cappella quartet.

Tickets on Eventbrite (benefitconcertforula.eventbrite.com) or at the door. $20. Children 12 and under free.

Beginning April 21

Thomas the Tank at Essex Steam Train

Thomas & Friends will be at the Essex Steam Train, Railroad Avenue in Essex, on April 21, 28, 29, as well as May 5 and 6, with departure times every 45 minutes from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Passengers select a departure time when purchasing a ticket (ride is approximately 25 minutes), but family activities take place all day.

After meeting Thomas, guests will also have the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor, and Percy the Small Green Engine. Included in the ticket price is access to unlimited rides on five carnival rides, face painting featuring Day Out With Thomas characters, Isle of Sodor storytelling, a special Thomas the Tank Engine video theater and magic show, and Thomas the Tank Engine play areas. Caboose the Clown will create colorful balloon characters, while Sunny Train presents her music show.

For more information, go to essexsteamtrain.com or call 860-767-0103.

Sunday, April 22

Earth Day Down on the Farm

The Shoreline Outdoor Education Center and The Dudley Farm Museum will celebrate Earth Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at the Dudley Farm, 2351 Durham Road.

Lauren Brown, author of “Wildflowers and Winter Weeds,” will lead an early spring wildflower walk (no dogs, please), while a beekeeping demonstration and activities for children and adults will be held on the grounds. Plant corn in the Heritage Garden, tour organic Community Garden, grow your own “Bean Baby”, and learn why “Balloons Blow.”

Informational material on invasive species, attracting pollinators and “good bugs”, and ways to deter deer with an inexpensive homemade spray will be available. Free and open to the public. For more information call 203-457-0770 or email info@dudleyfarm.com.

Poetry Reading, Book Signing

On Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, Rock Garden, 17 S. Main St., will host author and naturalist Jen Payne for a spontaneous poetry reading and book signing featuring her book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.”

From 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., the author will sign books and read poems upon request from this collection of poetry that Rita Kowats of Spirituality Without Borders called “Truth and beauty delivered in wide-eyed wonder by a heart passionately in love with nature.”

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information and to purchase copies of the book, visit www.3chairspublishing.com.

Friday, May 4

Bernstein and Other Delights!

The Music4Music Performance Series at Trinity Church on the Green presents Bernstein and Other Delights, a 20th-century American-music extravaganza, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the church, 230 Temple St. (corner of Chapel) in downtown New Haven.

Branford native Ryan Bloomquist, a Trinity Boys Choir alumnus, is among the soloists. He is an actor and vocalist based in New York City. He recently played Matt in “The Fantasticks” at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

The event will feature music by legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, born 100 years ago and a longtime resident of Fairfield. Program includes the composer’s “Chichester Psalms” as well as selections from Bernstein’s operetta Candide, performed by the Trinity Choirs of Men & Boys and Men & Girls under the direction of Trinity Music Director R. Walden Moore

The program also includes art-song arrangements of beloved American sacred songs performed by Trinity Boys Choir alumnus Edward Vogel, baritone, and Sarah Noone, soprano.

Tickets are $30 ($25 online; $20/$15 seniors, students). Call 203-776-2616 or visit trinitynewhaven.org/bernstein to learn more.

Rotary Dollars for Branford Scholars

Rotary Club of Branford announces its annual scholarship appeal to Branford high school seniors who are pursuing advanced education in fall 2018. The award of $3,000 will be given to the applicant who provides outstanding evidence in academic achievement, community service, Rotary values, and financial need. 

The application has three components. First is a student-written essay focusing on Rotary principles. Then supportive documentation must be provided as specified in the application requirements such as high school transcript, teachers’ references. Finally, is an interview with a panel of Rotarians.

The applicant may be a pending graduate of any accredited Connecticut high school. This scholarship is for undergraduate study at a two or four-year college or technical school. Branford residency is required.

Applications are available at scholarship@branfordrotary.org and the Branford High School guidance office in addition to the James Blackstone Memorial Library and Willoughby Wallace Library. Completed application packets must be received by Friday, May 11. For more information, call project leader Tony Terry, at 203-481-6424.

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