Monday, July 27, 2015

A Conversation with Connecticut's Education Commissioner - Conversations at Noon - Tuesday, August 11

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For Immediate Release
July 27, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

On Tuesday, August 11 at Connecticut’s Old State House, the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will sit down for a one-on-one interview with the state’s newly appointed Commissioner of Education, Dr. Dianna R. Wentzell.

After a 25 year career in education, comprised of 12 years in the classroom and a number of administrative positions - including Hartford Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Chief Academic Officer of the State Department of Education - Dr. Wentzell officially took over Connecticut’s top education post in April after briefly serving as Interim Commissioner. During her sit down with Smith, she will discuss her goals as Commissioner, the state’s new Social Studies Frameworks, using feedback from new student assessments, capacity building for teachers and leaders, the School Based Diversion Initiative and the efforts needed to help all of Connecticut’s students attain future success.
This installment of Conversations at Noon is free to the public and begins at noon. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch and join the conversation.
Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market is currently open for the season and provides visitors the opportunity to shop for locally grown produce and Made-in-CT crafts on Tuesdays and Fridays. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Exhibit Celebrates Connecticut Student Historians’ Achievements: Connecticut’s Old State House – Opens Saturday, July 18

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For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Hartford, CT – An exhibition featuring projects created by History Day in Connecticut student historians will open to the public on Saturday, July 18 with an opening reception taking place from 1 – 4 p.m. at Connecticut’s Old State House in downtown Hartford. History Day in Connecticut students will attend the reception and share their projects, many of which received special recognition at a Regional, State or National Contest.


At 2 p.m. a special showcase will take place as students who participated in the documentary and performance categories at the National History Day Contest will provide screenings and performances of their projects.

The History Day in Connecticut exhibition will be on display from Saturday, July 18 until early October 2015. Connecticut’s Old State House, which is currently operating on its Summer Schedule, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about the exhibition and Connecticut’s Old State House can be found at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

Over 4,000 middle and high school students participate in History Day in Connecticut, one of 57 affiliate programs of National History Day (NHD), a renowned, year-long academic program. The road to National History Day begins in Connecticut’s classrooms and home schools where students choose topics reflecting the annual NHD theme, conduct research and create an project based on one of the five NHD categories – exhibit, performance, website, paper or documentary. Of these, over one thousand students competed in the 2015 Regional Contests, with 400 finalists moving on to the State Contest. The Connecticut State Contest, which took place May 9 at Central Connecticut State University, sent first and second place winners to the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in June.

History Day in Connecticut is made possible by a strong collaboration among many of Connecticut’s history organizations. Together they work with dedicated educators to help students develop critical thinking skills and a passion for learning and sharing history. A shared goal is to encourage a life-long interest in Connecticut’s rich stories, archives, historic buildings and museum collections. The collaboration is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, funded by Connecticut Humanities and supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the Connecticut Historical Society, Central Connecticut State University and scores of historical societies and civic groups who provide special prizes at the state level.

Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market is currently open for the season and provides visitors the opportunity to shop for locally grown produce and Made-in-CT crafts on Tuesdays and Fridays. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"History for All: Telling Stories of Everyone's Past" - Conversations at Noon, Tuesday, July 21

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For Immediate Release
June 29, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

How can museums and cultural institutions take a broader view of Connecticut history and include the people who are often discounted or even ignored? On Tuesday, July 21 Laurie Pasteryak Lamarre, Executive Director of the Institute for American Indian Studies, will begin a discussion on how museums and interpreters have shaped our past, the challenges museums face in trying to share everyone’s story and how we can take a more expansive look at Connecticut history.

Following Ms. Lamarre’s talk, the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will lead a panel conversation with special guests Frank Mitchell, Assistant Director and Curator of the The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Ruth Garby Torres, an independent scholar and author, and Jody Blankenship, Executive Director of the Connecticut Historical Society. Together the panel will discuss who we really once were and our museums’ roles in accurately interpreting the past.

History for All: Telling Stories of Everyone’s Past, an installment of Conversations at Noon, is free and open to the public. The program will begin noon and attendees are encouraged to both bring their lunch and join the conversation.

Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The interactive History is All Around Us exhibition by the Connecticut Historical Society, located in the Mortensen Gallery of the lower level of the Old State House, allows visitors to explore over 300 years of Hartford and Connecticut history. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Connecticut Student Historians Win Awards at National History Day Contest: Students from Southport are National Champions

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June 18, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
860-246-1553 ext. 116
 
Hartford, CT/College Park, MD –Connecticut’s top student historians participated in the prestigious National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in College Park from June 15 to June 18.  Seventy-six Connecticut students competed with more than 2,900 students from across the country.  Several Connecticut students received special recognition.
 
