February 7, 2024

MULTI-TALENTED: Reggie Harris sings, writes songs, and tells stories at his Princeton appearance at Christ Congregation Church on February 16.

On Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m., the Princeton Folk Music Society presents singer-songwriter, storyteller, and song leader Reggie Harris at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

Harris is a fluid vocalist, arranger, and guitarist. For over 40 years and nine albums, he performed with his then wife in the Kim and Reggie Harris folk duo, singing of the quest for freedom and care for the environment. The duo were known for their scholarly research and knowledge of both the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement. After their divorce in 2016, Harris found that continuing without the duo was a challenge, but “it was time to open myself to what I could do.” more

DOCUMENTARIES AND MORE: A still from “Between Earth and Sky,” a film by Andrew Nadkarni that was also shortlisted for the 2024 Academy Awards, is one of the works to be screened at the 43rd Annual Thomas Edison Film Festival’s in-person premiere at Princeton University on February 16, followed by a virtual discussion with the filmmakers on February 17.(Photo courtesy of Andrew Nadkarni)

The 43rd season of the renowned Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) will premiere on February 16 at Princeton University’s James Stewart Film Theater with a screening, a virtual discussion with filmmakers, and films available to view on demand, presented in collaboration with the Lewis Center for the Arts.

TEFF’s in-person premiere opens with a reception, screening of seven films, and a Q&A with festival artists including filmmaker James Hollenbaugh, poet and performer Bimpé Fageyinbo, lighting director Gabriel Kurzlop, filmmaker Chehade Boulos, and producer Julia Anderson. On February 17 a livestreamed discussion with the filmmakers will be hosted by Festival Director Jane Steuerwald, Festival Associate and Juror Henry Baker, and Margaret Parsons, curator, emerita, of the National Gallery of Art.  more

Boris Petrushansky

On March 3 at 4 p.m., Altamura Legacy Concerts (ALC) at Princeton United Methodist Church presents Russian pianist and Tchaikovsky Competition jury member Boris Petrushansky performing Mussorgsky’s  Pictures at an Exhibition, paired with Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6.

This concert marks the septuagenarian’s historic return to the U.S. in over two decades. Admission is $40, $10 for students, cash at the door or reserved seating. The church is located on Nassau Street at Vandeventer Avenue. The concert series opens its doors at 3:30 p.m. with a welcoming Coffee/Tea Bar in the venue organized by Illy At Earth’s End. Visit legacyartsinternationa.org for ticket information. more

LOCAL INSPIRATION: Ryan Stark Lilienthal, a short-term artist-in-residence for the Arts Council of Princeton, will lead a community ceramic project working with clay sourced from the site of the Paul Robeson House of Princeton.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) welcomes Ryan Stark Lilienthal as their latest Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence. During this short-term residency, running through April. Lilienthal will work closely with Executive Director Adam Welch to dig clay directly from the site of the Paul Robeson House of Princeton, located next door to the Arts Council. more

To truly break the cycle of poverty, especially for those in the throes of homelessness, an abundance of training and emotional support is required. In conjunction with emergency food and shelter, HomeFront’s 25-plus wraparound services, including ArtSpace and SewingSpace, serve this purpose. These visual therapies can be as vital to one’s recovery as verbal therapy. In fact, HomeFront notes that many clients find it easier to express their feelings by creating with their hands — rather than trying to craft just the right words. more

“PORTRAITS OF IMMIGRANTS”: Works by former CBS News correspondent Betsy Ashton are on view at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, through Easter.

Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, now presents works by Betsy Ashton in “Portraits of Immigrants: Unknown Faces, Untold Stories,” on view through Easter, March 31.

Ashton, a former correspondent for CBS, supported a studio by painting commissioned oil portraits for the rich and accomplished for over 15 years. But she said that the maligning of immigrants and refugees that took place during and since the 2016 election compelled her instead to seek out, paint, and tell the stories of the immigrants that she saw who were not a threat to America, but an asset.

 more

This painting by Jane Conlon Goble is part of an art show featuring works by seniors in a painting class led by Christina Rang at the Center for Modern Aging. It is on view at the Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, through the end of March. “The class and Center for Aging and all they offer are a great way to meet people and exchange ideas,” said Conlon Goble. For more information, visit cmaprinceton.org.

