"Harriet Beecher Stowe, her sisters Isabella Beecher Hooker and Mary Beecher Perkins, daughter Hattie Stowe and neighbor Willy Gillette will greet visitors on Saturday, June 11, 2005 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. The occasion? It is the annual FREE celebration of the birthday of Hartford’s anti-slavery author, mother, painter, gardener and domestic "engineer," Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her words changed the world – come be inspired!
"The 2½-acre grounds of the Stowe Center will be a bevy of fun activities for all ages – with main stage performances, crafts activities, puppetry workshops and more!
"Try your hand at Victorian lawn games with the costumed role-players and see just what they have to say about the burning issues of the day in nineteenth-century Nook Farm. Circle the grounds in a horse drawn wagon to get a perspective on the full range of birthday fun.
"The first floor of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House will be open for touring, with historic interpreters in every room, ready to answer all questions.
"In the Stowe Visitor Center, the American Magic-Lantern Theatershow will take you back in time to see the 1890’s version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin – with live singing and acting, in its only 2005 performance! AMLT is the nation's only professional theater company recreating Victorian Magic-Lantern shows - the 1890s combination of projected images, live acting and live music, that led to the movies. Shows at 1, 2:30, and 4 p.m.
"Don’t miss Connecticut’s state Troubadour, Thomasina, who will sing in the Stowe Visitor Center from 1:30 to 2:10 between Magic-Lantern shows.
"Outside, activities range from Victorian games to garden tours, to crafts to music and dance on the tented main stage. And that’s not all! professional puppeteer Marilyn O’Connor Miller, will introduce kids to the world of puppets, in a workshop at 1:30.
"Christine Boudreau, a local visual artist specializing in children’s art created from throw-away items – from old shoes to tree branches - will engage children in free art-making activities throughout the afternoon.
"Take a guided tour of the Victorian gardens with garden guru Rob Fuoco. Hands-on, dirt in the fingernails style! Unlike any other garden tour you have been on. 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
"Don’t miss the exhibition of artwork by students from Hartford Public High School – the product of a program collaboration between the Stowe Center and the high school – on display under a tent on the grounds.
"Under the main stage tent, take a seat for music and dance:
* 12 noon – 12:45 pm: Senior Performance Ensemble of the Dance Program at the Hartt School Community Division. The Senior Performance Ensemble is directed by Peter O’Brien, former principle dancer of The Royal Ballet Company, England, who is on the faculty of the Dance Programs of both the Community and University Divisions of The Hartt School.
* 12:45 – 1:15 pm: Concert Choir of Connecticut Children’s Chorus. The nationally acclaimed and internationally touring choir from the Community School Division at the Hartt School.
* 1:30 – 1:45 pm: Presentation of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Good Citizen Award, CT History Day prizes and Happy Birthday Harriet Beecher Stowe!
* 1:45 – 2:30 pm: Puppeteer Marilyn O’Connor Miller, story-telling with Tiffany. Well-seasoned storyteller and master puppeteer, Marilyn O'Connor Miller tells stories to puppet 'Tiffany,' in an incredible range of voices and live animation. Perfect for kids of all ages!
* 2:45 – 3:30 pm: Gospel Stars of Hartford. Songs of joy and inspiration in quartet-style gospel music under the guidance of founder Deacon Leonard Ledbetter.
* 4:00 – 5:00 pm: Tierra Mestiza. Timeless Latin American rhythms and melodies, many dating back to the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. A musical journey of the Americas!
"Additional activities include the following:
*Games: Play croquet with the Stowe family while smaller kids blow bubbles!
*Museum Shop: Visit the Museum Shop for Stowe books, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin, An American Woman’s Home and others. Come check out our Stowe Garden cards, featuring Iris Van Rynbach’s watercolor illustration of the Stowe gardens in the summer; new Wildflower books and Garden T-shirt, and Pink & White Tyranny-inspired nightshirt or cover-up!
*Meet the Nook Farm neighbors: Local organizations will provide information at resource tables.
*Family-friendly food: Local food vendors will be on hand with snacks and more. Birthday cake and lemonade will be served starting at 2 pm and are free until supplies are exhausted.
"Directions: Car: Exit 46 from 84; Right on Sisson Avenue; R on Farmington Avenue; R on Forest Street, Follow signs for FREE and SECURE parking. CT Transit : Take an “E” bus to Forest Street. Runs every 10-15 minutes."