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toto kisaku 4

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nnenna okore 10 

rachel sayet 18

The Arts Paper a free publication of The Arts Council of Greater New Haven •

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November 2017

The Arts Paper november 2017



Artists Next Door Hank Hoffman Interviews

Theater Director Toto Kisaku


board of directors

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Juancarlos Soto Meet the Artist and Community Organizer Behind Our Cover Art


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Rachel Sayet Read the Mohegan Tribal Member’s Thoughtful Essay

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The Arts Council of Greater New Haven promotes, advocates, and fosters opportunities for artists,arts organizations, and audiences. Because the arts matter. The Arts Paper is published by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, and is available by direct mail through membership with the Arts Council. For membership information call (203) 772-2788. To advertise in The Arts Paper, call the Arts Council at (203) 772-2788. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven 70 Audubon Street, 2nd Floor, New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: (203) 772.2788  Fax: (203) 772.2262

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The Arts Paper november 2017

Letter from the Editor Dear Readers, Are we at November already? Can you tell me if it’s a happy one? As I am writing this on deadline, on the last Friday of September, Donald Trump has made inroads on a new travel ban targeting Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The island of Puerto Rico is in desperate need following Hurricane Maria, with fundraisers across the city bringing in resources that never seem like enough. We’re dealing with a state budget crisis that will affect our most vulnerable citizens and our children. All of this touches our creative ecosystem, from individual arts practitioners to nonprofits who are struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps the sages among you can tell me if any of that has been solved by the time this comes out in print. Those of you who read us online at may get to grapple with these issues in real time, and I invite you to join me and our other writers there if you haven’t already. But until then, in this job, I’ve found myself questioning the value of the arts in our daily lives. Don’t worry—I’m cautiously hopeful, and it has a lot to do with what’s in these pages. In preparation for this issue, a small but mighty team of writers spread out across New Haven (and beyond!) to bring you stories of immigrants, refugees, and Native Americans making their mark on the arts in Connecticut. Here are some of the goodies we have for you. Rachel Sayet, member of the Mohegan Nation, takes us inside the Tantaquidgeon Museum and discusses some of the work she is doing to preserve native culture. Malia West explores an ongoing collaboration between IRIS and Music Haven, asking how stretched resources at both nonprofits are affecting its future. L.M. Browning catches up with author Jake Halperin,

and I speak with refugees who are starting small arts-minded businesses in the city. Perhaps the most intrepid among us, Stephen Urchick braved the state’s public transit system on a Sunday to get from New Haven to Waterbury, where artist Nnenna Okore was installing an homage to her Igbo roots at the Mattatuck Museum. There’s more where those came from. These articles are intended to mark a deliberate shift. Starting this month, The Arts Paper will have thematic issues, broad enough to include economic development, political art, and arts-based organizing. In my first issue as editor—I’ve been calling it “We Get The Job Done” in my head, but call it whatever you please, with or without the Hamilton reference—I wanted to think about what it means to give thanks in a country of immigrants, as we close our borders to so many in need. A final word, based on the many, many words contained within this issue. Two, actually. First I want to thank outgoing editor Amanda May Aruani for her patience and kindness as I learn the ropes. She has answered every email, taken every phone call, and beautified every issue with aplomb, and I have big shoes to fill in the design department. Second. As we work through a financial crisis in Connecticut, as the arts recalibrate to survive, and as The Arts Council puts an eye toward the city’s larger “creative ecosystem” with our Arts Awards next month, I challenge you to redefine what you think of as “arts” and arts reporting. When you’ve got an answer, give me a call. Seriously. Let’s talk this out we’ve left no arts stone unturned. For your readership, I give my thanks to you, Lucy You can reach me at or 475.441.4058.

On the Cover

Juancarlos Soto’s revamping of artist Shepard Fairey’s “Make Art Not War” poster for New Haven’s 2017 May Day march and rally. Image courtesy of the artist.

In the Next Issue … As December creeps up on us, we’re looking at what it means to be a pilgrim in New Haven, and in Connecticut more broadly. Look out for stories on the city’s hidden (and not-so-hidden) nooks and crannies, from a secret drawing museum in the Hill to an urban bird sanctuary where you least expect it.



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The Arts Paper november 2017

artists next door

“We Could Not Shut Up” toto kisaku’s theater breaks down walls hank hoffman Theater director Toto Kisaku uses his work to shine light on injustice and human rights violations in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His latest endeavor started when he was arrested in December 2015. For seven days, Kisaku was enclosed within four walls with other detainees. He was tortured, awaiting his own execution in a dark cell while watching other being led out to theirs. On the day of his scheduled killing, Kisaku watched as three others were killed in front of him. But by the executioner’s caprice—”I cannot kill you because I know you”—Kisaku was spared. Now a refugee living in New Haven, Kisaku is currently creating a theater piece out of his harrowing encounter. Performances of Requiem for an Electric Chair were presented on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8, as part of City-Wide Open Studios. Along with his own performance, Kisaku incorporates six mannequins representing fellow prisoners and projections that represent the executioners and the “maestro” who orchestrates the repression. Kisaku seeks to reveal what goes on behind the walls—what blood is spilled and what souls are shattered to prop up our 21st century economy and technological lifestyle. An actor, playwright, set designer, and director, Kisaku studied drama at the National Institute for the Arts in Kinshasa, the country’s capital. Since 2002, he has participated in workshops and residencies around the world with a particular emphasis on involving young people and marginalized communities in his work. He founded his K-Mu Theater (for kinois in mutation, after the nickname for Kinshasa residents) in 2003. He is the winner of the 2010 “Freedom to Create Award” in Cairo, Egypt. Among his works are Basal’ya Bazoba, Rencontres au Pluriel, Surface 1 et 2, 20 ans, et alors! Mort d’Oluwemi d’Ajumako, and others. Requiem is his first work in English—he and a colleague are translating it from French as he writes. Since coming to the United States at the end of 2015 following his release from prison, Kisaku has held several theater workshops for young people. Under the rubric “Le Petit Studio,” these workshops are a way for children to learn theatrical techniques, collaborate, and “help them to grow up with that spirit together to share our story,” Kisaku said in an interview at Lotta Studio in Westville. Hanifa Washington, who is producing Kisaku’s new work, facilitated the interview. Characteristically, Kisaku seeks to provoke the audience to think about hard social issues. For example, in Basal’ya Bazoba (which translates to “stupid workers”), Kisaku drew attention to the plight of street children in Kinshasa. At the time he developed the work in 2009, an estimated 20,000 children were homeless on the streets of Kinshasa, most of them expelled from their homes under accusations of witchcraft. They were subject to abuse and hunted to death; a law passed to

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Toto Kisaku. Photo courtesy of the artist.

protect them went unenforced. “With my own work, the first thing I’m going to do is go [to] the community, all of the community,” he said. I’m going inside so I get the feeling of that community—the movement, the action, the talk.” With Basal’ya Bazoba, Kisaku’s K-Mu Theatre offered theatre classes to street children and produced a show that was seen by an estimated 100,000 people. “My work is about the four walls. I like to pick something that is inside of something to bring that outside,” Kisaku said. He added that those “four walls” may be a real space, like a prison cell, or a metaphorical space, such as the mind. In Recontre Au Pluriel (Meetings in Plural), Kisaku addressed his own life and struggles in Kinshasa. “I consider the four walls as also inside of us, inside the body. I tried to take away all I have inside of me so people could identify [with his] tragedy,” he said. “My story is also my city’s story, so when I talk about bad things happening in airports and the administration, the government doesn’t like that.”

Basal’ya Bazoba attracted the repressive attention of the Congolese government, which was unsettled by the work’s effectiveness at spurring calls for change. Performances of Recontre Au Pluriel—first staged in 2008 and performed until Kisaku left the country—were plagued by cancellations and the ongoing threatening presence of members of the secret police. Kisaku was arrested in December 2015 when he went to a university to perform Recontre Au Pluriel. The invite was a set-up. Requiem for an Electric Chair is a work of catharsis and witness, a way of both processing his own trauma and alerting the world to the suffering of others. “We are living in the world and people are talking about it being global, but it’s not really true. People have an ignorance of many things happening behind that wall,” Kisaku said. Things like the price exacted from the people of the Congo by the pillaging of the country’s rich resources. These include “conflict minerals” such as coltan, which are used in the manufacture of consumer electronics like smartphones. In the service of multinational corporations, the government stokes ethnic

conflict in order to keep people divided and open to exploitation. “We hear about executions, about the electric chair. A thousand, a billion people hear about that but have never experienced it. But I am one of the people who has experienced execution,” Kisaku said. “I know what happened to those people before they died. I know which confession I did to my friends, my mother, my kids before I was supposed to die. I know what happened inside of this [cell]. It was like I was already dead.” “That’s why I want the inside of that space to have a conversation with people who are outside of that cube,” said Kisaku. “I am talking to the people who know things but just observe. They could change those situations. They could help those people [being tortured] but they did nothing, and are doing nothing.” In Requiem for an Electric Chair, Kisaku poses the question, “Who brought us here?” “Symbolically, I know a lot of people in the government who brought us here. We don’t know what time we arrived, don’t know what day it is. We don’t know anything inside,” he said. “But we know there’s one’s hands somewhere who would decide the Congolese situation.” “The problem is, they are telling us to shut up,” he added. “But because it’s theater, we could not shut up. Because it’s art, we could not close our mouths. We are supposed to tell what happened and why we became the enemy of the maestro and also the invisible hand.” n

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investigating life www. families ~ events ~ education ~ documentary  •  5

The Arts Paper november 2017

Book Talk: Is The American Dream Attainable? cyd oppenheimer Behold the Dreamers is the story of Jende and Neni Jonga, Cameroonians who have come to New York in search of a better life for themselves and their son. The time is 2007 and the economy is booming. Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. Neni does babysitting and housework for his wife, Cindy. The American Dream seems within grasp. But with the collapse of the financial industry, the promise of that dream comes into question. Is achieving it still possible? Is it even desirable? Is this the dream we want to be dreaming? This is a book about immigration, class, race, gender, money, power—but even more than that, it’s a book about success and failure, desire and love, compromise and loss. What follows is an edited interview with author Imbolo Mbue about learning to write, initial reactions to the book’s conclusion, and race and immigration in the United States. This first appeared on WNHH Community Radio’s “Book Talk” program. During the initial radio broadcast on WNHH, guest readers Ian Solomon

and Matt Levine also chimed in to discuss what this novel has to say about heroism and humanity, dissembling and deception, and the quest for authenticity. To listen to that, visit and check out episode 26. Imbolo Mbue grew up in Cameroon, and came to the United States for college. She graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Business Administration, and earned a Master’s degree from Columbia University in Psychology and Education. She has worked as a dental office receptionist, a bank teller, a preschool secretary, a dishwasher, and market researcher for a media company. Behold The Dreamers is her first novel. Imbolo, I’ve read that it was after you lost your job in marketing during the financial crisis that you began working on this novel. But I just gave your resume—it doesn’t sound like the resume of a writer. So I want to start by asking you: have you always been a writer? Was writing something you were always doing when you had those other jobs, or was it only something that you came to once those jobs were gone?

