Save the dates! The Great Give® May 1-2, The Great Give® Happy Hours Apr. 24 & May 1

You can start giving now!

Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have. And now we have a chance to be a part of greater New Haven’s day of giving, The Great Give®—an opportunity to unite our community around causes in which we truly believe and help nonprofit organizations connect to the larger community.

We need your help! Please join our campaign and help us raise the money necessary to continue—and expand—our programming and preserve—and expand!—our incredible film archive! We need you to tell your friends and family members about the value we have for the community and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference.

Get ready to give!

The Great Give®, organized by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, runs from May 1-May 2, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. Advance gifts can be made for The Great Give® beginning April 19, 2019; advance gifts will count toward grand prize calculations, but will not be counted toward hourly prize incentives.

To contribute to Best Video Film & Cultural Center during The Great Give®, go to TheGreatGive.org and enter “Best Video” in the Search field to find our page. Or just click on the graphic in this post to be taken directly to our Great Give® page.

BVFCC will endeavor to stoke enthusiasm for The Great Give® with two Happy Hour events, one on Wed., Apr. 24, from 5-7 PM, and the second on the first day of The Great Give®, Wed., May 1, from 5-7 PM. Come on down to BVFCC on those days for drink specials, tasty snacks, socializing, and—if you can—your laptop or smartphone to make a Great Give® donation to support BVFCC!

Music: Experimental electronics from Derek Piotr & Conor Perreault, Red Rainbow Wed., May 1

Derek Piotr, Connor Perreault, and Red Rainbow play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, May 1. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

For this show, Perreault will play solo for about 20 minutes. Piotr will join him for joint improvisation for 20 minutes and Piotr will then take solo flight for 20 minutes.

Derek Piotr (b. 1991) is a Poland-born producer and composer based in New England, whose work focuses primarily on the voice. His work covers genres as diverse as glitch, left-field pop, chamber, dance, and drone; and he has collaborated with artists including Richard Chartier, Don’t DJ, and Thomas Brinkmann across various disciplines. He has been intern to Meredith Monk, had his work nominated by the jury for Prix Ars Electronica (2012), and featured on Resonance FM and BBC.

Conor Perreault is a New Haven based father of two. He is a dabbler, a tinkerer, and an experimenter in sound, using whatever and whomever happens to be around to make sounds that he hopes are fun and/or interesting to hear. It usually comes out as a psychedelic firecracker freak folk smooth noise sort of vibe; pretty scary, or scary pretty. He is an active member in a clutch of collaborative projects, including but not limited to: Human Flourshing (with Greg Paul), Gora (with Sam Moth), and Big & Ready (with Michael Larocca).

Red Rainbow is the solo project of New Haven-based vocalist Anne Anne Rhodes. She incorporates voice and electronics in conjunction with embroidered graphic scores, looping sounds as diverse as extended techniques and bel canto vocalises to create layer up layer of dissonance, harmony, and noise.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: “Three chords and the truth” from The Bluegrass Characters Tues., Apr. 30, at 7:30

The Bluegrass Characters will play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Apr. 30. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $5.

Formerly led by the great Stacy Phillips—who tragically passed away last year—The Bluegrass Characters are a local bluegrass supergroup who play the great straight-ahead, hard-driving bluegrass from the 50s and 60s.

The group features a rotating cast of acoustic roots music virtuosos. This month’s line-up features Phil Zimmerman (mandolin), Tom Hagymasi (fiddle), Pete Kelly (bass), Joe “Pepe” Lemeris (banjo) and Andy Bromage (guitar). Three chords and the truth, sung from the heart and through the nose.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Comedy: Reel Life—A Stand-Up Comedy show hosted by Kendra Dawsey on Mon., Apr. 29, 8 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents “Reel Life,” a monthly stand-up comedy show that debuted in October, on Monday, Apr. 29, at 8 PM. Reel Life is hosted by Kendra Dawsey, a comic who also hosts a weekly open mic at Lyric Hall in Westville and has also performed at Best Video’s Second Wednesday Open Mic among other venues throughout New England. Cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—pay what you can within that range.

Also on the bill for Apr. 29 are comics Laura Manasewich, Ish Gupta, Stosh Mikita, Rob Rego, and Andre Kim. Note: Comic routines may feature explicit material and language.

Kendra Dawsey is an up and coming stand-up comic who has performed in clubs and showcases in NYC and all over New England, including Stonewall Inn, Comix @ Mohegan Sun, and ImprovBoston. She was also a featured comic on the Sirius XM radio program Paid or Pain. Kendra garners humor from her identity and experiences by blending anecdote with higher concepts. Never too proud to laugh at herself, Kendra endears audiences by inviting them to laugh with her.

Laura Manasewich is a comic from Hartford, CT. She performs regularly throughout the Northeast and beyond. She’s hosted for Emma Willmann at the Vermont Comedy Club, featured at Shaskeen Comedy in Manchester, NH and was a participant in the 2018 She Devil Comedy Festival in NYC. Laura looks for the relatable in life. Salty with a smile, you can watch the majority of Laura’s comedy sitting next to your parents, and mostly still able to make eye contact afterwards.