This painting by Debbie Pisacreta is featured in “Local Beauty,” her joint exhibition with Bill Jersey, on view through February 29 in the Bell’s Tavern Dining Room, 183 North Union Street, Lambertville. Pisacreta and Jersey are member artists at Artists’ Gallery, 18 Bridge Street, Lambertville.

The Delaware Valley Bead Society (DVBS) will host The Artful Beadweaver Trunk Show with Jessica Giovacchini on Tuesday, February 20 at 7 p.m. in the Café of the Hunterdon County Senior Center, 4 Gauntt Place, Building  No.1, Flemington. The program is free and open to the public, but non-members must pre-register.

Join the DVBS members and peruse the various types of beads being presented by Giovacchini. Participants will find an array of bead treasures including Delica beads for precision work in a wide range of colors and finishes; point-back crystals for added sparkle; Czech beads including melon drops and rounds, Czech birds, and dahlias; 4mm glass rondelle strands for a touch of elegance; and essential findings to complement their creations.

The Artful Beadweaver Trunk Show will occur during the two-hour DVBS meeting. To register to attend, email your name, address, and phone number to odyssey5@ptd.net or call (908) 246-1231. To learn more about the Delaware Valley Bead Society, visit delawarevalleybeadsociety.org.

STEPPING UP: Princeton University women’s basketball player Chet Nweke puts up a shot in a game last season. On Saturday, senior Nweke scored a career-high 18 points to help No. 25 Princeton defeat Brown 76-63. The Tigers, now 17-3 overall and 7-0 Ivy League, play at Penn on February 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Chet Nweke was excited to finally break into the starting lineup for the Princeton University women’s basketball team in late January after making 76 appearances off the bench, she now feels pressure to be on her toes from the opening tip-off.

“It has been a little bit of an adjustment for me,” said senior Nweke. “Coming off the bench for so long, I was able to let the other people figure out how to start the game defensively and then I will figure it out and see what they are doing. Now it is more important for me to be locked in from the start, having to know the scout right away and how we are defending certain actions.”

Last Saturday as Princeton hosted Brown before a crowd of 2,710 at Jadwin Gym, Nweke was locked in at both ends of the court, tallying nine points on 4-for-4 shooting to help the Tigers build a 29-12 lead early in the second quarter. Never looking back, No. 25 Princeton went on to a 76-63 win over the Bears, improving to 17-3 overall and 7-0 Ivy League. more

ON THE REBOUND: Princeton University men’s basketball players Caden Pierce, left, and Xaivian Lee go up for a rebound in recent action as Matt Allocco looks on. Last Saturday, Pierce produced a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds while Lee tallied a game-high 20 points as the Tigers topped Brown 70-60 to snap a two-game losing streak. The Tigers, now 16-3 overall and 4-2 Ivy League, host Penn (9-12 overall, 1-5 Ivy) on February 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Battling back from some of its first significant adversity of the season, the Princeton University men’s basketball team pulled out a 70-60 win at Brown last Saturday.

The Tigers had raced through their non-conference schedule and the first three Ivy League regular-season games, boasting an overall record of 15-1. Then came back-to-back losses at Cornell (83-68 on January 27) and at Yale (70-64 last Friday), and the challenge of responding to their first losing streak of the season. more

BIG JAKE: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Jacobs sends the puck up the ice in action last season. Last Friday, sophomore forward Jacobs scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 5-1 to Dartmouth. The Tigers, now 7-12-2 overall and 5-8-1 ECAC Hockey, play at Clarkson on February 9 and at St. Lawrence on February 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Getting last week off to a good start, the Princeton University men’s hockey team pulled out a 4-3 win over West Point in overtime on Tuesday to snap a six-game losing streak.

Hosting Dartmouth last Friday, Princeton seemingly brought momentum from the win over Army in the first period as it carried play for the most part. more

NO QUIT: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Remmick Granozio looks to unload the ball under pressure in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior guard Granozio scored six points with three assists and two rebounds to help PHS defeat STEMCivics 67-48. The Tigers, who lost 44-34 to Delaware Valley last Monday to move to 10-9, play at WW/P-North on February 7 before hosting Notre Dame on February 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Remmick Granozio didn’t waste any time getting the Princeton High boys’ basketball team rolling as it hosted STEMCivics last Wednesday.