I’d been writing for nine years before I started writing this particular book. I never published anything. But I had started writing in 2002 … some of those jobs I had when I was writing. In 2002 I read Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and it was a book I loved very much. It inspired me to start writing. So by the time I was working at the media company and I lost that job, I’d been writing for nine years. And then after I lost my job I was looking for a new job and I couldn’t find one. And then I went for a walk one day and I noticed the chauffeurs and the executives in front of a building in Manhattan. I became inspired and I started writing this particular novel. And when you were doing the writing in those nine years before, did you try to get things published or … were you just writing for yourself? No, I was just writing for myself. I didn’t know anything about the publishing world, I didn’t know it was a good idea to publish your stories. I never took any writing class, I have no background whatsoever in writing fiction. I just spent a lot of time basically teaching myself how to write, because my goal was to learn how to write and be very

good at writing. I wasn’t thinking about publishing. It was only … like in 2011, after I had been unemployed and I said: Oh, let me just try out sending out my work. My initial goal was just to work on my writing and be good at it. And so how do you do that? How do you teach yourself to write? Well, it starts by reading a lot of books. I’ve been a reader for many years. I got to live in a house with books when I was a young child and that really influenced me. When I came to America, I discovered public libraries, which was a wonderful thing for somebody who loved books. So I borrowed a lot of library books. I went to bookstores, I bought a lot of books, and when I lost my job I also read a lot. So I think a lot of my writing came from the writers I admire. And it wasn’t so much that I was reading them and thinking ‘Oh, this is how I want to write,’ but just being inspired by their work. So talk a little about the process of writing this book. I’m curious to know how your first draft looked different from your last draft. Well, the ending didn’t change. But I think in the beginning … my initial inspiration was to write about these two men and their relationship. But over the next few drafts, I started bringing their wives in because I thought it was important to explore not only the two men but also their families, and the way their families intersect. Their wives and their children, and the sense of … these two very different families, these two very different cultures. What would they be like if their lives became intertwined? Being that the recession was also an element, in what different ways would the recession affect each of them? Was it always written in the third person? Did you ever play around with first person? No, it was always written in the third person.

Imbolo Mbue. Photo by Kiriko Sano.

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I was interested—the book is written in the third person, but it hears pretty closely the perspectives of Jende and Neni. One thing I wondered was how much you wanted the reader to accept their view of things, and how much you intended for there to be some critical distance between their interpretation of events and our own? So originally, to be honest, I wrote this book from four points of view. From all four: so it was Clark [the executive], Jende, Neni and Cindy [Clark’s wife]. So the men and their wives. And it was always my goal to show these four characters equally. But the truth is that point of view is very important in literature. So I spent many years, many, many drafts writing the four points of view, but in the end, I got a lot of rejection from agents. They said: We need to feel for Clark and Cindy the same way we feel for Jande and Neni. And that was a job that I had to do … so writing this book forced me to develop an equal amount of empathy for Clark

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The Arts Paper november 2017

as black. And I wanted to ask you whether you think they are aware of the role race plays in their lives, or if they see themselves and those around them strictly in terms of class? And whether you agree with their perspective? I think … that they have a certain sense of “we’re not African-Americans.” And that is something, sadly, I’ve seen a lot of Africans say. You know—we’re not African-Americans, we’re different. Not so much that we’re better than them, but we’re different from them. And there’s something to be said for that, because it’s two very different cultures. You know, we have the same origin but our ways of coming to America were different. You know, when you come here, you realize that you’re black. You get to have the same challenges as any other black person. That’s what I’ve seen. That there’s more that bonds me and my fellow African-Americans than I recognized before I came here. Because I thought … I focused more on the American part, they were nothing like me. As I lived and as I had my share of experiences with racism, I realized that ultimately, we’re all black.

and Cindy that I had for Jende and Neni. I wanted to keep everything balanced. It’s so interesting, because they are not flat, evil characters at all. My inclination would be to think that writing it from their points of view would give us more … we’d be more aligned with them. We’d tend to have more empathy. So it’s really interesting that you found that actually eliminating their point of view was what generated more empathy. Yes! Exactly. I was so determined that I had to show their point of view. But the truth is, Clark’s point of view was mostly showing him in the board room, mostly showing him doing certain things we might not agree with because we think ‘Oh, the Clarks of the world … the Wall Street fat cats.” But … Jende admires Clark. Jende dreams of being like Clark. We start seeing Jende being a father, and Jende being a husband. He looks like Clark. And so … the same kind of struggles he has with his family, Clark also has. In a way, as much as these people are very different—from very different worlds, different races—they’re very similar, and I think that is what I had to learn. So you talk about needing to create empathy for Cindy and Clark. You have Jende and Neni make some kind of questionable choices as well. So Jende lies on his asylum application so that he can stay in the country, and Neni ends up blackmailing Cindy with information she knows … so that she can get money. We know where that comes from … but still, that’s a questionable choice. And towards the end, there’s a scene of Jende hitting Neni. And so, those are interesting choices to make for characters because I think you run the risk of alienating your reader from them, or of your reader judging them or feeling less empathetic towards them. Did you worry about that? Did those things change over the course of the reading? I think once we start out seeing the characters I think we are understanding of why people do certain things that they do. They make certain poor choices … I don’t think anyone who reads this book would agree that it’s a good idea for Jende to beat Neni. I don’t think anybody would agree that beating your wife is a good idea. But the fact is that that came from a place of deep pain, deep frustration, and anger and resentment about what his life had become. And he took it out on his wife. We won’t say “Oh, it makes sense, you’re upset, so you beat your wife,” but we can at least say “Wow.” You know, even though I have met readers who say “I just, I can’t get over that.” The truth is that I can understand that. But I grew up a culture where men beat their wives. I grew up in a culture where I saw men beat their wives, and their wives said “Oh, my husband was having a bad day, and he beat me. Moving on, we’re gonna stay together.” And I had to tell the truth about that. I wanted to get to what you just ended with, which is this issue of who the reader is, and how their reactions might vary depending on that. I’m curious about what you’ve been hearing from readers, and in

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Do you think Jende and Neni realize that? I think Neni does. I think she’s more aware that she’s a black person, I think Jende is more focused on class.

The paperback cover for Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016) by Imbolo Mbue. This, her debut novel, won her the PEN/Faulkner Award earlier this year. Image credit: Random House.

particular that question—whether their reactions vary depending on where the reader is coming from. You mean as far as the ending of the book? Certainly I was thinking partly about the ending … but then other things too. Like what you said about the reaction to Jende beating Neni, things like that. Or even parenting. All of those things … how reactions have varied. Initially, a long time ago when I was sending out this book looking for an agent, I had an agent tell me that this book is not going to work—cause it’s a very complex ending and “American readers don’t like complex endings.” I was like: I’m not gonna buy this because many books that I love, it wasn’t a black and white ending. I believe this ending is written in reality, because there are many immigrants who question whether America is working out for them. I know people who have gone back home, not only because of papers … there are many other issues. You know, your book is being talked about a lot in terms of what it has to say about the immigrant experience today, and it certainly has a lot to say about

that. But I was struck by how much it had to say about other things. And you’ve talked about this a little already in the interview—things about gender, things about marriage, things about parenting. I wanted to know if you were conscious of those themes while you were writing, and if there are themes you wished people noticed more. No, I wasn’t. I think it’s a great privilege, [that] many people are seeing all these themes. I don’t write for themes. I am telling a story. Usually I don’t read a lot of reviews—I choose not to read reviews—but my agent encouraged me to read a couple of reviews because she said “there’s a lot you can learn from these reviews.” And I learned a lot, because there was such good analysis of the characters and the themes. I said: Wow! I could take a class on this book. My job was to simply tell the story and to tell the story completely. I wanted to paint the full picture of the people I’ve met and the stories they’ve told me … that was my goal. Neni and Jende are black, but to the extent that any African-American characters appear, they seem to kind of distance themselves from them. They really see themselves as African, I think, more than

And do you think that their immigrant experience is different depending on where you’re coming from? I think yes! I think race is still very powerful. I think being an African immigrant, as opposed to … I don’t know, a British immigrant or a Spanish immigrant or a French immigrant is different. I don’t think people are treated the same way they’d treat me if I came from Australia and had an Australian accent. So race is still very powerful for me. I’ve been around people and seen the difference in the way they treat an Italian from the way they treat an African even though we all are immigrants, and even though we all go through the same challenges. The Italian is white and I’m African, so it’s different. The Italian is more exotic in the nice way. I’m a black immigrant from Africa. Let me end by asking you this. You said that you were writing for nine years before working on this book. So does this mean that you have like nine other novels that are going to be coming out in the next nine years that we can look forward to? No. I had no idea how hard it is to write a novel … it took a lot out of me, because I had to push myself and dig in really deep to tell all this, and to go places where I didn’t even know I could go. The themes of race, and class, and gender, and marriage. I don’t know how long it will take to write another book. n This interview is part of The Arts Paper’s partnership with WNHH Community Radio (103.5 FM New Haven), where Cyd Oppenheimer hosts a biweekly show called “Book Talk.” To find out more about the show, visit To find out more about WNHH, visit  •  7

The Arts Paper november 2017

Out of the Shadows, Onto the Page lucy gellman As immigration decisions continue to shift at the federal level, a New Haven “artivist” is responding to Donald Trump’s treatment of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with a series of figurative drawings, and hoping that they will expand a national dialogue on immigration and xenophobia. That artist is Juancarlos Soto, a community organizer at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and grassroots organizer in the city more broadly. Affectionately referred to as the city’s “artivist” by friends and fellow organizers at Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) and Junta For Progressive Action, Soto has become known for his banners, graphic t-shirts, photographs, and illustrations defending immigrant rights. Now, he has a new subject matter: the 800,000 faces behind DACA, which President Donald Trump moved to end in early September and has since opened querulous debate on. Soto envisions images that depict recipients’ renewed struggle to remain in the country, and that get across that, in his words, “These are people like your children. They’re young people who are working hard, who are looking for a better life.” Before Trump’s first decision on DACA, Soto wasn’t planning on starting a new series. The 32 year old isn’t a DACA recipient; he came to Connecticut from Puerto Rico when he was 15 years old, accompanied by his mother, father, and two brothers. The family settled in the city’s Fair Haven neighborhood just as its demographics were shifting, from predominately Puerto Rican to Mexican and Central American. There was “a magic to it, to the sounds and the feeling of that space,” so much so that he still returns each week to buy his groceries, go to restaurants, and get his hair cut. But Soto said he also felt betwixt and between, treated more like a recent immigrant than the American citizen he was.

Juancarlos Soto. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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“My experience was very similar to the immigrant experience,” he said. “Although Puerto Rico is part of the United States, it feels very different. For all intents and purposes I was an American citizen, but I got treated as a second-class citizen. I was treated as an immigrant. The number of times people still ask today if I speak ‘Mexican’ is extremely alarming.” From his teens on, Soto relied on his art as the easiest way to communicate. “It was sort of a therapy for me,” he recalled. “I had left everything behind—my friends, family, my country, my language, a lot of my culture … art was something that anchored me.” As he learned English, he carried a notebook with him at all times, sketching out Spanish words when he couldn’t find their translations. It worked as a sort of buffer: people would slow down to look at the drawings, instead of growing frustrated with his still-budding English skills. He found himself drawing each day, ultimately attending the nearby Paier College of Art for his undergraduate degree. As he dove further into the worlds of drawing, painting, and photography, he began to use art to “talk about my identity” as a gay Puerto Rican male and committed grassroots organizer. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I could translate the stories of people in a different way,” he said. “If I can translate that story into an image, I almost feel like it’s a more authentic story. Art tends to transcend borders, language … it speaks like the language of the soul. It gets people to really see what you’re trying to bring up. It goes through your intellectual mind and right into your heart.” “I started connecting the dots between art and activism, activism and advocacy,” he added. “Advocacy is telling the story of people.” After college, he was hired as a youth organizer for Junta, just as the organization was working on getting more youth involved in local activism. Fifteen years before, the organization had helped his family get settled in Fair Haven. He owed them a debt of sorts, he said. “In my mind, the universe is perfect,” he said. “I felt that it … was an opportunity to give back to a community that welcomed me, sometimes when I didn’t even want to be welcomed.” He volunteered to teach art classes that would fuse design and advocacy for the Latino community, and then kept moving forward. Since starting to teach, he has bound together his art, activism, and advocacy for the community at every opportunity. Last year, he worked with Junta to create and mount Faces of DAPA as the Supreme Court prepared to rule on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans legislation. Over a series of portraits, Soto depicted families affected by DAPA, punctuating each image with a single statement in Spanish. “Aqui Estamos, Somos Nosotros,” read one. Here we are.

