Black Film Mini-Series continues Fri., Sept. 25, at 6:30 PM with “Brown Sugar”

Best Video Film and Cultural Center, Ignite the Light, and Spring Glen Church in collaboration with the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture are excited to host the Hamden Black Film Mini-Series and Discussion event. The series consists of three, Black-centered movies with universal themes of love, heroes, loss, immigration and more followed by community discussion with keynote speakers relating each movie to the issues, experiences, joys, struggles and achievements of the Black community in Hamden. Attendees are invited to come for the movies and stay for discussion if interested, otherwise, come out and enjoy films together in the company of community.

The first screening, of “42: The Jackie Robinson Story,” took place on Sept. 17.

All movies will be presented outdoors with social distancing on the lawn at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue. NOTE that the time has changed: The program for the final two films will start at 6:30 PM, which is moved up from the 7:30 start time for “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.” The remaining movie line-up is as follows:

Friday, September 25th: Brown Sugar
Saturday, October 3rd: Do the Right Thing

Dr. Siobhan Carter-David from Southern Connecticut State University will lead the discussion for “Brown Sugar.”

Dr. Carter-David is an Assistant Professor in History, teaching in the areas of fashion/beauty studies, American culture and identity politics, and African American, urban, and recent United States history. Her research explores the “new” politics of racial uplift as represented in the fashion instruction of post-Civil Rights African American print media, as well as more broadly, American fashion, beauty culture, and the politics of presentation. She has written and given numerous talks on hip-hop music, black nationalism, youth culture, culture and clothing, and urban style. She also curated an exhibit, “Strong Shoulder: Revisiting the Women’s Power Suit,” which explored the meaning of “power dressing,” its position within third-wave feminism and corporate culture, and the evolution of women’s professional fashions in the 1980s.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but an RSVP to the Facebook event is appreciated. Please RSVP to this invitation so we may estimate the number of potential attendees (and calculate available lawn space).

Prof. William Foster addressing the audience at the Sept. 17 screening of “Brown Sugar.”

Weather permitting, music already booked on the BVFCC deck Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 10

Anne Marie Menta and Richard Neal playing the Best Video deck to a safely socially distanced crowd Sept. 12, 2020.

Best Video Film & Cultural Center has gotten a great response from the community of local musicians to the use of our new deck as a venue. While weather permits, we will be hosting shows Thursday-Saturday during happy hour time with music usually occurring between 5 and 7 PM (but exact time varies according to the act).

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

This is what is booked as of Sept. 16, 2020:

Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 17-19:

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Friday, Sept. 18, 4:30-6:30 PM. Roots Singer-Songwriter: Buzz Gordo

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 24-26:

Thursday, Sept. 24, 5-7 PM. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar: Glenn Roth

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 1-3:

Thursday, Oct. 1, 4:30-6:30 PM. Swing Music: Leg Up feat. Leo & Brian Slattery

Friday, Oct. 2, 4:30-6:30 PM. Jug Band: Washboard Slim Trio

Saturday, Oct. 3, 4:30-6:30 PM. Jazz: Warren Byrd & David Chevan

Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 8-10:

Thursday, Oct. 8, 5-6:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Seth Adam

Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30-6:30 PM. Swing: The Red Hots

Saturday, Oct. 10, 5 PM. Afro-Soul: Thabisa

Also on the schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4:30 PM. Songs + Stories, Hosted by Saul Fussiner

Also on the BVFCC schedule, being held across the street at the Spring Glen Church: (in collaboration with Hamden Department of Arts and Culture, Spring Glen Church, Ignite the Light):

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7:30 PM. Film Screening at Spring Glen Church: “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” (1st in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 PM. Film Screening at Spring Glen Church: “Brown Sugar” (2nd in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

Saturday, Oct. 3, 7:30 PM. Film Screening: “Do the Right Thing” at Spring Glen Church (3rd in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

 

Upcoming music on the Best Video deck

Once we got over the hiccup of the rainout of a our scheduled first night, the launch of our new series of music on the Best Video Film & Cultural deck went great. Thanks to the musicians David Sasso and Pete Kaufman (Friday night) and Anne Marie Menta and Richard Neal (Saturday night) for great sets. And thanks, also, to everybody who came out and for responsibly wearing your masks!

Here is a list of our currently scheduled shows:

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Thursday, Sept. 24, 5-7 PM. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist: Glenn Roth (rescheduled from 9/10)

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

Fri., Oct. 2, 5 PM. Jug Band: Washboard Slim & The Blue Lights Trio

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Due to the rain, this evening’s scheduled Glenn Roth performance on the deck has been postponed to Sept. 24

Mother Nature has intervened and our first music on the deck happy hour has been cancelled. Guitarist Glenn Roth will instead perform (weather permitting!) on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 5-7:30 PM.

But forecast is looking good for tomorrow’s music with David Sasso and Pete Kaufman. Sasso and Kaufman are bandmates in the bluegrass quintet Five N’ Change and they will be playing as a duo from 4:30-7 PM (with some breaks.

The Best Video Film & Cultural Center cafe will be open for coffee drinks, beer and wine. Respect social distancing and wear masks. (Yes, you can pull them down to take a drink—but pull them back up again!)

Black Film Mini-Series begins Thurs., Sept. 17, with “42” at Spring Glen Church

Best Video Film and Cultural Center, Ignite the Light, and Spring Glen Church in collaboration with the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture are excited to host the Hamden Black Film Mini-Series and Discussion event. The series consists of three, Black-centered movies with universal themes of love, heroes, loss, immigration and more followed by community discussion with keynote speakers relating each movie to the issues, experiences, joys, struggles and achievements of the Black community in Hamden. Attendees are invited to come for the movies and stay for discussion if interested, otherwise, come out and enjoy films together in the company of community.

