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Programs for Vacationing Kids; Monet Water Lilies; HSO, Concora & Bach; Goodspeed Tag Sale

Enrich your life, Feb. 17 – Feb. 23, 2011

Running out of ways to entertain junior during school break? For kids who love airplanes, rockets and high-flying entertainments, the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks is offering diversions aplenty. Young students on February break can choose from a list of programs including a Lego Challenge, making "nose art" for the museum's display aircraft. building and launching straw rockets or foam flyer airplanes, an open cockpit program, and building and exploring parachutes. 

The week of activities runs Feb. 21 through 25. No registration required, simply drop in. Admission $10, adults (ages 12 and up); $6, ages 4 through 11; free, children 3 and under; $9 seniors (ages 65 and up). For complete details including days, times, and ages, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. The New England Air Museum is at 36 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks.

Hill-Stead Hosts Mini-Art Adventure for Kids

Got a budding Picasso in your house? On Feb. 23, Farmington's Hill-Stead Museum hosts a Mini-Art Adventure for children from kindergarten to grade 4. Activities include an "Art Safari" to locate works inspired by nature, and an arts and crafts workshop so children can create their own masterpieces in paint and clay.

The Art Adventure runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration is required. Phone Marcie Charest at 860-6774787 ext. 142. Cost is $24 per child; $16 per child for members. The Hill-Stead is at 35 Mountain Road, Farmington. For more information, visit www.hillstead.org or call 860-677-4787.

Spend School Break at Stanley-Whitman

Meanwhile, down the street at Farmington's Stanley-Whitman House, a host of programs are on offer to help amuse and educate children during the February break. Daily workshops, designed for ages 4 through 7, or 8 through 13, include Make a Birdhouse, Soap-Making, Make a Sewing Pouch or Haversack, Cook Apple Fritters, and more. 

Cost for one program is $12; cost for two or more is $10 each; cost for all five is $8 each. For a complete list of programs, visit www.stanleywhitman.org or call 860-677-9222. The Stanley-Whitman House is at 37 High St., Farmington.

Classical Guitarist at Windsor Art Center 

Australian-born Simon Powis, an acclaimed classical guitarist, chamber musician and innovator, returns to the Windsor Art Center on Feb. 17. Powis, who has performed throughout Europe, Australia, and the Americas, was trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has a doctoral degree from New Haven's Yale University.

Concert time is 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $10. The Windsor Art Center is at the corner of Central and Mechanic streets in Windsor. For more information, visit www.windsorartcenter.org or email info@windsorartcenter.org.

Student Art Exhibit at Joseloff

Seventy-four of the best works created by students of the University of Hartford Art School are on view for the 22nd annual Alexander Goldfarb Student Exhibition. Alan Bisbort, art critic of theHartford Advocate, served as guest juror, selecting winners from among 216 show entries. Included in the show are paintings, ceramics, digital collages, films, etchings, monotypes, photographs, and sculptures.

A free opening reception and awards presentation is Feb. 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is welcome. The exhibition runs Feb. 18 through March 21. The Joseloff Art Gallery is at 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. For more information, visit www.joseloffgallery.org or call 860-768-4090.

Improv Jam at Playhouse

On the fly, off the cuff, and in your face. That's about what to expect when West Hartford's Playhouse on Park presents the Improv Jam on Feb. 24. The one-night-only comedy event features the Hartford-based improv group Moebius along with a handful of the area's other improv companies – some thrown together, improv-style, just for the event. 

Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Playhouse on Park is at 244 Park Road, West Hartford. For more information, visit www.playhouseonpark.org or call 860-523-5900 x10.

Concora and HSO Team Up for Bach Salute

Bach fans have a treat in store. On Feb. 27, Concora, Connecticut's premier professional choir, and the Hartford Symphony join forces to present a salute to Bach. The concert, to be held at the Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, opens with two of Bach's church cantatas (vocal works with instrumental accompaniment), For This Purpose Is the Son of God Manifested and Lord, Your Eyes Look for Faith. Following intermission, the symphony's concert master and principal violinst Leonid Sigal performs Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor. Ending the program is the rarely performed Missa Brevis in F Major. The concert is under the direction of Richard Coffey, artistic director of Concora.

Concert time is 4 p.m. Tickets are $25, general admission; $45, preferred seating; and $10, students. For reservations or more information, visit www.concora.org or call 860-293-0567. The Immanuel Congregational Church is at 360 Farmington Ave., Hartford.

Monet's Magnificent Obsession at Atheneum

Nine of Claude Monet's iconic paintings of water lilies have been brought together in the first exhibition to focus on the artist's fascination with the subject.Monet's Water Lilies: An Artist's Obsession opens this week at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum. The show includes works from the Atheneum's own collection plus paintings on loan from New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Monet, a leading impressionist, painted water lilies from 1895 until his death in 1926. Also on view to provide context for the exhibition are a selection of period photographs of Monet and his garden at Giverny. 

Monet's Water Lilies: An Artist's Obsession runs from Feb. 17 through June 12. The Wadsworth Atheneum is at 600 Main St., Hartford. For more information, visit www.wadsworthatheneum.org or call 860-278-2670.

HSO Serenades Monet's Water Lilies 

What could be better? Monet's water lilies set to the dreamy sounds of works by Debussy, Satie, Faure, Boulanger, and Roussel. performed by a chamber group of Hartford Symphony players? On Feb. 20,  a chamber group of Hartford Symphony players perform Monet's Water Lilies, a program inspired by the works of the great impressionist. Part of the HSO's Sunday Serenades series, the concert features artistic director and HSO concert master Leonid Sigal, guest pianist Andrius Zlabys, HSO violist Patricia Daly, and HSO cellist Peter Zay.

Concert time is 2 p.m. at the Wadsworth Atheneum's Avery Court. Tickets are $30; $25, Atheneum members and HSO subscribers. The ticket price includes general admission to the museum on Feb. 20. For tickets or more information, visit www.hartfordsymphony.org or call 860-244-2999. The Wadsworth Atheneum is at 600 Main St., Hartford. For more information, visit www.wadsworthatheneum.org or call 860-278-2670.

Attention Shoppers: Goodspeed's Theatre Treasures Tag Sale

Remember that great puppet theater you saw onstage in Goodspeed's production of Carnival! ? Or how about those old-time theater posters? Those items and more go on sale Feb. 20 when Goodspeed Musicals hosts its annual Theatre Treasures Tag Sale. Held in the lobby of Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, the sale features one-of-a-kind items including decorative theatrical pieces from past productions, props, signs, furniture, books, china, and other whimsical, wonderful items. Proceeds from the sale support Goodspeed Musicals' Education Program.

Doors open at 9 a.m. The sale runs until 4 p.m. The Theatre Treasures Tag Sale is being held in conjunction with the Chester Winter Carnivale, a town-wide celebration featuring an ice carving competition, tractor parade, "chilly" chili cook-off, concessions, and family friendly entertainment. The Norma Terris Theatre is at 33 North Main St., Chester. For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.

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