The Sun by Juancarlos Soto. Image courtesy of the artist.

In April, he helped design a banner, shirts, and signs for a massive May Day march and rally, revamping artist Shepard Fairey’s “Make Art Not War” poster with a flower-crowned Latina (see this issue’s cover). He said the idea came to him after the election, as he carried a small version Fairey’s design in his pocket “like some people carry the Virgin of Guadalupe.” Most recently, he has focused on ancestral Taíno figures, willing them onto the page as a statement on colonialism, displacement, legend and cultural reclamation. The origin point, he said, is Puerto Rico’s origin story as Borikén, birthed of a fertile, wide-hipped and benevolent Taíno goddess. As he watched his sister-in-law endure a difficult pregnancy that ended in the premature birth of his nephew, he began creating the figures as a sort of homage to members of the next Puerto Rican generation, separated from the island though they might be. He said that feeling only grew stronger as Hurricane Maria ravaged the island—and threatened the lives of several family members—earlier this year. Which is also how Soto began devising a DACA series in early September, as Trump set into motion its repeal. The morning of Sept. 5, he had been drinking coffee with his mom when Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on the television, declaring DACA’s end as “the

compassionate thing to do” for the country. In that moment, Soto said he knew that he needed to do two things: get on a train to New York City, where a massive protest was planned at Trump Tower, and start working on material that reshaped the conversation. In a series of digital illustrations, he plans to depict the faces, bodies, families, and fears behind DACA, drawing a number of the law’s recipients coming out of the shadows, and safely into the light. He said he can see them already: hardworking kids, some with multiple jobs on top of school, who are using DACA to earn a better—and safer—life for themselves, and who may not have returned to their birthplaces in almost 18 years or more. He said he is hopeful the series will attract viewers from both political camps, who are willing to have a more robust discussion about the repeal once they see the images. “My goal is to find a way to override the ego in people that tells us that we’re all different, that we’re all separate,” he said. “From a distance we all look different, but when we get really close, we’re all made of the same stuff.” n Editorial note: The Arts Paper goes to press six weeks before it comes out. In that time, we at The Arts Council of Greater New Haven have no idea what will happen to further DACA or immigration decisions.

november 2017  •

The Arts Paper november 2017

Bridge Building, Note By Note music haven and iris team up to offer free music lessons for refugee children

Images courtesy of IRIS and Music Haven.

malia west


n a recent afternoon at the Fair Haven School, something small and electric was happening. Tiny voices introduced themselves one by one. A smattering of languages bounced across the walls and floor, quieting with the introduction of tiny violins. Notes slowly drifted from them, the first line of Pachelbel’s Canon filling the room. Instructor Yaira Matyakubova, a senior resident musician with the Music Haven, clasped her hands in delight. The students, all refugees, had been unable to come to Music Haven’s old Whalley Avenue offices. So Music Haven came to them. It’s part of a nascent program called “Music Bridge,” a collaboration between Music Haven and Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) that has begun to take shape in the past two years. Originally offered as part of IRIS’ after-school programming at Fair Haven School, it has expanded Music Haven’s mission of empowering students with tuition-free music education. The nonprofit offers free music lessons to approximately 100 students in the city’s “Promise Zone” neighborhoods, including Dixwell, Dwight, Fair Haven, Newhallville, the Hill, Quinnipiac Meadows, and slivers of Long Wharf, Amity, West Rock, and Beaver Hills. “Music Bridge” began in 2015, at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis. Matyakubova found herself in a conversation with her students on what a refugee was, and how they could help. It struck a chord for her: She emigrated to the United States at 16, as the former Soviet Union was crumbling. “They were really curious and it really affected [them] to hear about refugees and what it meant to lose their home and move to another location whether they wanted to or not,” she recalled. The students’ curiosity turned into action. They became adamant about meeting the refugees that lived in New Haven. In spring of last year, they performed for

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them. For one afternoon, the Fair Haven Library’s community room was transformed into a concert hall. As Music Haven students played Pachelbel’s Canon, refugee families gathered to listen. At the end of the concert, one student in particular reached for her violin, and Matyakubova recalled that “the kids went crazy.” “She asked them if they wanted to try it and they all jumped up!” Matyakubova said. She watched as her students pointed out the different parts of the violin and how to hold it. A connection was born as the young students showed their new friends all they had learned in their music lessons. An entire room of elementary school students transcended language and cultural differences in the name of music. “It’s actually easier to teach the kids, even though the language was a barrier, they saw other Music Haven students doing the gestures and [that] took away the problem of explaining,” Matyakubova said of the class. For Music Haven, that was just the beginning of a longterm collaboration. -Mandi Twenty students, most of whom had never held a violin before, were introduced to the intricacies of the violin, viola, and cello. They began to find cultural connections within their different communities, like learning that “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is a nursery rhyme in each of the languages the refugees spoke.

The program was initially supported by a $5,000 grant from New Haven’s Cultural Vitality Grant Program, and expanded last year through a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Because of the state’s precarious budget this year, it’s unclear what will fund the class going forward. This year, a revamped “Music Bridge” will be taught at Music Haven—now teaching out of Erector Square—because IRIS has had to reconfigure its after-school programming. That means more hands-on involvement from Music Haven, Jackson said. Where IRIS provided the location, snacks, and transportation to Fair Haven School last year, Music Haven has had to fill the gap, tracking down previous “Music Bridge” participants and coordinating school bus drop-off for fall classes at Erector Square. “Their resources are really stretched,” said Music Haven executive director Mandi Jackson of IRIS. “It’s [now] much more an in-house program with Music Haven. We’re facing these funding challenges too, but we couldn’t just see leaving the Jackson program.” IRIS can’t either, said Ann O’Brien, the organization’s director of community engagement. “IRIS remains committed to providing our refugee children access to the ‘Music Bridge’ program for those families who want to participate,” she wrote in a statement to The Arts Paper. “We are

“The kids have waves of spontaneity and Music Haven is the environment that catches and supports that spontaneous will.”

working through the steps to make that happen given that the children are all now at different schools throughout New Haven.” That change comes in a year of other changes, and a growth spurt for the organization. After outgrowing its 117 Whalley Avenue garage earlier this year, Music Haven moved to Erector Square at the end of September. Classes there began a week later, on Oct. 2, with a revamped “Music Bridge” with approximately 20 returning students among them. It’s an experiment, Jackson said. But it also ties into the class’ natural evolution. “The dream for us is to have Music Haven available for the community, open doors,” Matyakubova said. “We want everyone to feel welcome. We want to explore music from all over the world. We would like to be more present at different locations in the community.” Despite its resilience, Music Haven is still beginning the year with budget cuts. The programming it offers costs $7,000 per student each year. At this point, Jackson said the organization is thriving off of the support of a few. “When public funds are cut, the burden falls to a group of generous people who already supporting arts in New Haven,” Jackson said. Still, the organization is expanding to support its youth, and offer new programs that come with the needs of the community. The new space at Erector Square is designed to accommodate more students and give them room to practice, a continual challenge in the Whalley Avenue garage. “The strength of arts is such a necessity for the spirit to grow, expand,” said Jackson. “The kids have waves of spontaneity and Music Haven is the environment that catches and supports that spontaneous will.” n To find out more about Music Haven, visit Lucy Gellman contributed reporting.  •  9

The Arts Paper november 2017

From Dawn to Dust stephen urchick Nnenna Okore woke at the crack of dawn to bring “morning” to the Mattatuck Museum. A Chicago-based fiber artist and professor, Okore flew out for Bradley International Airport at 5 a.m. the day she was scheduled to hang her new work, Ùtútù, in the Mattatuck’s “Lab” exhibition space. A room-sized sculptural installation, Ùtútù takes its title from the Igbo word for the time of day Okore began her labors—an homage to her childhood in Nsukka, Nigeria. From 10 a.m. until she absolutely had to leave for that evening’s return flight, Okore worked to arrange Ùtútù’s jute, wax, wire, and paper parts. “I have young kids, so I normally travel out on the same day to be home with my kids,” she said in an interview following the installation. “I’ve done it so often that I’ve learned how to manage my time. It’s quite intense—it adds a lot of flavor to the creative process.” Approximately twelve feet tall, Ùtútù consists of a trunk of knotted cords made from repurposed newspaper, a spreading canopy of jute fuzz teased over wire armatures, and about thirty black papier-mâché half-spheres clustered along the floor, their convex sides turned ceiling-up. Bunches of cotton yarn add vivid, crimson flecks to Ùtútù’s mostly monochrome pink palette. The whole ensemble is suspended from above by clear, high-tensile monofilament cable. Imagined from a bird’s eye, it describes a lumpy circle about nine to ten feet in diameter. Okore’s radical reconfiguration of commonplace stuff offers up a double image of an effeminate environment. Building on a common theme in the artist’s exhibition history, Ùtútù represents women as a force of nature by uplifting and valuing materials we struggle to see as having any agency of their own. Okore was first contacted by Mattatuck curator Cynthia Roznoy after a 2014 Washington, D.C.-area exhibit. Okore and Roznoy debated at length whether they should showcase one of Okore’s pieces or many, whether they should use one room at the Mattatuck or several. “I preferred one room—it was more stimulating,” Okore said. Ùtútù utilizes the “Lab,” an experimental gallery that was formerly the Mattatuck’s dining room. At Ùtútù’s opening reception in September, Roznoy detailed how director Bob Burns wanted visitors to enter the Waterbury museum’s lobby and be immediately confronted by big, demanding art. Roznoy listed off past exhibits: large-scale, framed photography; a seascape of light-emitting diode (LED) anemone, floating up from the floor. She was particularly pleased by Ùtútù. Okore and Roznoy both maintained that Ùtútù is unique to the Mattatuck Museum because its components have never before been configured in quite this way. This explanation understates how Ùtútù helps the museum meet its goal of challenging guests straight in the door. It solves a programming problem specific to the site. “This is what Bob had in mind,” grinned Roznoy. Okore spoke at length about one of Ùtútù’s

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Ùtútù’’s installation in progress. Image courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum.

components: its distinctive “belly-forms.” They’re shallow, leathery-looking bowls with a cracked and crumpled outer rim. Okore waxed these forms and embedded hatches of brown jute twine in their semi-glossy surface, or sprinkled pulped red paper into their cavities. They suggest spent avocado hulls or empty dragon’s eggs. Okore has salvaged these belly-forms from previous installations, and for good reason: They’re cast from ceramic molds taken during her three pregnancies. “I normally do casts of my belly to retain the memory,” she explained. Okore first used the belly-forms in a 2009 exhibit in Denmark, supporting the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. There, the belly-forms helped link women to nature as conduits for life. “We were exploring the role of women in the natural world, how they could speak to conserving the environment,” she said. “Women have the power to protect the environment, because we are nurturers. I’m an environmental advocate!” From dust to dust and dawn to dusk, Okore gives up a vision of Mother Earth as the ultimate upcycler. “No matter how deadened nature becomes, it always offers a new start. When things die, they offer the potential for life.” So is there any life left in Ùtútù? At first glance, the sculpture is frightening—grisly, even. If Ùtútù is an image of fecundity, of pregnancy, the baby’s elsewhere. The audience is left with dead or dying viscera, an afterbirth dripping down. Okore’s belly-forms “index,” or fossilize something vital that no longer exists: her mommy tummy. As a concrete, constructed thing, then,

