Friday, September 30, 2022

Free Environmental Film Screening on October 10 Focuses on Rights of Nature

We are excited to announce the next film in The Elements: An Annual Environmental Film Series!  We'll be showing Invisible Hand on Monday, October 10, 2022, Indigenous People's Day. The screening will be at 7pm at the Goldsmith Family Cinema, Jeanine Basinger Center for Film Studies, Wesleyan University, 301 Washington Terrace, Middletown, CT.  Directions and parking information can be found here. 

Invisible Hand is a film about the Rights of Nature. As described in the film's publicity materials, it tells stories about four communities working to defend the rights of nature:

  • in Grant Township, Pennsylvania an ecosystem filed to defend itself in a lawsuit claiming its ‘right to exist';  
  • in Toledo, Ohio a vote was passed to enact the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR), granting personhood to international waters;  
  • in Standing Rock, North Dakota, an industry is using militarized force against indigenous tribes and allies who are fighting to protect Mother Earth; and  
  • on the Pennsylvania and New York border the Seneca Nation of Indians is aligned with communities in the Triple Divide to stop radioactive fracking waste from entering Ohi:yo’ waters. 

The four, Grant Township, Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Standing Rock, and Defend Ohi:yo, are joined in an international fight to protect more than just water. They fight for their community, democracy, and for Nature as a living entity unto itself.

As always, the film is open to the public and free of charge. Wesleyan is a vaccinated campus and full vaccination is required to attend. In addition, masks will be required in the theater.  Please preregister at, and complete this form prior to attending.

We hope you can join us!  Please phone the Conservation District office for more information at 860-346-3282.

Also--please share/post this announcement.

The Elements: An Annual Environmental Film Series was begun in 2015. The series is co-sponsored by the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Middlesex Community College, Middletown Garden Club, The Rockfall Foundation, and Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts, College of the Environment, and College of Film and the Moving Image. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Buttonwood Tree Weekend: SONGS: Halley Neal LAUGHS: Max Shultz, Jon Fletcher, Jacqueline Wall

Halley Neal
“Beautiful & Blue” Album Release

Friday Night

September 30
 8 - 10pm

Reserve Seat ($20)

     Cause for applause!
     Celebrating tonight the release of her second album, "Beautiful & Blue," Halley Neal is a folk-pop singer and songwriter based in Nashville, TN. Inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin, Halley’s sound combines inspirations of folk music from the 70’s & late 90’s that are deeply rooted in reminiscence. 

     Graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2019, Her success had been amazing! Halley was chosen to perform at Berklee’s Commencement Concert for its 2019 honorary doctorates--Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake, and Alex Lacamoire, who also attended the show. In her final semester at Berklee, Halley collaborated with artist Plot Twist and her former band Rose & Kennedy on a single called “Lover,” which soon gained notable traction on Tik Tok and has since gained global acclaim, with covers by singers from all over the world.

     Shortly after graduation, Halley moved to Nashville, TN, where she was soon chosen as finalist for “Nashville Rising Song,” a premiere songwriting competition. In Nashville, Halley's backyard became a venue for bringing together a community of independent musicians. And in 2020, Halley became an official Guild Guitars artist, performing live with Guild & participating in Guild’s “Factory Sessions” YouTube series. Currently, Halley tours nationally to house concert and listening room venues, with 2022 tour dates soon to be announced. 

     Halley’s self-titled debut record, released in June 2021, blends sounds she picked up both at Berklee and in Nashville. She writes: “This record is certainly a culmination of all of the different sounds and ideas I’ve had floating around in my head for the last three years. It combines some of my favorite elements of classic rock, bands like Fleetwood Mac and Grateful Dead, with soft acoustic guitar and layered vocal ballads.” It also includes an acoustic version of the song “Lover," with Plot Twist &
Rose & Kennedy.

     Halley Neal’s newest single “If I Was Ready” might come as a surprise to some coming off the heels of her last two releases “So Damn Perfect” and “Isn’t That What A Friend’s For?”. Both beautiful folk songs that explore intimate spaces and illustrious acoustic soundscapes. Its concision turns the page on these slow burners, so assured in its pace its nearly ironic that the song contemplates readiness.”

May Glaxis, All Ashore

Visit Halley’s website at

Saturday morning

Align with Source ~
Meeting Our World & Lives at The Higher Level
with Annaita Gandhy.
Online, via Zoom. 10:30am - 12:15pm. 
To sign up, email

     Let us all hold only love in our hearts as we shower all key areas and our entire world with the purest love of Oneness. The Light within each one of us is required by Humanity, Our World and Earth at this time. More than ever before, our world needs your Light and unconditional Love!

     Do join us for our Saturday Morning Meeting of 'Align with Source ~ Meeting Our World & Lives At The Higher Level'. Do you feel that all you know is being pulled out from under you? That you perfected the answers to Life only to find the question paper has been changed so that you don't know which is up or down? Systems you know are suddenly replaced with high-tech you feel inadequately equipped to handle? You are not alone. Yes, our world is changing; in fact it has changed, forever. 