 
Annabel Barry, Quinn Barry, Isabelle Altherr, Maxwell Chung, and Shannon Madden won First Place in Senior Group Performance for their project A Terrible Beauty is Born: The Leadership of James Connolly and Patrick Pearse and the Controversial Legacy of the Easter Rising. The national champions are students at Pequot Home School in Southport.
 
Sam Porcello won Third Place in Senior Individual Exhibit for his project Pope’s Not So Ordinary Legacy: Paving the Way for America’s Mobility. Sam is a student at Conard High School in West Hartford.
 
The Outstanding Connecticut Entry Award in the Senior Division was awarded to Swati Rath, Smrithi Raman, Sahiti Alavala for their Senior Group Website, World Wide Webster, a project about Noah Webster.  They are students at Farmington High School.  Jack Higgins from Thomas Edison Middle School in Meriden won Outstanding Connecticut Entry in the Junior Division for his Individual Documentary, The Quiet Leadership of Major Karl Plagge.
 
Emma Cook of Southington, a student from Classical Magnet School in Hartford, was selected for a Salute to Courage Award.  She and a chaperone will be attending the opening of the Road to Tokyo exhibition at the World War II Museum in New Orleans later this year.
 
 
Anaisja Henry of Hartford, a student at Renzulli Academy in Hartford, attended “Breakfast on the Hill” with members of Congress, an event sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities. Anaisja participated in the Junior Individual Website category.
 
 
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet: Leader in Deaf Education, an exhibit created by Jayde Zainc, Jackie Tavoletti, and Cassie Reilly from Memorial Middle School in Middlebury, was one of only fifty seven projects featured at “National History Night” at the National Museum of American History on Wednesday, June 17.  Tanusri Bell, a student from the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, was one of only 25 students selected to participate in a special Paper Writers' Event at the Library of Congress. Featured speakers included the Historian of the House of Representatives, Matthew Wasniewski.
 
Photos from the Connecticut Delegation’s week at the National History Day Contest can be found on the History Day in Connecticut Facebook page.
 
 
During the five-day contest, the Connecticut delegation spent a day exploring Washington D.C.  They met with Senator Richard Blumenthal, visited the U.S. Capitol, toured the National Archives and enjoyed a behind the scenes visit to the Map Department of the Library of Congress.
 
 
History Day students spent months conducting historical research and creating projects (paper, exhibits, websites, documentaries, and performances).  The students who participated in the National Contest had previously placed first or second at the State History Day Contest, which was held on May 9, 2015 at Central Connecticut State University.
 
 
Over 4,000 middle and high school students participate in History Day in Connecticut, one of 57 affiliate programs of National History Day, a renowned, year-long, academic program.  The road to National History Day (NHD) usually begins in Connecticut’s classrooms and home schools where students choose topics reflecting an annual NHD theme, conduct research and analysis and create an exhibit, performance, website, paper or documentary that shares their findings. Of these, over a thousand students competed in this year’s Regional Contests, with 400 of winners going on to the State Contest, which sends first and second-place winners on to Nationals.
 
 
All of this is made possible by a strong collaboration among many of Connecticut’s history organizations who work with dedicated educators to help students develop critical thinking skills and a passion for learning and sharing history. A shared goal is to encourage a life-long interest in Connecticut’s rich stories, archives, historic buildings and museum collections. The collaboration is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, funded by Connecticut Humanities, and supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the Connecticut Historical Society, Central Connecticut State University and scores of historical societies and civic groups who provide special prizes at the state level.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Connecticut’s Old State House Farmers Market Opens Season on June 16 - Free Outdoor Summer Concert Dates Announced

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June 10, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116


Hartford, CT – The Farmers Market at Connecticut’s Old State House, the oldest of its kind in the state, will open for the season on Tuesday, June 16 and will remain open every Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through October (with the exception of Friday, July 3). Located in the heart of historic downtown Hartford, the Old State House Farmers Market invites participation from local farmers who are able to provide high-quality Connecticut-grown products and artisans of original, handcrafted and self-manufactured quality goods made in Connecticut. Opening Day for the Old State House Farmers Market takes place on the same day as the next installment of Conversations at Noon. Helen Higgins, the retiring Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, will sit down for a one-on-one interview with Diane Smith and discuss her career and the importance of preserving Connecticut’s historic buildings. Conversations at Noon is free to the public and begins at noon in the Judicial Room of Connecticut’s Old State House.
 