Ùtútù enshrines and substantiates a weird, morbid, psychoanalytic lack—an absence of life. By initially denying viewers the picture of renewal and regeneration implied by her title, Okore disappears Ùtútù. Given that the default gallery-goer’s gaze is voyeuristically male, Okore herein gets in a feminist comment: an ostensibly female object, Ùtútù does not and will not reveal itself at our first, aggressive, seeking glance. To understand Ùtútù as an affirmative, nurturing image—if you find yourself at the exhibition—try literally looking at it from another angle. Crouching down low, sitting crosslegged on the floor, the black jute gossamer arches overhead like leafy branches. The yellow-orange glare of the track lighting helps to obscure some of the nastier pinks and reds, filtering them down to deep, oaky browns. Seen again, Ùtútù rises again—embracing the beholder as a thriving, lone acacia, lit by daybreak. Ùtútù might very well reward compromise and accommodation, a real change in the beholder’s privileged point of view. Okore additionally went into detail about the mysterious process of feeling out new shapes and giving old materials a second wind. Dead on the outside, perhaps, Ùtútù pulses with the inner life of things, what Okore terms “the being of the form.” “I’m trying to figure out what things want to do,” she said. “I’ve given myself permission to say: ‘I have this material, it’s flimsy, it does these things, how can I help it?’ It is a combination of letting go of control and working by instinct.” Despite her extensive oeuvre and international renown as a sculptor, Okore expressed a welcome humility—a willingness to relinquish individualistic, artistic aims. She resists

a domineering, authorial attitude that would make her the masculine master of Ùtútù’s feminine nature. She undoes a common, misogynistic trope in the arts and a commonplace of Western thought. Nature is not inert matter, to be used and abused. “Sometimes it falls apart,” Okore added. “‘It fell apart! Maybe that’s what it wants to do. I should let it be.’ Rather than become challenged or frustrated, I take that as a cue to go in another direction.” n Ùtútù will be on display at the Mattatuck Museum, 144 W. Main St., Waterbury through Sunday, Dec. 3. For admission information and visiting hours visit

Nnenna Okore. Image courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum.

november 2017  •

The Arts Paper november 2017

Immigrants: We Get the Job Done lucy gellman A. never envisioned cooking for anyone except her family. M. wasn’t aware that one could turn long hours of sewing, sequin-sorting, and scrutinizing fabric swatches into running a small business for expectant moms. S. had never heard of a commission, until one was sitting on her doorstep. And yet, across the Greater New Haven area, these three young women—all refugees whose names have been withheld for security reasons—have become examples of what it means to redefine artistry, community engagement, and female entrepreneurship in a new country. As President Donald Trump moves forward with a new travel ban targeting Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, they are emerging as a new face of small business, where cultural carryover and economic development collide. Their Connecticut stories begin in many places, but center on Nov. 8, 2016—Election Day across the United States. That’s when A., her husband and children arrived in Connecticut, and when a presidential candidate who had repeatedly advocated for “the total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering

the United States” won the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Touching down on Connecticut soil that night, they were largely alone in a new country, and suddenly fearful that they had come to the wrong place. (Their story has since been committed to Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan’s Welcome to the New World, about which you can read in L.M. Browning’s piece on page 18.) “When I first came to the airport, I wanted to go back that second,” A. recalled in an interview earlier this fall, speaking through translator Reem Nahlawi. She explained that each moment felt like a trial: No sooner had she arrived in the United States than a woman confronted her at the airport, ultimately involving a police officer in their dispute. “That was day one,” she said. “We came with Trump,” her husband added in the same interview. “If we’d known Trump had won, maybe I’d cancel the offer. But IOM (International Organization for Migration) told us we can’t cancel the appointment … they were telling us—’No, it’s impossible for him to win.’ The IOM teacher said that if Trump won, then their job would end. She reassured us, and then we came.” Trying to settle into New Haven took time.

Things of Beauty Growing British Studio Pottery September 14–December 3, 2017

Almost immediately, A.’s family was paired with representatives from Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) and the Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement (JCARR), a grassroots outreach group whose members offered to shuttle them around the city, and help with day-to-day tasks like language learning, grocery shopping, and school enrollment. JCARR comprises members of Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, Congregation B’nai Jacob, Congregation Mishkan Israel, Congregation Or Shalom, and Temple Emanuel who co-sponsor refugee families, helping them resettle in Connecticut. Despite layers of help from the community, A. and her family were physically separated from her husband’s brother and his family, with whom they had arrived in the United States. Weekends became a journey to elsewhere in the state, where the brother was living. And when they were at home, A. and her husband found their neighborhood unsettlingly quiet, like a tomb. There was also the issue of income. A. had assumed that her husband would work and she would stay home with their children. Ultimately he did, in a factory and then at Yale-New Haven Hospital. But in the interim,

something happened that neither of them expected: He struggled to find a job that fit his physical limitations, and she began working to bring money into the home. She had never worked before. But after an American friend’s declaration that her falafel was “the best I’ve ever had,” she began to think about bringing her cooking into the wider community. In Syria, she had learned to cook from her brother, a chef by trade and patient teacher as she mastered bean and meat stews, baked goods, and thick, spice-sprinkled spreads. She had cooked for her family, often serving meals to as many as 25 people at one time. She returned to the friend—author Jake Halperin, who was working with her family on his series Welcome to the New World— with an ask: Help me find some families who will eat this food. She told him she wanted a job she could do from home, to continue taking care of her young kids. Her first catering assignment came from a professor at Yale, who wanted a dinner for 25 people. Jean Silk, the head of JCARR, offered to help her prepare and figure out how much to charge. Then A. got to work, preparing

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Beethoven’s Ninth November 9 | 7:30pm Woolsey Hall William Boughton, conductor Yale Glee Club Jeffrey Douma, conductor Jennifer Johnson Cano Gabriella Reyes de Ramirez Jason Wickson Barry L. Robinson

Free and open to the public 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven 1 877 BRIT ART | @yalebritishart #BritishStudioPottery Lucie Rie, Bottle with Flaring Lip (detail), 1970s, mixed stoneware and porcelain with glaze, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, © Crafts Study Centre, Farnham 2017

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The Arts Paper november 2017

Immigrants... Continued from page 11 platters of malfuf (stuffed cabbage), mloukhiah (chicken stew with nalta jute leaves and thick slices of lime), namura (semolina cake) and other dishes. “I was just really hoping that they would like it, so I wouldn’t feel like a stranger,” she recalled, her voice catching on the memory. “They welcomed me and greeted me. I just wanted to burst out and ask them … how was the food!? Did you like it?” They did, it turned out. A lot. The professor sent JCARR a message that she’d enjoyed the food so much she wanted to work with A. professionally, on a contractual basis. A. wasn’t ready for that, she said; her children were still too young for her to leave them alone, and she didn’t have a permitted, commercial space. She also wasn’t confident with her English language skills. But JCARR found a middle ground: A kind of informal catering business that operated by word of mouth. When Sumiya Kahn of CitySeed’s Sanctuary Kitchen program heard about A.’s cooking, she asked her to join the group. A. signed on with a series of recipes she’d already perfected. By September 2017, she had cooked for 120 people, led a class in baklava making at Congregation Or Shalom in Orange, and travelled to New York to cater a Syrian breakfast for 35 people. With JCARR volunteer Kate Ezra, she has also applied for incubator kitchen space at CitySeed, a program slated to begin this fall. It is the beginning of what A. said she hopes will become, a year from now, a brick-and-mortar business. It’s an emotional business venture, she added. With each taste test, she is reminded of the family members she left a year ago, and the chance she may never be able to return to the country without fearing for her life. There’s still a gender aspect they don’t understand, she said, although “they are proud of me.” “I told my family and my parents that I’m working with food,” she said. “In our family it’s not common to work if you don’t have a license or an education. My father expected me to work with crafting … he was very surprised when I told him.” It is also intensely bittersweet. Before leaving Jordan, A. learned about food presentation from her brother, a chef by trade. It

has made her dishes instantly recognizable, something to eat with the eyes as much as with the mouth. But those lessons were born of necessity. A.’s brother cooked for her after Syrian secret police struck her arm with a club, injuring it severely. She had intervened when they arrived at her home for her husband, and threatened to take her son. When A. placed her body between them, she recalled how the club had come down with a resounding thwack. In the months that she was recovering, her brother gave her a skill set he thought of as fun. Now, she’s using it to defy expectations from both her family and fellow Americans. “At the beginning, I never had an idea to work with food at all,” she said. “Working at first was because my husband couldn’t … because of that, we thought of the project, the catering. He’s the one who communicates with people, like my case manager. He’s helping me a lot with this.” Of her dream to open a store, she added, “You never know. Insha’Allah.” From Baklava to Babies’ Beds In a small apartment across town, recent refugee M. was struck with a similar idea earlier this year, as she sent her kindergarten-aged son off to school and found herself with more time during the day. M. arrived with her husband and son late last year, fleeing violence in their native Afghanistan. Leaving their childhood homes of Jalalabad and Kunar (“It is so beautiful,” she recalled), they said goodbye to family members (M. has two sisters and five brothers, two of whom are at university in Pakistan), not sure when or whether they would see them again. M. was pregnant at the time, and gave birth to a second son in Connecticut in early 2017. Early into their stay, her husband found a job with Medtronic, and she began to settle in to a new role, staying at home with the boys in a bustling part of the city. Speaking through a mix of English, IRIS “Cultural Companion” Elizabeth Nearing, and Google translate set to Pashto, she said that one of her first tasks was transforming their apartment into a home where they felt safe, and culturally comfortable. That has meant sewing as an act of necessity: M. makes some of her own dresses, as well as most of the pillowcases, bright seat cushions, and slipcovers that adorn every corner of her home.

A young refugee’s artwork made at a Ely Whitney Museum workshop. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Each task has taken on its own character to brighten the apartment. On a recent interview, an eggplant-colored dress accented her white hijab, decorated with orange rhinestones that danced in the light. Cushions exploded into red and blue flowers in the living room, where sunlight streams through the windows and one can see onto the street. In the bedroom, M. said that a number of slipcovers from Afghanistan remind her of home. For a while, she said that she saw her sewing as simply a domestic task. But in the midst of keeping a house for an expanding family, she was struck by the ease with which she could, if equipped with the right skills, run a small business out of their home. She heard about other women, some of whom had taken sewing classes at IRIS, had sold their wares successfully at a craft fair. She decided to try spinning thread and fabric into an additional income stream. She started with bolts of pink fleece from Walmart. “I liked the color,” she said. As she bought enough for pillows and blankets, the mental wheels were already turning, click-clacking along in her mind like the low hum of a sewing machine. Soon, she was making soft, plush beds, pillows and blankets for infants and toddlers, each fashioned out of fleece and felt, with bright yarn and sparkling bands of sequins. The first went to a friend who had just had a baby. Then a few women started inquiring: where could they find items like that? M. started researching price points with her husband and Nearing, settling on $150 per set. Her most recent, in hot pink, includes four distinct pieces for a baby: A sort of soft mattress or landing pad, long pillow on which to rest, warm blanket, and decorative throw pillow. The last has a yarn pom-pom and delicate row of faux pearls. When they catch the light, they send shadows dancing up the walls, like little pieces of the sun. The Next Generation Nestled in a nearby town, a very young artist—and unwitting entrepreneur—is taking shape, probing the intersection of sculpture and painting as a way to work through her bouts of intense homesickness. Where the women profiled above jumpstarted their small businesses as a source of income, S. turned to art to feed a deep nostalgia for what she’d left behind. Any exposure beyond that was (and continues to be) purely happenstance. S. arrived in Connecticut in late January of this year, coming with her parents and two brothers from Aleppo by way of Istanbul. After civil war broke out in Syria, the family had moved to Turkey; they’d been living there for three years when they were given a chance to emigrate to the United States. S. had not wanted to go, she recalled— there had already been too much upheaval for her young life. As the family moved, she endeavored to keep her art alive as a sort of anchoring force in a new country, and a reminder of her home. In an interview earlier this year, she recalled a childhood spent with her mom and aunt in Syria, sitting on the floor for hours with jars of paint and brushes. Her favorite subjects were princesses, among them Belle from Beauty and the Beast and, later, Elsa from Frozen. “They had hair coiffured like models, and

