News & Events

Introduction to MELT

Saturday, May 2, 10-10:45am and 11:00-11:45am
Hubbard Room

Joanne Wilcox, Certified MELT Method Instructor, will teach two introductory classes, to the MELT Method back to back. Class size is limited to 12 in each.  Class participants need to bring a yoga mat and registration is required.  For more details or to reserve your place, call the library’s Information Department at 860-347-2520. The MELT Method® (MELT) is a self-treatment technique that helps people get out and stay out of chronic pain in just ten minutes a day. Funding provided by a City of Middletown Health Grant.

Introduction to Yoga Nidra

Wednesday, May 6, 7 – 8:30pm
Hubbard Room

Join us with Cynthia Wolcott, a local Yoga instructor, who will lead us in a 90 Yoga Nidra session, appropriate for all ages.  Yoga nidra or "yogi sleep" is a sleep-like state which yogis report to experience during their meditations. Yoga nidra, lucid sleeping is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness.  Registration is requested. For more details or to reserve your place, call the library’s Information Department at 860-347-2520. Funding provided by a City of Middletown Health Grant.

Stories and Secrets: A Mother's Day Event

Saturday, May 9, 2pm-4pm
Hubbard Room

At Home Inside by Elizabeth PetryElisabeth Petry and Hanna Perlstein Marcus will talk about their mothers’ extraordinary lives.

Elisabeth Petry is the daughter of author Ann Petry and will speak about her mother from her own unique viewpoint. Ann Petry applied her formidable skills to stories she told about herself and her family, and in mining her mother’s journals Elisabeth Petry creates part biography, part love letter, and part sounding of her mother's genius and luminescent personality. Elisabeth Petry is a freelance writer living in Middletown, Connecticut, and author of At Home Inside, is the editor of Can Anything Beat White? A Black Family's Letters. She also leads the Russell Library Veteran’s Writing Group on Thursday evenings at the library.Sidonia's Thread by Hanna Perlstein Marcus

Hanna Perlstein Marcus is the author of Sidonia’s Thread: The Secrets of a Mother and Daughter Sewing a New Life in America. In this book, Hanna Perlstein Marcus tells the story of her mother, a well-known seamstress and designer in Springfield, Mass. Curious to unearth the secrets her mother is unable to reveal, Hanna steals and closely studies her mother’s old letters and photographs, determined to find the secret of her paternity, the reasons for her mother’s reclusive behavior, and clues to her heritage. Sidonia’s Thread won best nonfiction Kindle book for 2014. Hanna Perlstein Marcus is currently working on a follow-up to her first book, The Greenhorns, focused on the immigrant community in Springfield.

Jazz Up Close: Performance and Discussion with Johnathan Blake 

Jonathan Blake of Resonant MotionThursday, May 14 - 6:30 pm
Hubbard Room

Drummer Johnathan Blake presents a trio featuring bassist Henry Lugo and pianist/series curator Noah Baerman. Blake has received wide acclaim for his two albums as a bandleader, The Eleventh Hour and Gone But Not Forgotten, and he has appeared as a drummer on over 50 albums with jazz luminaries including the Mingus Big Band, Tom Harrell, Russell Malone and Oliver Lake as well as artists outside the jazz idiom like the rapper Q-Tip. The son of influential jazz violinist John Blake, Johnathan has been a vibrant member of the musical community dating back to his childhood appearance as a musical prodigy on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Middletown Commission on the Arts and there is no admission charge. 

Tesla Quartet ConcertTesla

Saturday, May 16 at 2pm,
Hubbard Room

Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet has garnered top prizes at numerous international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Prize for the International Summer Academy for Chamber Music Niedersachsen at the 2013 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. The Tesla Quartet was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008 and quickly established itself as one of the most promising young ensembles in New York, winning Second Prize at the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition only a few months after its inception. The London Evening Standard called their rendition of the Debussy Quartet “a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion.”  This is a free concert and there is no registration required.  This concert is co-sponsored by the Edythe & Arthur Director Music Fund of Congregation Adath Israel of Middletown.


The Many Faces of Laurence Olivier; a Film Discussion Series -Slueth

Slueth starring Laurence OlivierTuesday May 19
12 Noon
Hubbard Room

Film critic Richard Alleva completes this series with Slueth. By the time of his death in 1989, Laurence Olivier was generally recognized as the greatest British actor of the twentieth century.  This was mainly due to his titanic performances on stage, but some of his greatest work was done on film.   

Olivier at Twilight -In this darkly comic mystery story based on Anthony Shafer's Broadway hit, Olivier pulls out all the stops and gives the greatest performance of his later years. Co-star Michael Caine proves more than a match for him as their character's scheme, prank and outwit each other and keep you guessing.

From February through May, Richard Alleva, film critic for Commonweal magazine, will present and analyze Olivier’s acting in the movies that established and consolidated a reputation and career that has never yet been equaled in the English-speaking world. And glimpses into his often troubled personal life may offer some illumination, too.  The upcoming film is Sleuth (May 19).

The Hip Hop SlamHip Hop Slam

Saturday, May 23, 2-4pm
Hubbard Room

The Russell Library presents The Hip Hop Slam featuring the poetry and dance talents of Middletown and the surrounding community. Headlining the show will be award winning dance troupe “Of Shadow and Earth.” Led by founders LingBa and Oni, the company has been performing and teaching for almost twenty years, promoting independence, ingenuity, and creativity through artistry. The emcee for the event is Apollo Smile, who will bring her Kung Fu Hip Hop dance performers along with her vocal talents. Other performers include poets, rappers, and dancers from the Middletown area.

If you are interested in performing, contact Matt Earls at or call 860-347-2528 extension 135. Prepare to be slammed.


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