Gathering in the ball off the opening tip-off, senior guard Granozio raced straight to the hoop and knocked in a lay-up.

“It was a tip to me and then I was going to get it to Jahan [Owusu],” said Granozio. “But there was no one in front of me, so I just went in. It was good.” more

BEARING DOWN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Graham Baird, left, controls the puck in recent action. Senior star and assistant captain Baird tallied a goal and an assist to help PHS defeat the WW/P Hockey Co-op on January 30. The Tigers, who lost 3-2 to Nottingham last Monday to move to 5-10, will start play in the Mercer County Tournament on February 9 where they are seeded fifth and will face fourth-seeded Notre Dame in a quarterfinal contest at the Mercer County Skating Center. In addition, PHS will be playing Robbinsville on February 11 at the Grundy Ice Arena in Bristol, Pa. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Graham Baird is showing his versatility and character this winter for the Princeton High boys’ hockey team.

Starting the season at defenseman, senior Baird has moved up the ice for PHS.

“I have been just where the team needs me, I am on offense for now,” said Baird. “It is good. Before we didn’t have much depth on offense. Mixing me into the offense gave us more of a second line and we are able to produce which is good.” more

THE WRIGHT STUFF: Hun School boys’ basketball player Sam Wright heads to the hoop for a layup in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, postgraduate Wright scored 14 points as Hun fell 92-67 to the Perkiomen School (Pa.). The Raiders, now 8-12, will be playing at Pennington on February 8 in a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournament play-in game with the victor advancing to the semis on February 10 at Hun. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sam Wright has been keeping busy athletically doing his post-graduate year at the Hun School.

“I am doing baseball and basketball all year round,” said Wright, a star pitcher on the diamond and Quinnipiac baseball commit who has emerged as a star guard this winter for the Hun boys’ hoops team. “I am excited for baseball, but I am really focused on basketball right now.” more

ABBY ROAD: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Abby Chirik puts up a shot on recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore guard Chirik scored eight points in a losing cause as Stuart fell 49-25 to Bridgewater-Raritan. The Tartans, now 3-7, host Central Jersey College Prep on February 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Stuart Country Day School basketball team fell 49-25 to Bridgewater-Raritan last Saturday, the squad headed to a classroom near the gym for an extended postgame debriefing.

Stuart head coach Tony Bowman gave his players a clear message as they assembled in the wake of the setback. more

January 31, 2024

Princeton Public Library was especially busy on Sunday afternoon as patrons took refuge from the heavy rain that fell in the area. People share what they like to do on rainy days in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University will be contributing more than $50 million over the next five years to the town of Princeton, community organizations, and lower- and middle-income residents, according to a University announcement made on Tuesday, January 30.

The funds will be supporting mutual town-University interests including sustainability and resiliency, socio-economic diversity and equity, safety and emergency services, college access, mass transit, and municipal infrastructure.  more

“BEDROCK OF THE COMMUNITY’S SECURITY”: More than 40 members of the Princeton Fire Department were honored at the January 22 Princeton Council meeting for their many years of service to the community. In the front row, seated, from left, are Anthony Krystaponis, 50 years of service; John Clausen, 60 years; and Robert “Higgie” Higgins, 75 years. (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Clausen)

By Donald Gilpin

More than 40 members of the Princeton Fire Department (PFD) received awards for a total of thousands of years of service to the community In a ceremony at last week’s Princeton Council meeting.

“Celebrating their unwavering commitment and outstanding contributions to community safety,” according to a PFD press release, the ceremony marked a return to tradition after a hiatus and postponement of award presentations since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. more

By Anne Levin

It has been nearly a century since the first observance of Black History Month in America. Each of those years, the month-long celebration in February has had a theme.

This year’s focus is on the contributions of Black painters, dancers, musicians, and other cultural figures. A four-minute video on the website of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (nmaahc.si.edu) serves as a fitting introduction to the breadth and scope of these artists, who are being celebrated at the museum in Washington, D.C.