these beautiful dresses,” recalled her mom, K., outlining the contours of a swishing, floor-length ball gown in the air. “She trusts herself when she does art.” S. didn’t intend for her craftsmanship to become more than a catharsis (and according to her mom, a big confidence booster). She is shy; even though her English is strong and she has become one of the highest-achieving students in her classes, she’s remained quiet and soft-spoken. Except when she’s making art, vibrant colors springing across the page. With the help of a few grassroots organizers, she’s building on that skill set. In the spring of this year, JCARR representative Roberta Friedman took her to free art classes at the Mitchell Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL), held for an hour once a week. For four weeks, S. jumped into the class, assembling collages and drawings in the brief 60 minutes she had. There were only two other regulars who came to the class, two girls from Davis Street School. The three didn’t talk at all. That wasn’t a problem, Friedman said. “She [S.] was very serious … she just kind of sat down and did her thing. I think it was a little under her skill level.” JCARR members brainstormed on how to satiate S.’s artistic curiosity. In August, she attended a week-long day camp at the Eli Whitney Museum that introduced her to woodworking machines for the first time in her life. Soon, she was using new tools to make wooden sculptures, like a Viking-esque ship packed with tiny figures, each dressed in a handmade outfit, boasting elaborate hairdos, and ready for action on the high seas. “It was more fun than painting, because I love the wood,” she said. “I love art, but I miss Istanbul,” she added through her mom. The work has drawn attention from JCARR members, prompting a kind of art meets activism (or at the very least, grassroots organizing) that S. acknowledged as a fairly new experience. First, it came in the form of JCARR scrapbooks, a project she is still working on with Friedman. A few months ago, Silk also gave her her first official commission: A wall hanging, like one S. has on her family’s wall at home. “She just seems like a really gifted artist,” Silk said by phone. S. said she doesn’t want to be an artist professionally. Or rather, she doesn’t just want to be an artist. She wants to be a doctor, so she can help a family member who is developmentally disabled. She has also started playing the cello, an activity that leaves less and less time for daily art practice. But she said that she sees the connection between the two. The joy with which she plans to help the sick is the same joy she feels when practicing art, and particularly making sculpture. When she is making art, “I feel happy,” she said. n Each of these three stories will have a live, electronic component on during the month of November. On Nov. 8, check out a full interview with A. and her husband on what their year in the United States has been like. For more on CitySeed’s Sanctuary Kitchen program, visit and check out The Table Underground Ep. 15, at

november 2017  •

The Arts Paper november 2017

CALENDAR Classes & Workshops Annie Sailer Studio Space Erector Square, 319 Peck St., Building 2, 1st Floor, Studio D, New Haven. (347) 306-7660. Modern/Contemporary Dance Classes Taught by Annie Sailer Adults of all ages welcome! Come dance with us in a friendly, supportive atmosphere! Ongoing classes. Release tight muscles, increase flexibility, and strengthen your body. Integrate your movement. Experience dance as an art form. Beginning level: Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. Intermediate level: Mondays & Wednesdays: 5:30-7 p.m. Beginning/intermediate: Fridays, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Ten class card: $150. Single class: $18. Modern Dance Classes for Teens A special 12-week session tailored specifically for teens will offer modern dance technique, improvisation, and composition, culminating in a studio showing. Young dancers will work together in a friendly, non-competitive, body-affirming environment to discover the joy of movement and the creative process. Sept. 14-Dec. 7. Thursdays, 4:30-6 p.m. $180. Artsplace 1220 Waterbury Rd., Cheshire. (203) 272-2787. Fall Classes Artsplace offers wide selection of art classes for seven-week sessions and one or two-day art workshops for students at all artistic levels and currently for ages 3 to 100, taught by professional fine artists. All supplies included. Easy parking. Register online, by phone, or stop by. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Some Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Prices vary from $25 to $160. Yogi Boho Fitness 1125 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. (203) 690-8501. Barre Workout Class for Women Yogi Boho Fitness is offering barre workout classes. Barre is a sculpting and conditioning class inspired by ballet barre and yoga warmups targeting the core, posture alignment, toning and strengthening the arms, legs as well as firming the bottom. A portion of the class utilizes small weights and the class cools down with gentle yoga. Every Sunday 2-3 p.m. Every other Friday 6:30-7:30 p.m. The program is free, but registration is required. Space is limited.

Philip English by Nadir Balan is part of the New Haven Museum’s new World War I exhibit, opening this month. Image courtesy of the New Haven Museum.

Branford High School 185 East Main St., Branford. (203) 488-5693. asp?ScheduleId=887 Computer-Generated Fine Art The computergenerated fine arts program will introduce and engage participants to the exciting and ever-evolving world of graphic design while learning and practicing industry standard techniques and skills in both 2D and 3D platforms. Sept. 19-Nov. 21. Every Tuesday, 6-8 p.m. $200 general public/$125 students. Oddfellows Playhouse 128 Washington St., Middletown. (860) 346-4390. Circophony Fall Teen Circus Training Circophony’s fall training program is open to ages 12-19, regardless of circus experience. Training includes many aspects of circus and performance, including acrobatics, tumbling, juggling, and object manipulation,

yale institute of sacred music presents

Adam Kirsch

Yale Schola Cantorum Martin Baker

Yale Literature & Spirituality Series

Path of Miracles

Becoming a Jewish Writer thursday, november 9 5:30 pm The Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale (80 Wall St., New Haven)

The Lana Schwebel Memorial Lecture in Religion and Literature

David Hill, conductor

Joby Talbot’s work inspired by the Route of Santiago de Compostela

friday, november 10 7:30 pm

Christ Church New Haven (84 Broadway at Elm)

Music of Buxtehude, Widor, Bach, and Baker

sunday, november 19 7:30 pm

Woolsey Hall (500 College St., New Haven) Great Organ Music at Yale

All three events are free; no tickets required.

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balancing and equilibristics, unicycling, stilting, strength and flexibility, physical comedy, clowning, and ensemble performance. Showcase Nov. 17. Sept. 12-Nov. 17. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening. $250 for the 10-week program. 6:30-9 p.m. Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Art Circles A museum educator will lead a thirtyminute discussion in the Center’s galleries that explores a highlight of the collection. The work of art changes every session, making each visit a new experience. Please visit the Center’s website for details. 12:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays: Nov. 2, 9, 16, & 30, Dec. 7 & 14. Free. Sketching in the Galleries Enjoy the tradition of sketching from original works of art in the Center’s collection and special exhibitions. Jaime Ursic, artist and Assistant Curator of Education, will offer insights on drawing techniques and observational skills. Drawing materials are provided, and all skill levels are welcome. Wednesdays: Nov. 8, and Dec. 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The program is free, but preregistration is requested for each session (call (203) 432-2858). Adult and Teacher Workshop | Studio Pottery in New Haven Participants will learn the history, basic tools, materials, and fundamental skills used to make hand-built ceramics. Gallery time will be spent in the Center’s special exhibition Things of Beauty Growing followed by a studio visit to a local ceramics artist. Wedging, pinching, coiling, slab preparation, and wheel throwing will be demonstrated. Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The program is free, but registration is required. Space is limited.

Exhibitions Artists Live 23 Royce Circle, Mansfield Storrs. (860) 933-6000. Artists Live is a visual arts program that was awarded a Regional Arts Grant. It features month-

long exhibitions starting the 1st Friday of each month Mar. to Dec.. The final Friday of each month the exhibiting artist and Kathleen Zimmerman will have an artist conversation at 5 p.m. followed by a reception at 6 p.m. On view 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free and open to the public. Artspace 50 Orange St., New Haven. (203) 7722709. One of the largest events of its kind, Artspace’s City-Wide Open Studios is now in its 20th year. Artists from across Connecticut will open their doors and exhibit their work in their own studios, at the Goffe Street Armory, and at Erector Square in Fair Haven. Saturdays and Sundays, October 6Nov. 9, 12-6 p.m. at festival locations. Artspace’s downtown location is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 12-6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12-8 p.m. Free and open to the public. Clark Memorial Library Meeting Room, 538 Amity Rd., Bethany. (203) 393-2103. The Six Art exhibit featuring works of six New Haven area artists in a variety of mediums. Peggy Bekeny of Hamden, Rosemary Benivegna of North Haven, Martha K. German of Woodbridge, Georgia Jennings of Hamden, Sharon R. Morgio of West Haven, and Elizabeth Hundt Scott of Bethany. On view through Nov. 2. Library hours: Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free and open to the public. Davison Art Center Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, 301 High St., Middletown. (860) 6853355. Sasha Rudensky: Acts and Illusions Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky’s photographs track a lost generation that has come of age during the Vladimir Putin era. The exhibition, Sasha Rudensky: Acts and Illusions, highlights 25 of her meticulously observed and constructed images which present an unsettling view into contemporary life in the New East. Through Dec. 10. Tuesday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m. Free.  •  13

The Arts Paper november 2017


Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown. (860) 685-3355. Black Pulp! examines the evolving perspectives of black identity in American culture and history from 1912 to 2016 through rare historical printed media shown in dialogue with contemporary art. The Black Pulp! exhibition tour is organized by International Print Center New York. William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson are the guest curators. Through Dec. 10. Tuesday, 12-7 p.m.; Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 p.m. Free. Up in Arms presents a number of perspectives on the image and impact of guns in contemporary culture, though none endorse them as a means to an end. Works by thirteen artists explore a host of issues regarding firearms. No weapons of any kind are allowed on campus. Through Dec. 10. Tuesday, 12-7 p.m.; Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 p.m. Exhibition will be closed Monday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 27. Free. Kehler Liddell Gallery 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (203) 389-9555. Brian Flinn & Roy Money Messages & meditations: KLG presents two new concurrent solo exhibitions. Digital collage artist Brian Flinn explores themes of impermanence, mourning and hope in his show, Message in a Bottle. Simultaneously, photographer Roy Money explores the “myriad manifestations of clouds” in his aptly titled show, Clouds. Through Nov. 12. Artist talk & closing reception: Saturday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m. Gallery hours: Thursday & Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free and open to all. Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Gallery Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, 343 Washington Terrace, Middletown. (860) 685-3355. (BEIJING) Jiaqi Maria Ma’s exhibition (BEIJING) consists of a series of five paintings based on her experiences of the capital city of China. Through Dec. 8. Tuesday-Sunday 12-4 p.m. Free. New Haven Museum 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 562-4183. Old-School Ink: New Haven’s Tattoos, an exhibition at the New Haven Museum, is on view through Mar. 10, 2018. The materials and stories in the exhibit reveal the roots of a thriving “old school” tradition, and offer insight into how the Elm City has contributed to the tattoo field worldwide. On view daily, except Mondays. Susan Powell Fine Art 679 Boston Post Road, Madison. (203) 318-0616. Vincent Giarrano New Paintings We are pleased to present Vincent Giarrano’s 9th annual solo show. Vincent’s city women, New York street scenes, and interiors capture the many sides of New York City. He feels the pulse of the city and transcends it onto canvas. Exhibit includes 30 new oils. Through Nov. 11. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Things of Beauty Growing Bringing together nearly 150 ceramic objects from Europe, Japan, and Korea, including jars, bowls, pots, chargers, vases, and monumental urns, this exhibition will survey the array of forms that have defined the British studio pottery movement from the 1890s to the present by exploring the connections between form and function. Through Dec. 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Closed major holidays. Free. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 432-5050. albert-earl-gilbert-artist-conservation An Artist for Conservation: Albert Earl Gilbert As a child with crayon in hand, Al Gilbert enjoyed drawing lions, tigers, bears, and birds. Today he

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8 Wednesday Concert Graduate students from the Yale School of Music will perform chamber music in the library court. Seating is limited. Nov. 8, 12:30 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

9 Thursday Beethoven’s Ninth Program includes: Beethoven Symphony No. 9 Brahms Schicksalslied - Song of Destiny and Alto Rhapsody. Nov. 9, 7:30-9:30 p.m. $15-$74; KidTix free with adult; College students $10. New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 4364840.