Ish Gupta is a Hartford area based comic who has been lucky to share stages with headliner comics such as Andrew Kennedy, Kevin McAffrey, and Katie Hannigan. He regularly performs at the Treehouse Comedy Club, The Elbow Room, and numerous other venues all over CT, MA, and RI. His comedy addresses a number of topics including weird jobs, his confusing hair, and silly things white people do. He hopes you are having a wonderful day!

Stosh Mikita is a New Haven, CT based comedian whose comedy combines clever observations, self-deprecating humor, and dark personal stories from an unusual upbringing. Starting in 2013, Stosh has quickly become a regularly featured comedian all over New England.

Rob Rego is an NYC based comic who writes for the satirical news site duffelblog.com. He is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and does comedy all over the country.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Singer-songwriter Sabrina Trueheart plays Fri., Apr. 26

Sabrina Trueheart plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 26. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—pay what you can in that range.

Sabrina Trueheart is a singer/songwriter from New Haven, Connecticut. A lifelong musician, she began playing guitar and writing her own music at age 10, and later decided to turn her passion into her career. In 2014, Sabrina released an EP of original works entitled “Neck of the Woods.”

She attended Cooperative Arts High School in New Haven where she studied music theory and jazz guitar. Today, she is a student at Fairfield University working towards her bachelor’s degree in music. Sabrina’s original music ranges from folk to pop. Her influences include Jewel, Joni Mitchell, Anthony Green, and Lana Del Rey.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Singer-songwriter Jim Paradis plays Thurs., Apr. 25

Jim Paradis plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 25. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

A modest sailboat on the New England coast is home for this singer-songwriter. Aboard with his guitars and recording studio, he marries music and melody to the lyrics he scribbles on napkins and journals throughout his travels.

The songs Jim Paradis writes evoke a sense of home, love & loss and the changes life brings to a searching soul. Jim’s smooth, melodic voice and finger-style guitar work are the perfect compliment for his intimate and philosophical lyrics. But it is his magnetic warmth that lifts him above the rest. Jim draws people into the stories, into the energy, into the emotion of his heartfelt songs.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Left-of-center indie rock by Accidental Villain Wed., Apr. 24

Danbury group Accidental Villain plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 24. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Accidental Villain was formed in 2015 by composer Barry Seroff as an outlet for songs he was writing after dealing with a bitter divorce. Joined by bassist Justin Virga of Phoenix Tree fame, acclaimed visual artist Lindsey Howard Edwards and jazz/world drummer Yoni Olieski, the band recorded their debut self titled album over the course of a day in Brooklyn. The songs ranged from the dark mundanity of life with an ex to celebrations of sexual deviance, through a compositional voice that cannot be nailed down through genre. The connecting fibers are the musicians themselves, whose distinct voices can be heard through even the most disparate of sounds.

Since the release, the band has played through the Danbury area honing their energetic live show and adding new songs to the mix highlighting the healing process after tragedy and the beauty that eventually shows itself. Yoni was replaced by local drummer Jerry Louzada, whose addition gave the material a more rock flair. Accidental Villain continues to push boundaries with their distinct originals and inventive covers to audience delights everywhere.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Monthly GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam takes place Tues., Apr. 23, from 6-9 PM

The monthly first Sunday GuitarTownCT bluegrass jams became so successful that Chris Wuerth added a new jam to the schedule. For those who need to twang community-wise more than once a month—or can’t make the Sunday afternoon events—we now have a bluegrass jam (usually) on the Third Monday of every month from 6-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. Due to other scheduling, April’s jam is not on Monday but rather is on Tuesday, Apr. 23, from 6-9 PM.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Irish music jam this Sun., Apr. 21, 2-4 PM UPDATE: CANCELED for this month

UPDATE: The Irish music jam has been canceled for this month.

Best Video Performance hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The April jam takes place Sunday, Apr. 21. The jam, organized by musicians Jim & Willow Sirch, lasts from 2-4 PM and takes place on the third Sunday of each month (unless it needs to be rescheduled due to other Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming).

As with our bluegrass jams, feel free to come and join in or just sit and listen.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Fleurs, Shy perform Fri., Apr. 19, at 8 PM

Fleurs and Shy play sets at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 19. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Fleurs is a musical enigma. All shifty riffs and sticky words, Fleurs draws romance out of depravity, mining glitter out of gunk. Fleurs is the feeling of lighting a cigarette on a cold day, the smell of a one night stand, the sound of fine china shattering on concrete. Too smart to be rock, too hard to be pop, Fleurs’ music is a multi-headed serpent that strangles as it caresses.

From the music blog CT Scramble last December:

New Haven-based FLEURS is the gloomy indie rock project of musician Alexander Falconer. Earlier this year, FLEURS released the American Nothing EP, a short and sweet collection of nocturnal Americana tunes with a gothy electronic twist. Recently, FLEURS has released a new album Life of the Appetite.

Expanding on the styles of his earlier release, Life of the Appetite is an impressive full length debut from the New Haven artist, filtering numerous genres all through dark romanticism and heady electronic textures. Most songs have a rhythmic quality that range from midnight graveyard stomp to industrial garage thrash. Above all, the music is truly possessed by Falconer, whose exceptionally depraved vocal performance is something to be heard.

SHY is a local New Haven band, Their music is indie-rock, folk, driven by power drums and melodic singing. Shyanne is on vocals and guitar, Jon is on bass, and Quinn is on drums.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.