     But where are you going with this and how do you react? Are you re-active or pro-active? This is when to remember who you are. This is a time to embrace the Light body that is yours by Divine Right. A 5D reality calls upon each to trust Spirit, and it also calls upon us to act from that which our Spirit Self is familiar. Keeping your attention on the Light Within, strengthens Your Light which is more powerful than you can imagine so why not take that bold step in turning the switches of Oneness on! So consider all those aspects in life that keep you stuck and ask yourself, 'how does it serve you?' Let's do this together in Love and Light. 

     Our weekly spiritual meetings are each unique & offer a special place where you will find many answers that help unlock hidden truths & your direction. From 10:30am-12:15pm, each meeting closes with a meditation. Sharing during meetings is strongly encouraged and so on occasion we might extend slightly beyond the time stated. We request your understanding in this. To sign up, email

Comedian Maxwell Shultz 
ft. Paul Kilmer & 
Jacqueline Wall

Saturday night

October 1 @  8 - 10pm

     Boston-based comedian Maxwell Shultz has been telling jokes about real life and observational obscurity. His first album, You Can Call Me Dad, was released October 22nd 2020 and is recording a follow up in November of this year. He has also been a DJ on WUML for the past 9 years, interviewing performers of all spectrums and walks of life. He runs the production company, Malice Comedy

Here is a link to his first album:

Find Maxwell Shultz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as Malice Comedy on Instagram. 
acebookF InstagramI TwitterT BandcampM

     Jon Fletcher hosts local comedy shows and open mics around the Worcester scene. He has worked the door for both the Tempe Improv and Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy Phoenix. He is handy, a Mr-Fix-It, leatherworking funny man who has been making folks laugh seemingly his whole life. Whether it’s family or on a show, and regardless of whether they’re laughing with him or at him, he thinks life is better when you laugh. 

     Jacqueline Wall is a Boston based Comedian working her way up the New England comedy ranks. She’s funny, she’s witty, and she will leave you laughing with her comical takes on life.
Buttonwood Tree
Performing Arts Center
605 Main Street / PO Box 71,
Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957  

Route 17 On-Ramp to Route 9 Reconfiguration. Public Hearing Thursday.

click to enlarge
The public hearing will be virtual, and recorded. Comments and questions can be submitted during the meeting, including by email (DOTProject82-316@ct.govand voicemail ( 860-594-2020).

Comments can also be submitted after the meeting, any time before October 27. 

The DOT's background and justification for the project is HERE.

From the DOT:


State Project No. 0082-0316

Reconfiguration of the Route 17 On-Ramp to Route 9 North

City of Middletown

September 29, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.


YouTube Livestream:

The purpose of this meeting is to provide the community an opportunity to learn about the proposed project and allow an open discussion of any views and comments concerning the proposed improvements.

Please register for the virtual public information meeting at Registration is required to participate. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with a link to access the meeting.

For more information, please visit the project webpage: A Q&A session will immediately follow the presentation.

Members of the public can submit comments and questions during the two-week public comment period following the meeting. Please direct comments and questions by October 27, 2022 to: and 860-594-2020 or Stephen Hall, Project Manager, at (860) 594-2591 or


This meeting will also be livestreamed on YouTube, and closed captioning will be available. Non-English translation options will be available on Zoom and YouTube. The recording will also be available on CTDOT’s YouTube Virtual Public Information Meeting playlist.

Persons with limited internet access, use the call-in number 877-853-5257 and enter Meeting ID 828 0426 4832. Persons with limited internet access may also request that project information be mailed to them within one week by contacting Stephen Hall at (860) 594-2591 or

Persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Language Assistance Call Line (860) 594-2109. Requests should be made at least five business days prior to the meeting. Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Teaching. Remembering ...


 Where it's at.

Ned Head

Ned head? How politics and music intertwine on the campaign trail

This link is to an online article at, a Hearst enterprise:

Ned head? How politics and music intertwine on the campaign trail, by Sep. 25, 2022.

The article begins:

Gov. Ned Lamont is often seen wearing a Grateful Dead-themed belt. It features one of the images most associated with the band, a line of multicolored dancing bears. 

A bit of information that explains a lot to this relative newcomer-native.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree--JAZZ Violinist Luca Ciarla; and Alex Ranniello--Artist Reception

Violinist Luca Ciarla

SPECIAL -- For Readers: A free drink if you tell us
you saw this announcement on The Middletown EYE!