10 Friday Yale Schola Cantorum | Path of Miracles Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles. Written for the exceptional choral ensemble Tenebrae, this is an hourlong a cappella exploration of the phenomenon of the Camino de Santiago, the ancient Catholic pilgrimage route across northern Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Nov. 10, 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Christ Church, 84 Broadway, New Haven. (203)432-5062.

11 Saturday Annie Sailer Dance Company.

is regarded as one of the world’s premiere wildlife artists. Through the years he has conducted fieldwork across the globe—from Africa to Australia—to observe and sketch rare and colorful tropical birds in their native habitat. Through April 15, 2018. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, 12-5 p.m. $6-$13 Invisible Boundaries: Explaining Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations is a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary exhibition that combines art and science to explore the meaning of wildlife migrations to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Through Mar. 25, 2018. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 12-5 p.m. $6-$13. Yale University Art Gallery 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-0601. Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope presents an innovative approach to the theme of exile, considering artists who left their country of birth, or their adopted home, for a variety of reasons—including discrimination, war, and genocide—from the 19th century to the present day. The exhibition explores exile as not only a mental or physical state but also a catalyst for creativity; indeed, for many artists, separation from the familiar, either willing or unwilling, inspired innovations in form and technique. On view Sept. 1-Dec. 31. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with extended Thursday hours Sept. through June; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Film 7 Tuesday & 8 Wednesday Nasty Women CT Film Fest Nasty Women CT (NWCT) invites all New England film makers, experienced or novice, to participate in the Nasty Women CT Film Fest. Through this event NWCT aim to unite and give voice to all members of society, and to raise awareness of issues affecting women, immigrants, and, those who have been marginalized under the current administration. This film exhibition will provide a forum for communication about these critical challenges through the medium of moving image. Nov. 7-8, 5-8 p.m. Ely Center of Contemporary Art, 51 Trumbull St., New Haven. Free and open to the public.

15 Wednesday - 19 Sunday Latino and Iberian Film Festival at Yale (LIFFY) The festival is an inclusive event sponsored by Yale for the whole Greater New Haven community. It is free and open to the general public. We strive to promote cultural awareness and understanding through the screening of films from many different countries where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken, and by inviting filmmakers, actors, and producers to converse with our audience. It is our premise that knowledge promotes respect for diversity, and unity amongst peoples of divergent backgrounds. All films are screened with English subtitles. Nov. 15-19, times and locations vary.

Kids & Families Music Together Classes First Presbyterian Church, 704 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 691-9759. Music Together Classes for Children is a fun creative music and movement program for babies through 5 year olds and the ones who love them. Come sing, dance, and play instruments in an informal and fun setting. Classes are ongoing through the year and are held in New Haven, Hamden, Woodbridge, Cheshire, and Branford. Held every day at various locations. Morning, afternoon, and weekend classes available. 11-week semester is $232 and includes songbook and CD. Each semester is a new collection of music. Four semesters a year. Demo classes are free. Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Exploring Artism: A Program For Families This is a free program for families with children who are 5 to 12 years of age and on the autism spectrum. Families learn to look and respond to artwork in the museum’s galleries. Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. The program is free, but preregistration is required. Please e-mail ycba. or call (203) 432-2858 with your name, number, and a good time to reach you. A museum educator will contact you by phone to complete and confirm your registration.

Songs from Our Past Another Octave performs longtime favorites. The women of Another Octave will present some of our best-loved repertoire as we pay homage to the richness of American music. You’ll hear songs from stage and screen plus spirituals, jazz, country, pop, and songs from the grand American folk tradition. Nov. 11, 7 p.m. or $18-$32. Another Octave: Connecticut Women’s Chorus, Congregational Church of South Glastonbury, 949 Main St., South Glastonbury. (203) 672-1919.

13 Monday Yale Repertory Chorus | Fall Recital First year choral conducting students direct the Yale Repertory Chorus in a one-hour program Nov. 13, 5-6 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Battell Chapel, 400 College St., New Haven. (203) 4325062.

15 Wednesday Concert | Wu Man, pipa Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man has been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of imperial China. She is known as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music. Nov. 15, 5:30 pm Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

18 Saturday Songs from Our Past The women of Another Octave will present some of our best-loved repertoire as we pay homage to the richness of American music. You’ll hear songs from stage and screen plus spirituals, jazz, country, pop, and songs from the grand American folk tradition. Nov. 18, 7 p.m. or anotheroctave. Tickets range from $18-$32. Another Octave: Connecticut Women’s Chorus, Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden. (203) 672-1919. Yale Voxtet | Histoires et Dialogues: Music from the French Baroque Simon Carrington, guest conductor Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062.

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The Arts Paper november 2017

19 Sunday Great Organ Music at Yale | Martin Baker Featuring the music of Buxtehude, Widor, Bach, and Baker. Performing regularly in the UK and abroad, Baker has recently given concerts in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, the USA, and Russia. The winner of the St. Alban’s Improvisation competition in 1997, improvisation features regularly in his recital programs. Nov. 19, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062.

25 Saturday Orchestra New England’s Colonial Concert XXXVIII Ring in the holiday season with O.N.E. in this family concert tradition. Celebrating 38 years, our flagship, flashback entertainment event features wigs, waistcoats, and candlelight! Enjoy an historical evening of Haydn, Handel, theatrical hijinks, and charm. Nov. 25, 8-9:30 p.m. $20 general admission, $35 reserved seating, $5 students at the door. Orchestra New England, United Church on the Green, 270 Temple St., New Haven. (203) 777-4690. Colonial-Concert-XXXVIII.

26 Sunday Russian Voices! The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble returns with a program of Russian vocal music. Their sonorous voices have built a faithful New Haven audience! Join us for their hour-long program of charming and varied songs for men’s voices. Nov. 26, 4 p.m. Freewill offering. Bethesda Music Series, Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 787-2346.

30 Thursday Student Recital | Ian Tomesch, organ DMA organ recital. Student recitals are one hour in length. Nov. 30, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062.

Special Events 11 Saturday & 12 Sunday Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studio Weekend Visit the private studios of artists in Branford, Guilford, and Madison to meet the artists, explore their work spaces and see amazing art. During Shoreline ArtsTrail Weekend, approximately 40 member artists participate in this juried, two-day event. Free and open to the public, and there’s something for everyone! Nov. 11 & 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 411 Church St., Guilford. (203) 453-5947.

Miller Library Senior Center may be closed and the meeting or reception will be cancelled or postponed. 2901 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. (203) 2871322.

18 Saturday Book Signing: Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the universe in your reflection? Explore the answers to these questions and more in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, a new book by Branford author/artist Jen Payne. Book signing, refreshments, and more, hosted by Rock Garden, 17 South Main St., Branford. Free and open to the public. Nov. 18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. (203) 483-5353.

18 Saturday Artsplace Market Fine art and fine crafts by over two dozen professional artists including paintings in oil, watercolor, and acrylic, jewelry, stained glass, pottery, hand-painted clothing and scarves, spices, soap, and more. Perfect market to shop at for all your special friends and holiday needs. Plenty of parking. Come early, stay late. Celebrate local artists. Nov. 18 & 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 1220 Waterbury Road, Cheshire. (203) 272-2787.

Talks & Tours Introductory Tour Docent-led introductory tours of the Center’s collections are offered on most Fridays at 2 p.m., Sundays at 11 a.m., and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. (during the academic year). Please visit the Center’s website for more information. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Exhibition Tour | Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery Docent-led tours of special exhibitions are offered on most Thursdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. Please visit the Center’s website for details. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800. Student Guide Tours Tours led by student guides are offered on select Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 2 & 4 p.m. See the Center’s website for details. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

2 Thursday

14 Tuesday

Andrew Carnduff Ritchie Lecture | Conversation An-My Lê, Professor of Photography, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson; and Peter van Agtmael, photographer, Magnum Photos. Please note, this event takes place at the Yale Art Gallery, located at 1111 Chapel St. Nov. 2, 5:30 p.m. Free. (203) 432-2800.

Art in Context | Things of Beauty Growing Glenn Adamson, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Center for British Art, will deliver a thirty-minute gallery talk. Nov. 14, 12:30 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

4 Saturday

Architecture Tour Tours of the Center’s architecture are offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Nov. 25, and Dec. 16. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

Yankees or Red Sox Gallery Talk Join sports lover & guest curator for the exhibit Yankees or Red Sox: America’s Greatest Rivalry for a series of informal chats on the items in collection and more. Nov. 4, 1-5 p.m. $10. Mattatuck Museum, 144 West Main St., Waterbury. (203) 753-0381.

6 Monday Liturgy Symposium Series | Ramez Mikhail “The Preparation and Presentation of the Gifts in Egypt: Reflections and Prospects.” Ramez is currently working on his doctorate in Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Vienna in Austria. His research focuses on the historical development and theology of the Coptic rite of the Prothesis. Nov. 6, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Free. Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. (203) 432-5062.

7 Tuesday Art in Context | From a Collector’s Point of View John Driscoll, collector, will deliver a thirty-minute gallery talk. Nov. 7, 12:30 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

25 Saturday

28 Tuesday Art in Context | The Politics of Pigment in Late Victorian Painting Kristy Dootson, PhD candidate, History of Art, Film, and Media Studies, will deliver a thirty-minute gallery talk. Nov. 28, 12:30 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

Theater The Sound Of Music The hills are alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to Shubert Theatre where the original production made its world premiere in 1959. Nov. 8-12. Nov. 8, 7 p.m. Nov. 9, 7 p.m. November 10, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Price varies by seat location. Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven. (203) 5625666.

9 Thursday

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story Buddy tells the story of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career, and features the classic songs, “That’ll Be The Day,” “Not Fade Away,” “Oh Boy,” Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba,” The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace,” and many more. This show is just Peggy Sue-perb! Nov. 17 & 18. Nov. 17, 8 p.m. November 18, 2 & 8 p.m. Price varies by seat location. Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven. (203) 562-5666.

Schwebel Lecture | Adam Kirsch “Becoming a Jewish Writer.” The Lana Schwebel Memorial Lecture in Religion and Literature. Adam Kirsch is the author of three collections of poetry, including most recently Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander. His writing appears regularly in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and other publications. Nov. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Free. (203) 432-5062.

Madame Thalia’s Vaudeville Revue Madame Thalia travels back to the golden age of vaudeville performing music, magic, puppetry, and general silliness at the historic Lyric Hall Theatre in the Westville community of New Haven! Nov. 25, 5-6:30 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. $20. Lyric Hall Theatre, 827 Whalley Ave., New Haven. (885) 389-8885.

8 Wednesday Lecture and Book Signing | Louis Kahn as Artist and Collaborator Wendy Lesser, author and editor of The Threepenny Review. Please see the Center’s website for details. Nov. 8, 5:30 p.m. Free. Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.

Parrott and Griffith Pottery Annual Open House and Sale Anita Griffith and Robert Parrott announce their annual pottery open house and sale. Known for a wide range of work in functional stoneware and unique sculptural vessels, Parrott will show his signature landscape domestic ware, and Griffith will show her colorful, whimsical creations. Nov. 11 & 12. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. 120 Acorn Road, Madison. (203) 2457837.,

14 Tuesday Hamden Art League to Host Artist Christine Ivers at November Meeting The Hamden Art League will host pastelist, painter, and instructor Christine Ivers as she presents “Nightscapes: Playing in the Dark with Pastels.” Ms. Ivers’ demonstration will emphasize the importance of composition, drawing, and color temperature in the creation of the darkness and glowing lights of her nightscapes. Nov. 14, 7-9 p.m. The Hamden Art League meets every second Tuesday of the month from Sept. to May/June to host artist demonstrations and/or opening receptions of HAL exhibitions and sales. All Hamden Art League meetings and receptions are free and open to the public. In the event of bad weather the Hamden

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Wu Man. The virtuoso Chinese musician plays the pipa at the Yale Center for British Art on Wednesday, November 15. Image courtesy of the YCBA.  •  15

The Arts Paper november 2017


The Arts Council provides bulletin board listings as a service to our membership and is not responsible for the content or deadlines.