All movies will be presented outdoors with social distancing on the lawn at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue. All movies start promptly at 7:30pm with discussion to follow directly after. Movie line-up is as follows:

Thursday, September 17th: 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story
Friday, September 25th: Brown Sugar
Saturday, October 3rd: Do the Right Thing

Prof. Bill Foster is a long time Comic Book and Film Historian, who specializes in the “Changing Image of African Americans.” He has presented to audiences both nationally and internationally on these topics.

He is the author of 15 books and 10 plays. He will provide a historical context for the movie “42”, a biopic about sports legend, Jackie Robinson.

Future keynote speakers TBA.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but an RSVP to the Facebook event is appreciated. Please RSVP to this invitation so we may estimate the number of potential attendees (and calculate available lawn space).

Music returns to Best Video, socially distanced, on the deck

Making the best of the situation, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will restart its music programming on the new outdoor deck, weather permitting. The Best Video cafe will expand its curbside hours to 4-8 PM Thursdays through Saturday and we will try to schedule acoustic music on the deck for as many of those evenings as possible.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

The schedule so far is:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 5-7:30. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar: Glenn Roth

Friday, Sept. 11, 4:30-7:30 PM. Bluegrass/Roots: David Sasso & Pete Kaufman (members of Five N’ Change)

Saturday, Sept. 12, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Anne Marie Menta & Richard Neal

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

BVFCC building new deck as comfortable, attractive, & safe cafe option

With concerns over the pandemic currently precluding welcoming patrons back inside at the Best Video Film & Cultural Center cafe, BVFCC is building a deck for safe, comfortable, and attractive outdoor service. The deck will have an ADA-compliant ramp and socially distanced tables with umbrellas.

Sociability and community is at the heart of BVFCC’s mission. With tremendous support from our community in this past May’s Great Give, BVFCC is investing some of the funds we raised in a capital improvement that both beautifies the seating options and enhances safety.

We hope that the project will be finished and ready to enjoy early-mid next week.

Can you rent if you don’t have a monthly or annual member plan? Yes

Anyone can take out movies—not just members with monthly or annual plans. It’s easiest for all concerned if you have a monthly or annual membership—that is absolutely our preference—but you can just rent by the movie if you want. If you do that, it is easiest if you use a card. We are not, however, letting members inside to browse in the interest of staff safety. It’s all curbside.

The curbside hours are:

Sunday-Wednesday: 3-7 PM
Thursday-Saturday: 4-8 PM

We encourage people interested in taking out movies to put your request in in advance by email at orders [AT] bestvideo.com.

DON’T HAVE A MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP? • Now is a great time to become one of the hundreds of households in the greater New Haven area who support Best Video Film & Cultural Center—and get inexpensive access to our incredible archive—by becoming a monthly or annual member. The 1-Movie, 2-Movie, and 4-Movie plans (remember, you can access double that for the next two months) are respectively, $10, $20, or $30 per month in recurring charges. If you pay for a full year at once, you take 10% off ($108, $216, $324). You can join by clicking here.

Cafe now open 8 AM-1 PM seven days a week

It’s great to see our friends back again, albeit that with the masks it is sometimes a challenge at first to recognize you! But we appreciate the masks—keeps everyone safer!

The cafe is open daily from 8 AM-1 PM. Our preference is debit or credit cards for transactions for safety reasons. While cash will be acceptable for tips, the cafe—like the video side—will not be accepting cash or checks for transactions to lower the risk to staff and patrons.

We also ask that all patrons—for your safety and the safety of our staff—observe these precautions:

WEAR MASKS • Our staff will be wearing masks when they serve you. We ask that you respect them by also wearing masks when receiving your purchase. We understand that the masks will need to be lowered if you take a seat to drink your cappuccino or devour your croissant. That’s where social distancing becomes extra important!

OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING IN LINE & WHEN SEATED AT OUTSIDE TABLES • Please maintain a social distance of 6-8 feet between you and others who aren’t members of your household. We know everybody wants to socialize again but let’s do it in a safe manner.

Cafe reopening set for Mon., June 15; Sunday video hours change from 4-8 PM to 3-7 PM

BVFCC cafe manager Matt Elliott and barista Graham Honaker getting the cafe ready for the Monday reopening.

Due to some unexpected complications, we were unable to reopen the cafe this week as expected (and announced). Our apologies to all who were disappointed. But we have gotten the kinks out and our cafe will reopen for curbside pickup this coming Monday, June 15.

Also, the Sunday hours for curbside DVD pickup is changing. Previously, Sunday hours were 4-8 PM. Starting this weekend, members can pick up their videos on Sunday from 3-7 PM. Members can also pick up DVDs 3-7 Pm on Monday-Wednesday and from 4-8 PM Thursday through Saturday.
Starting June 15, the cafe will be open daily from 8 AM-noon. PLEASE: debit or credit cards only for transactions for safety reasons. While cash will be acceptable for tips, the cafe—like the video side—will not be accepting cash or checks for transactions to lower the risk to staff and patrons.

We also ask that all patrons—for your safety and the safety of our staff—observe these precautions:

WEAR MASKS • Our staff will be wearing masks when they serve you. We ask that you respect them by also wearing masks when receiving your purchase. We understand that the masks will need to be lowered if you take a seat to drink your cappuccino or devour your croissant. That’s where social distancing becomes extra important!

OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING IN LINE & WHEN SEATED AT OUTSIDE TABLES • Please maintain a social distance of 6-8 feet between you and others who aren’t members of your household. We know everybody wants to socialize again but let’s do it in a safe manner.