 Sep 23rd 8:00  - 10:00 PM

     Attenzione! Meet the Italian violinist Luca Ciarla. His quartet brought us into a new horizon where contemporary jazz, classical and ethnic ambiences blend magically. He often surprises his audiences everywhere, and this time he did it again at the Java Jazz Festival. Grazie per la bella musica, Luca!
     – Jazzuality (Indonesia)

On the strings of his violin, Luca Ciarla's gypsy touch blends jazz, classical, & folk modes to ceate an intriguing, restless sound that transcends the boundaries of genre to trace an innovative musical path.
     – Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy)

     Luca Ciarla is an artist from Molise (in Termoli, Italy) with a cosmopolitan soul. He began playing violin & piano at age eight, then studied at conservatory where he began explorating jazz & improvisation. In 1996 Luca moved to the United States to pursue an M.A. at Indiana University where he studied jazz with David Baker, and then subsequently completed a doctorate at the University of Arizona, where he also taught violin. As a winner of several competitions in Italy & abroad, including the prestigious Chamber Music America award, Luca has worked Greg Cohen, Chris Jarrett, Daniele Sepe, Joshua Bell, Edgar Mayer, Daniele Scannapieco, Danilo Rea, and a host of other artists. 

     With a magical blend balancing written composition & improvisation, traditional & contemporary, Luca has performed in jazz, classical, & world music festivals and concerts around the globe--from Montreal's Jazz Festival, Hong Kong's Performing Arts Centre, Scotland's Celtic Connections, and the Villa-Lobos Festival in Rio de Janeiro, to the Melbourne Jazz Festival in Australia & the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Italy. Collaborating with Italian visual artist Keziat, Luca presented "Music for your Eyes," in Johannesburg, at the invitation of South African artist William Kentridge, with media attention far & wide. He also performed recently in Florence for the Strings City Festival at Palazzo Strozzi, at the invitation of the Fiesole School of Music.

Luca Ciarla has wooed the classical, jazz and folk crowds with his originality.
– Cover Magazine (Hong Kong)

Connect with Luca:
FB, youtube, Instagram, Spotify, Linkedin, Applemusic Facebook 
FFacebook     Youtube InstagramSpotifyS LinkedinL AppleA Twitter


Art Reception for Alex Ranniello 
'27 Kisses From The Sun'  
     with music by Dalis & Jack

   Sep 24th 6:00 - 8:00 PM                        

     Alex Ranniello is a studio painter + mural artist based in Bloomfield, CT, with widespread community involvement in the Arts across CT as an arts program administrator, gallery assistant manager, workshop assistant, curator, guest speaker, visiting artist, event team manager, juror, and above all--an advocate for the arts. His academic education The University of Hartford includes Painting & Drawing (B.A., ‘17), with dual minor in Ceramics & Art History; and also an M.A. in Marketing & Communications (‘21). Along the way, her served as workshop assistant at Wethersfield Academy for the Artsl completed his Single Artist Residency at A.I.R. Studio Paducah (Paducah, KY), and co-founded GoingPlaces Art Collective, a Connecticut-based arts advocacy group promoting sustainable opportunities for local artists with sponsors from community businesses & organizations. In addition, 2018 to 2021, he served as Assistant Gallery Manager at Stockman Gallery in New Britain, as an Arts Program Administrator for Connecticut’s State Office of the Arts, as a Painting Juror for the Regional Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards in Connecticut (‘19–’21), and as a visiting Artist with the Manchester Community College Arts program.

     In five short years, Ranniello has showcased five solo exhibitions, including 30+ group exhibits in addition to his litany of festivals, fairs, and pop-up community events. At West Hartford Art League, he was the 2nd place prize winner of The CT+6 Regional juried exhibition (2018) and a 3rd place prize winner in the 30th Annual National Arts Program’s Exhibit here in Connecticut (2021). His work has been featured in The Hartford Courant, FOX61, News Channel 8, and The Wethersfield Life – his local hometown paper. Over the years, He has been produced over fifteen murals & public works across Connecticut, most notably The Hartford Paints The City Project, The 5 x 5 Mural Downtown Hartford Initiative, Meriden Humane Society Mural, the SoDo project, Constitution Plaza Barbershop’s mural, the JB Hunt mural, Hartford Has It mural, Faces of Connecticut mural, The Manchester Mahoney Rec. Center mural, New Canaan High School mural, and so much more.

     Outside of the studio, Alex exceeds the regions of painting. Through partnership with local businesses, he has collaborated as a freelance Marketing Consultant for Glaze Innovative Salon (Hamden) and Agonist Gallery (Broad Brook), an Interior Designer with Bee’s Artistry (Hartford), and as a Workshop Instructor with Le Petit Studios (Farmington) and RiseUP Community Group (Hartford). In addition to working as a consultant for Glaze, he spent a few years with Stack Influence Agency (remotely) as a Social Media Micro-Influencer on a host of Product Marketing Campaigns. Still today, Alex remains a regular contributor on the Sports & Culture Podcast Productive Conversations.

     In the near future, Ranniello plans on continuing to expand his Alexander Califournia brand to both collaborate with other artists and design new products and merchandise. Additionally, he’s further expanding into blogging & podcasting, while remaining true to his studio practice and mural work. With a full slate of events ahead, the future remains golden and bright!

Connect with Alex on Alex Ranniello– Instagram – Artist Website

Find out more about Dalis and Jack: Dalis & Jack.Inst

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center
605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957