Call For Artists The University of Connecticut, School of Law seeks to retain a portrait artist to execute four oil portraits of individuals of importance in the history of the school. All four are women. The portraits will join the seven portraits currently displayed in the upper section of the Starr Hall Reading Room. Visit for more information. Deadline: Nov. 3. Dancers Annie Sailer Dance Company is looking for dancers experienced in modern/contemporary technique, improvisation and performance. Adults of all ages will be considered. Rehearsals will be held at Annie Sailer Studio Space at Erector Square in New Haven. Rehearsal schedule to be arranged. No pay for dancers. For further information contact Annie: Musicians Hamden Symphony Orchestra, an all-volunteer community music ensemble in its 56th year, seeks musicians interested in joining the group for its 2017-2018 concert season. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at Hamden Memorial Town Hall (2372 Whitney Ave.). The Orchestra performs two regular concerts a year in Nov. and April, with the possibility of a summer performance. All string instruments, as well as oboe, bassoon, and French horn are particularly needed, though please inquire for openings in other sections. For more information or if you are interested in joining, email info@hamdensymphony. org or use the website’s contact form at Singers Sing Elijah? Calling choral singers. The Bethesda Lutheran Church Choir is calling experienced choral singers to join us for a season that includes a fall concert featuring Bach’s Cantata 80 and a spring concert with Mendelssohn’s Elijah. We sing weekly Sunday morning service music by composers ancient and modern. Our choir consists of a mix of professional and amateur musicians. Basic music reading skills needed. Contact music director Dr. Lars Gjerde for more information:

Singers Silk ’n Sounds a’ Capella women’s chorus is looking for new members to join us on our amazing journey of musical discovery! Come meet us (we are very friendly) and our award winning director, Christine Lampe-Onnerud, at one of our Tuesday night rehearsals from 6:15-9:15 p.m. at the Spring Glen Church located at 1825 Whitney Ave. in Hamden. You can contact Lynn at (203) 623-1276 for more information or check us out online at, or on Facebook. Singers Men Like to Sing? Sing with Us. The University Glee Club of New Haven is an allmale chorus looking for new members. We are a non-auditioned group singing with the rich blend of men’s voices: tenor I, tenor II, baritone and bass. Our feel good repertoire ranges from glees to classical to Broadway and more. Information at or call (203) 248-8515 for more information. Rehearsals are 7:15-9:30 p.m. on Monday evenings. Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church, 305 St. Ronan St., New Haven. Winter concert Dec. 10, 4 p.m. Singers New Haven Chorale - sing with us! The Chorale is eagerly seeking new members in all vocal sections. We audition throughout the year! You may schedule an individual appointment with the music director. You are welcome to observe rehearsals Monday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church. New Haven Chorale, Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Ave., New Haven. (203) 776-SONG. Student Monologues Drama Notebook is holding an ongoing monologue contest for students ages 6-18. We are building a huge collection of fantastic original monologues for kids and teens entirely written by students. Go to monologues-kids-teenagers for more info. Volunteers and Interns Volunteering at the Institute Library is a great way to meet your local community, have fun, and make a major difference at one New Haven’s great treasures. More volunteers means more (and longer) hours that we can stay open! Contact us if you are interested

at Our internship program is also expanding! Let us know if you are a high school, college, or continuing ed. student looking for credit and a meaningful professional development experience. Volunteers The non-profit Spectrum Art Gallery and its affiliate, Arts Center Killingworth offer numerous opportunities for volunteers! Learn new skills, meet new people, and be part of a creative organization that gives to the community. Opportunities exist throughout the year for a variety of events and ongoing programs. Teens are welcome and can earn community service credit. Email Barbara Nair, Director, at or call (860) 663-5593.

Creative Services Historic Home Restoration Contractor Period appropriate additions, baths, kitchens; remodeling; sagging porches straightened/leveled; wood windows restored; plaster restored; historic molding & hardware; vinyl/aluminum siding removed; wood siding repair/replace. CT & NH Preservation Trusts. RJ Aley Building Contractor: (203) 2269933, Web Design & Art Consulting Services Startup business solutions. Creative, sleek web design by art curator and editor for artist, design, architecture, and small-business sites. Will create and maintain any kind of website. Hosting provided. Also low-cost in-depth artwork analysis, writing, editing services. (203) 387-4933. azothgallery@

Space Events and Parties With 2,000 sq. ft. of open exhibition space, Kehler Liddell Gallery is a unique venue for hosting events. We tailor to the special

interests of private parties, corporate groups, arts organizations, charities, and academic institutions. Our inviting, contemporary atmosphere provides the perfect setting for your guests to relax, mingle, and enjoy the company of friends. We provide a warm atmosphere filled with paintings, drawings and sculptures by CT contemporary artists and free parking, with front door wheel chair access. Contact or Roy at (203) 872-4139. Studio/Event Space at Erector Square in New Haven available for dance and theatre rehearsals and performances, events, workshops, and exhibitions. 1,500 sq. ft., 1st floor, 14 ft. ceilings, white walls, great light, wooden floors. Contact Annie at Studio Space for Dance, Performing Arts, Events Hall A 1,500 sq. ft. space with adjoining rooms in a turn-of-the-century mansion in a historic district. Hardwood floors. Vintage stage with curtains. Mahogany woodwork and glass doors. Ample natural light. Chairs and tables on premises. Contact

Jobs Please visit for up-to-date local employment opportunities in the arts.

Upcoming Ad & Calendar Deadlines: The deadline for advertisements and calendar listings for the Dec. issue of The Arts Paper is: Monday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m. Future deadlines T.B.A. Calendar listings are for Arts Council members only and should be submitted online at newhavenarts. org. Arts Council members can request a username and password by sending an e-mail to The Arts Council’s online calendar includes listings for programs and events taking place within 12 months of the current date. Listings submitted by the calendar deadline are included on a monthly basis in The Arts Paper.

Anita Griffith and Robert Parrott at the kiln. The two will be holding their annual pottery open house and sale Nov. 11 & 12 in Madison. Known for a wide range of work in functional stoneware and unique sculptural vessels, Parrott will show his signature landscape domestic ware, and Griffith will show her colorful, whimsical creations. Image courtesy of the artists.

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november 2017  •

The Arts Paper november 2017

Their Story Is Our Story a look back at jake halpern’s welcome to the new world l.m. browning Jake Halpern can remember getting into his car late at night, and driving through the darkness of New Haven with a chilled container of ice cream riding shotgun with him. It was the night before a predicted blizzard, and there were almost no cars left on the road. Halpern was in emergency mode: The refugee family he’d been working with for months had received a death threat earlier in the day, and now he and a translator were on their way to their home. Before ever committing it to paper—which he knew he would—he had to make sure that they were okay. That experience has just been a small part of writing Welcome to the New World, a collaboration between Halpern, illustrator Michael Sloan, and The New York Times Sunday magazine that follows two refugee families through their new life in Connecticut. In what started as a commission from The New York Times, the series has now taken on a robust life of its own. As the series turns one year old this fall, Halpern said he has found himself reflecting on what can happen in a year, and where the series—and its subjects—may go from here. On and off paper, that is. Welcome to the New World begins with two brothers, their wives, and their families living in war-torn Syria, learning that they are going to be allowed emigrate to the United States. After an extensive

vetting process, the families arrived in the U.S. on the evening of Election Day 2016. At the time, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton was still projected to win. Halpern was part of the welcome team for those families when they touched down in Connecticut. By the next morning, Donald Trump had officially won the presidential election. Halpern’s world— and, he thought, the world of these very new Americans—was turned upside down. “I realized … this family arrived in one country and woke up the next morning in another,” Halpern recalled in a recent interview. “And that became the lens through which I saw the whole thing.” In crafting Welcome to the New World, Halpern chose to follow the two families, who were both resettled in Connecticut. Their names and specific places of residence have not been used here, although one is interviewed at length in a partner story on refugees and female entrepreneurship (see pages 11 & 12). One of the families is living in a smaller town and one is living in an urban area. “The way our resettlement system is, you have just a few months to learn English, figure out how American society works, and get a job and be self-sufficient, which is kind of insane,” Halpern said. Halpern saw that system observing the family in the city, whose story he chose to tell first. As he spoke to the family, Halpern learned that that the father— who he calls “Jamil” in the series—was tortured by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces without cause. He’d sustained injuries to his back that made working nearly impossible. Jobs in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) fell through because of their physical demands, the tax they took on his body. As Jamil struggled to find work because of his injuries, his wife “Oulah” emerged as a gifted cook. In their resourcefulness, she stepped up to run a small catering business, of which Jamil essentially became her manager. It signaled a drastic change in the dynamics of the family. When Jamil, Oulah, and their children lived in Syria, Jamil was the breadwinner and Oulah stayed at home. Halpern said that the couple has since adjusted to what this means for them. The other family—two parents, two teens, and three young kids—is living

One of “Raghida’s” drawings. Image courtesy of the artist.

  • november 2017

Jake Halpern. Courtesy of the Lanvin Agency.

in small-town Connecticut unlike Oulah and Jamil’s family. But just like Oulah and Jamil, they have had a rough time settling into their new life. First, they struggled to make friends in their community. Several months ago, the family received a death threat. In a recent interview, Halpern recalled that it was frightening because they had come from a part of the world where when you get a death threat, more often than not, someone ends up dead. Not feeling safe, the family fled the town where they had settled, and resettled in a more affluent suburb of Connecticut. The father, “Ammar,” has a job in a factory where he’s making what Halpern called a “decent wage.” His wife, “Raghida” is an artist has begun showing her work at local galleries and art shows. While the family is still struggling to make new friends in their community, it is apparent to Halpern that they feel a sense of accomplishment despite the isolation. “They have a car now, jobs, a house, and their children are excelling in school—all of which are benchmarks in American society for success,” he said. “I still think it feels like, it feels like, ‘Oh my God, we’re still strangers in a strange land.’ Being in the United States is far better than where they came from, for sure, and they’re exceedingly grateful. But I think that doesn’t mean that it’s easy.” When he is talking about the comic, Halpern is quick to point out that he didn’t create Welcome to the New World alone. He credits Sloan with the vision to carry the comic through. “I was immediately just blown away by his work,” Halpern said. “There was an element about his comics; the characters that he rendered were just kind of endearing and they had a familiar sense of warmth. The point of the comic was to make people feel—to make people realize that these are people kind of like us.” “There’s such warmth in some of the pictures,” he continued. “Like in the very first comic there’s a moment where Jamil is leaving his apartment in Jordan, where he’s been living, and he’s talking to his bird because he collected birds and he said, ‘Sorry, my little friend you have to

stay behind.’ It’s just … this kind of avuncular, pudgy, slightly balding guy who’s just like, has a fatherly smile and he’s just saying goodbye to his pet bird, and Michael does it so tenderly, that drawing. That, in some way, said more than the words ever could.” As the comic series comes to a close this year, Halpern is also reflecting back on what he has taken away from the experience. He recalled heading with one family to a mosque that looked like a converted clothing store, where they just cleared out floor space and this very small group of people get together to pray.” “As a Jew, I felt [like], ‘Wow this is how my people lived through the vast span of kind of history, kind of on the fringes of society,’” he said of the experience. “I watched them pray, and I had this really strong moment of feeling that ‘this is me—this is my history, this is my connectedness.’ Then I realized that, of course, you wouldn’t feel that way just as a Jew, you would feel that way as any small American ethnic group that arrived.” A second thought came as Halpern heard that one of his own family members, on the opposite side of the political spectrum, had expressed disapproval at the series. Halpern’s family is “a family of Holocaust survivors,” and he was struck by the hypocrisy. “It’s ridiculous and I think that the problem is that basically you just have to meet someone … There’s a closeness in this project that has never existed in any other story that I’ve ever done,” he said. Halpern and Sloan are working to move their comic into book form so that it can reach a wider audience. Meanwhile, the families themselves are also moving forward, finding the balance between the old and the new world. “There’s this hysteria about Islam but at various times it was focused on other people … the Chinese, the Irish, the Jews, Catholics, etcetera. It was always kind of like the rabble,” Halpern said. “I think those are the moments you somehow hope that you can convey to people that this is, this is the American story and, as corny as it sounds, that is true.” n  •  17