Closer to home, the list of events marking “African Americans in the Arts” includes a wide range of subjects — artistic and otherwise. Lectures, concerts, a birthday party for Frederick Douglass, plays, film screenings, even a special African and Afro-Caribbean board game night are among the tributes taking place this month. more

CREATING CURRICULUM: From left, Olivia and Leslie Foundation founder Chris Kuenne, Johnson Park Elementary School Principal Angela Siso Stentz, and Ronah Harris, CEO of Maker Prep and a foundation advisory board member, discuss the foundation’s new integrated math and arts program.

By Wendy Greenberg

A program that uses art to teach critical thinking skills to kindergarten and first grade students honors the creative energies of a family’s mother and sister, who were both artists.

The Olivia & Leslie Foundation has launched an integrated math and arts program that embraces youths’ natural tendency to create, and adds problem-solving skills. While it arose from overwhelming loss, it inspired in its founders, Chris Kuenne and his sons, the desire to build confidence in budding artists.  more

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Thanks to a collaborative, behind-the-scenes effort by McCarter Theatre Center and Princeton University, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine has overcome a funding shortage that would have prevented their appearance on February 11.

By Anne Levin

The February 11 appearance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine was booked for McCarter Theatre Center nearly a year ago. But when war broke out in the Middle East last October, adding to the already existing conflict in Ukraine, it became increasingly unlikely that the orchestra would be able to embark on its tour of U.S. locations — most on or affiliated with college campuses.

A representative of the orchestra called McCarter just before the winter holidays. All of the orchestra’s funding for travel and cargo had dwindled, and they were told by the Ukrainian business community that they weren’t going to get the same subsidy. Navigating in and out of a war zone added to the problem. more

THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE: Volunteers at the HomeFront Choice Food Pantry prepare food to be delivered to hungry families. HomeFront’s Week of Hope, February 12-17, invites visitors to join in a variety of volunteer opportunities and educational forums and to learn how to make a difference where help is needed in the community. (Photo courtesy of HomeFront)

By Donald Gilpin

Diaper wrapping for families in need, delivering meals and supplies to area motels, an art event in Hopewell, a bus tour to learn about HomeFront’s more than 35 different programs, lunch with HomeFront CEO Sarah Steward —during its Week of Hope, from February 12 to 17, HomeFront is offering an array of volunteer and educational opportunities for everybody to get involved and make a difference in the community.

“I always look forward to the Week of Hope as its brings us together with community members committed to making a difference through service,” wrote HomeFront CEO Sarah Steward in an email. “It’s a time to connect, learn, and address the challenges of poverty and homelessness in a meaningful way. Join us by signing up for opportunities throughout the week. And learn more about how you can make a real, tangible impact in the lives of our neighbors in need.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

Today, January 31, is Franz Schubert’s birthday. Born in 1797, he died on November 19, 1828, age 31. Toward the end of that year he was composing his last three piano sonatas and vicariously exploring the backwoods America of James Fenimore Cooper. I’ve been intrigued by this deathbed connection ever since I read Schubert’s last letter, in which he tells a friend, “I am ill. I have eaten nothing for eleven days and drunk nothing, and I totter feebly and shakily from my chair to bed and back again…. Be so kind, then, to assist me in this desperate situation by means of literature. Of Cooper’s I have read The Last of the Mohicans, The Spy, The Pilot, and The Pioneers. If by chance you have anything else of his, I implore you to deposit it with Frau von Bogner at the coffee house….”

For the past week I’ve been reading The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 (1826) and listening to Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata, No. 20 in A-major completed on September 26, 1828. The sonata’s haunting second movement, the Andantino employed so powerfully in Robert Bresson’s 1966 film, Au Hasard Balthazar, has been following me around ever since last Wednesday’s  mist-making Schubertian snowfall. more

ALL BEETHOVEN: The Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra brings works of the master composer to State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick on February 17. (Photo by Vasilka Balevska)

State Theatre New Jersey presents the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra led by Principal Conductor Derek Gleeson on Saturday, February 17 at 7 p.m. The all-Beethoven program includes the Coriolanus Overture, Piano Concerto No. 5, and Beethoven Symphony No. 7 with pianist Ivaylo Vassilev.

In 1945 the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra became the national orchestra of Bulgaria and represents the overall contemporary musical culture of the country. The repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary, including premiere performances of numerous works by Bulgarian composers.  more