City Combines Earth And Birth Days

Allan Appel PhotoMorning commuters got cupcakes and lollipops. The mayor issued an executive order to plant a tree a year for the next 24 so the city will have four new “freedom groves” around town to mark our burg’s 400th in distant 20038.

All that and a sonnet by Shakespeare at press conference was how the city creatively combined its 376th birthday with the celebration of the 44th Earth Day.

Late Tuesday afternoon the city’s new head of the Department of Arts Culture and Tourism, Andrew Wolf, convened the green and Green-oriented soiree on the second floor of City Hall.

Thirty arts organization officials and City Hall denizens assembled to hear the Premier Jazz Ensemble from the Neighborhood Music School play jazz standards as the assembly waited for Mayor Toni Harp to arrive.

The proceedings were launched as the newly announced associate artistic director of Elm Shakespeare Company, Raphael Massie, recited Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15: “When I consider everything that grows” ...

Click on the play arrow to hear the iambic pentameters of the bard as interpreted by Massie. He’ll be delivering more with a role, yet to be determined, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, the next offering of the company, scheduled to open at Edgerton Park, Aug. 14-30.

Speaking of birthdays, Yale University communications honcho Michael Morand reminded us that Wednesday is accepted as Shakespeare’s birthday, his 450th.

Take that New Haven and Earth Day!

Wolf said that the combining of the two celebrations reflects the city’s and Mayor Harp’s values.

When she arrived at the proceedings Harp called attention to the Green, not only as a green space but also as the oldest continuously used public space in the country.

“Not only is it Earth Day, It’s our birthday too. Let’s sing,” she said, and the assembled guests broke out into that song.

The mayor will soon select four locations in four quadrants of the city where the “freedom groves” are to be established, according to press materials distributed.

“Next year’s birthday will be even bigger,” the mayor promised.

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