The Arts Paper november 2017

The First of the Mohegans rachel sayet Aquy. Greetings. I remember many an argument with history teachers growing up, trying to explain to them that Columbus did not discover “America,” starting as early as the first grade. My name is Rachel Sayet or Akitusu (She Who Reads) and I am a Mohegan tribal member and Native American educator. Yes, we the Mohegan people of Connecticut still exist, and are by no means extinct. The legendary character Uncas from James Fenimore Cooper’s famous novel The Last of the Mohicans was actually, in many ways, the first of the Mohegans. Due to Cooper’s famous book, many people throughout the country believe that Mohegans are dead and gone. In fact, we are a thriving community with our own traditions, festivals, and government. It is not uncommon for me to have a conversation with a Native American from another tribe who will say, “You’re Mohegan? I thought you were all gone.” In order to correct that myth, my great aunt Gladys, my uncle Harold, and their father John Tantaquidgeon founded our tribal museum, Tantaquidgeon Museum, in 1931 with the goal of educating the public about Mohegan history and culture. This museum is still very much active and has since undergone some renovations, including a newly added children’s room. Similarly to my great aunt and uncle, I educate the public by giving lectures at high schools, universities, historical societies, and conferences. I do this through storytelling and discussions of Native American foods. My goal is to expand awareness of Native New England history and culture. Growing up, I was very lucky to spend time on Mohegan Hill (where the museum is located) with my great-grandmother Winifred and her sisters Gladys and Ruth. My family, including myself, mother, sister, and brother would visit their house every week for Sunday dinner. There we would engage in lively discussions over a pot of beef stew called “soup on the hill,” oyster stew, or other family recipes. Because I am the oldest in my family, there were times when I would get to visit with my elders on my own. And those times were extra special for me. They would sit with me and drink tea while telling stories. We would go to the woods and pick flowers and herbs. Some of the most interesting stories that they would tell me were about giants and little people. Those early memories I have of my great-grandmother, aunts, and uncle made me the person I am today. My uncle Harold always said: “You can’t hate someone you know a lot about.” And that has always been my family’s mission with education—to teach the true history about Native people in New England. Eventually, my passion for my culture led me to pursue a Master’s degree in anthropology. My Master’s thesis was on

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Rachel Sayet. Photo courtesy of Sayet.

stories of a culture hero named Moshup, who exists in both Mohegan and Wampanoag traditions. Moshup is a giant who is “taller than the tallest trees.” Mohegans believe that he is married to Granny Squannit, the leader of the Little People. These two figures represent the balance between male and female, and big and small. Additionally, Granny is the keeper of the plants and medicine, while Moshup spends his time near the ocean catching whales. These tales emphasize land and sea. This is important because we live along the shoreline, and therefore have the ability to hunt, and fish. After spending a few years researching, writing on, and presenting about these traditional stories, I was ready for a new undertaking. My friend Josh from the University of Illinois, Urbana asked if I would be willing to prepare something about the indigenous foods of New England for the annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in 2013. I had always been curious about the subject, so I was excited to spend the next few months doing a research project completely on my own. I interviewed Powwow cooks, museum educators, home cooks and food journalists from various tribes in New England, such as Narragansett, Abenaki, and Mohegan. I traveled around doing interviews and trying different foods such as yokeag, a traditional Mohegan traveling food made of parched ground corn. But what began as a conference panel later evolved into something I was extremely passionate about. Prior to colonization, Native people throughout the country were eating based on the land and the seasons. Whether you look at tribes in Arizona where the diet was more focused on things like cactus, prickly pear, and blue cornmeal or somewhere like Connecticut where we were eating deer meat, herring, clams, as well as hundreds of varieties of plants, one can see that the change in diet was drastic. Throughout the country, indigenous people shifted from eating whole foods, to being fed white flour and processed foods, things that our bodies were not used to. Many tribes are located in regions that

are isolated and removed from their traditional homelands, and all they have access to is processed foods. These issues have resulted in an epidemic of diabetes and obesity for Native American people. This September, I was able to visit the Red Lake Chippewa Nation in Northern Minnesota and participate in their Food Summit sponsored by the Red Lake Local Foods Initiative. Here we learned vital skills to reclaim our traditional diets such as seed saving. We were also able to visit their fishery, where they process a local fish called walleye and sell it worldwide. It is heartwarming to see things like this, and to feast on traditional foods such as goose, walleye, and wild rice in the process. The team of indigenous chefs who were cooking for the summit was led by Chef Sean Sherman or “The Sioux Chef,” and they will soon be opening up a restaurant in Minneapolis using all pre-colonial ingredients. Traditionally, indigenous people would hold ceremonies to celebrate the bounty of each season—so in a way we had a Thanksgiving every month. In Connecticut, a few of these would be green corn Thanksgiving, green bean Thanksgiving,

and strawberry Thanksgiving. Some of the members of the Sioux Chef team as well as myself will actually be cooking a series of pop-up dinners in New York City the week of Thanksgiving, each of them with a different regional theme, and I am on the team for the northeastern dinner. The goal is to re-indigenize Thanksgiving. I am blessed to share this knowledge with others and continue this work with the goal of making my ancestors proud and to create a better healthier world for the coming generations. Táput ni. Thank you. n Rachel Sayet, Mohegan, holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. in anthropology from Harvard University. Her Master’s thesis, focused on traditional stories of the Mohegan and Wampanoag tribe, is available at Rachel currently works for the Mohegan Library, organizing events with Native authors, running a weekly story time, and promoting indigenous food. For more information on Native American food or to book a talk, feel free to contact Rachel at or visit her Facebook page “Uni will never be bacon.”

On View Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope Through December 31, 2017

Before the Event/After the Fact: Contemporary Perspectives on War Through December 31, 2017

“Drink That You May Live”: Ancient Glass from the Yale University Art Gallery Through November 12, 2017

YALE U N IVERS IT Y ART GALLERY Free and open to the public | 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut | 203.432.0600 @yaleartgallery

november 2017  •

The Arts Paper member organizations & partners

Arts & Cultural Organizations

City Gallery (203) 782-2489

A Broken Umbrella Theatre

Civic Orchestra of New Haven

Alyla Suzuki Early Childhood Music Education (203) 239-6026

Classical Contemporary Ballet Theatre

American Guild of Organists Another Octave-CT Women’s Chorus (203) 672-1919 Artfarm Arts for Learning Connecticut Artspace (203) 772-2709 Artsplace: Cheshire Performing & Fine Art (203) 272-2787 Ball & Socket Arts Bethesda Music Series (203) 787-2346 Blackfriars Repertory Theatre Branford Art Center Branford Folk Music Society Chestnut Hill Concerts (203) 245-5736

Gallery One CT

Long Wharf Theatre (203) 787-4282

New World Arts Northeast (203) 507-8875

Yale Center for British Art

Community Partners

Guilford Art Center (203) 453-5947

Lyman Center at SCSU

Orchestra New England (203) 777-4690

Yale Institute of Sacred Music (203) 432-5180

Connecticut Experiential Learning Center

Guilford Art League

Madison Art Society

Palette Art Studio

Guilford Poets Guild

Mattatuck Museum

Pantochino Productions

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Child Life Arts & Enrichment Program (203) 688-9532

Department of Arts Culture & Tourism, City of New Haven (203) 946-8378

Connecticut Dance Alliance

Guitartown CT Productions (203) 430-6020

Meet the Artists and Artisans (203) 874-5672

Paul Mellon Arts Center

Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus 1-800-644-cgmc

Greater New Haven Community Chorus

Milford Arts Council 203-876-9013

Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators (203) 934-0878

Hamden Art League (203) 494-2316

Musical Folk (203) 691-9759

Hamden Arts Commission

Music Haven 203-745-9030

College Street Music Hall

Connecticut Women Artists Creative Arts Workshop 203-562-4927 Creative Concerts (203) 795-3365 CT Folk East Street Arts (203) 776-6310 EcoWorks CT Elm City Dance Collective Elm Shakespeare Company Firehouse 12 (203) 785-0468

  •  november 2017

Hamden Symphony Orchestra Hopkins School The Institute Library Imaginary Theater Company International Festival of Arts & Ideas Jazz Haven Kehler Liddell Gallery (203) 389-9555 Knights of Columbus Museum Legacy Theatre

Reynolds Fine Art Shoreline Arts Alliance (203) 453-3890 Shubert Theater (203) 562-5666 Silk n’ Sounds

Neighborhood Music School (203) 624-5189

Site Projects

Nelson Hall at Elim Park

Spectrum Art Gallery & Store

New Haven Chamber Orchestra

Susan Powell Fine Art (203) 318-0616

New Haven Chorale New Haven Museum (203) 562-4183 New Haven Oratorio Choir New Haven Paint & Clay Club New Haven Symphony Orchestra (203) 865-0831

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History Yale Repertory Theatre (203) 432-1234

Fractured Atlas Homehaven

Yale School of Music (203) 432-1965

New Haven Free Public Library

Yale University Art Gallery

New Haven Preservation Trust (203) 562-5919

Yale University Bands

Town Green Special Services District Visit New Haven

Creative Businesses Access Audio-Visual Systems

Theater Department at SCSU/ Crescent Players

Billy DiCrosta Vocal Studio

University Glee Club of New Haven

Hull’s Art Supply and Framing (203) 865-4855

Wesleyan University Center for the Arts

I Luv A Party 203-461-3357

Whitney Arts Center (203) 773-3033

DECD/CT Office of the Arts (860) 256-2800

Westville Village Renaissance Alliance Yale-China Association

Toad’s Place

Yale Cabaret (203) 432-1566  •  19

37th annual arts awards december 1 11 am tickets on sale october 23

Creative Ecosystem 2017 Award Winners Jock Reynolds

Reverend Kevin Ewing

C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement in and Contribution to the Arts

Reverend Kevin Ewing is a former police officer, Transitional Minister at Center Church, neighborhood organizer, leader of Baobab Tree Studios, and a trusted creative partner to many. Everywhere he goes, he makes sure all voices are heard.

Jock Reynolds is a doer. In his two decades as Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, he has sought to expand and explore the city’s creative ecosystem through an encyclopedic collection. He has overseen one massive reinstallation, a collection move to Yale’s West Campus, and secured funding for the institution’s future health. He leaves behind him a legacy of community building through the arts.

Architecture Resource Center The Architecture Resource Center creates hands-on workshops and textbooks for students that teach design-thinking and creative problem solving throughout Connecticut.

Musical Intervention Musical Intervention provides opportunities for individuals and groups to perform and record original music. Their programs specifically empower disenfranchised and otherwise vulnerable individuals, boosting confidence and connectedness in our community and beyond.

37th annual arts awards

Diane Brown

Nasty Women New Haven

Since 2006, Diane Brown has been Chief Librarian at the Stetson branch of the New Haven Free Public Library on Dixwell Avenue, building a space that truly celebrates African-American history and literature. She has filled the shelves with children’s books by and about people of color and made it a safe, vibrant, and popular gathering place for the community.

The massive Nasty Women New Haven exhibition united hundreds of artists throughout the state. Drawing a wall-to-wall crowd, the reception and subsequent events were definite highlights of 2017.

The Arts Paper | November 2017  

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven's monthly magazine of all things art in Greater New Haven.

The Arts Paper | November 2017  

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven's monthly magazine of all things art in Greater New Haven.