Summer Concert Series Dates Announced:
The Old State House Farmers Market will continue with its popular Summer Fun at the Farmers Market concert series this season. All concerts begin at noon, take place outside of the Old State House on its Main Street courtyard and are free to the public to enjoy. The artists and dates are as follows:
 
·         Tom Callinan, Connecticut’s first “Official State Troubadour” – Friday, June 26^
·         Dixieland Stomp – Friday, July 10 (Rain date July 17)*
·         Balkun Brothers  - Friday, July 24 (Rain date July 28)*
·         Fiesta del Norte  - Friday, July 31 (Rain date August 4)*
·         Rick Spencer  - Friday, August 7 (Rain date August 7)^
·         The Kenn Morr Band – Friday, August 14 (Rain date Sept. 4)^
·         Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble – Friday, August 28 (Rain date Sept. 1)*
·         Jim Moore  - Friday, September 11 (Rain date Sept. 18)^
·         Eight Mile River Band – Friday, October 2 (Rain date Oct. 6)*
·         KC Sisters – Friday, October 9 (Rain date Oct. 16)*

 ^Supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign
*Supported by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee

Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The interactive History is All Around Us exhibition by the Connecticut Historical Society, located in the Mortensen Gallery of the lower level of the Old State House, allows visitors to explore over 300 years of Hartford and Connecticut history. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Connecticut Student Historians Head to National History Day Contest - Contest Takes Place June 15-18 at University of Maryland - Winners Announced June 18

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For Immediate Release
June 4, 2015
Contact: Rebecca Taber-Conover
860-522-6766, ext. 11

Hartford, CT/College Park, MD –Connecticut’s top student historians will be taking part in the prestigious National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in College Park from June 15 to June 18.  Seventy-six Connecticut students will compete with more than 2,700 students from across the country.   Students will showcase their months of historical research and hard work by presenting their projects to teams of volunteer judges.  The judges choose the top three finishers in each category (papers, exhibits, websites, documentaries, and performances) and provide constructive feedback to all participants.  The National Contest culminates in an Awards Ceremony that is live streamed via the History Channel website, on Thursday, June 18.
Members of the Connecticut delegation previously placed first or second at the State History Day Contest, which was held on May 9, 2015 at Central Connecticut State University.
“The depth of the projects is amazing,” stated Rebecca-Taber Conover, State Coordinator of History Day in Connecticut and Head of Public Programs at Connecticut’s Old State House. “I am so proud of our Connecticut students.”
During the National Contest, students, teachers and parents have an opportunity to participate in several special activities. Members of the delegation will enjoy a day-long tour of Washington, D.C. which will include a meeting with U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, a visit to the U.S. Capitol and a trip to the National Archives.

Several Connecticut students have already received special recognition.  Anaisja Henry, a student at Renzulli Academy in Hartford, will attend “Breakfast on the Hill” with members of Congress, an event sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet: Leader in Deaf Education, an exhibit created by Jayde Zainc, Jackie Tavoletti, and Cassie Reilly from Memorial Middle School in Middlebury, will be on display at “National History Night” at the National Museum of American History.  Tanusri Bell from the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford is one of only 25 students invited to participate in a special Paper Writers' Event at the Library of Congress.

Over 4,000 middle and high school students participate in History Day in Connecticut, one of 56 affiliate programs of National History Day, a renowned, year-long, academic program.  The road to National History Day (NHD) usually begins in Connecticut’s classrooms and home schools where students choose topics reflecting an annual NHD theme, conduct research and analysis and create an exhibit, performance, website, paper or documentary that shares their findings. Of these, over a thousand students competed in this year’s Regional Contests, with 400 of winners going on to the State Contest, which sends first and second-place winners on to Nationals.
All of this is made possible by a strong collaboration among many of Connecticut’s history organizations who work with dedicated educators to help students develop critical thinking skills and a passion for learning and sharing history. A shared goal is to encourage a life-long interest in Connecticut’s rich stories, archives, historic buildings and museum collections. The collaboration is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, funded by Connecticut Humanities, and supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the Connecticut Historical Society, Central Connecticut State University and scores of historical societies and civic groups who provide special prizes at the state level.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Conversation with Helen Higgins: Preservation Powerhouse - Tuesday, June 16 at Noon

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For Immediate Release
May 28, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

With a history that goes back centuries, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon a historic district or building as you travel through Connecticut’s villages, towns and cities. Thanks to the efforts of preservation groups, those residing in or visiting Connecticut can admire the buildings and sites that were also enjoyed by those who came well before us, including Connecticut’s Old State House.

On Tuesday, June 16, Old State House visitors can join a conversation on why preserving our history, particularly our buildings, is so important. Helen Higgins, the retiring Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, will join the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith for a one-on-one interview as Connecticut’s Old State House hosts another engaging installment of Conversations at Noon.
During her years at the helm of the Trust, Higgins provided technical preservation assistance to communities, developed a wide-range of grant programs for saving and securing our past, and surveyed projects that recognized historic resources – including barns, industrial sites and locations associated with 20th century artists and writers.  Higgins will discuss the Trust’s evolution into an important voice for Connecticut’s historic buildings, landscapes and communities, while also reflecting on her personal experiences after an impressive 18-year career of saving buildings comes to a close.
This program is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch and enjoy the conversation.
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