Some issues facing New London are getting top billing this week on New London Main Street’s events calendar.
Your first chance to contribute to a community conversation comes at 7 p.m. tonight, when an ongoing workshop on the revitalization of Hodges Square meets at the Old Town Mill. Sponsored by New London Landmarks and led by Art Costa, these discussions look to capitalize on the neighborhood’s strength and bring new ideas on improvements to the table. On Thursday, Kristen Przyborski, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Mitchell College, leads a discussion on erosion and coastal changes wrought by Hurricane Sandy. This starts with a 6:30 p.m. reception at the Custom House Maritime Museum, and admission is free to New London Maritime Society members and $7 for all others. Eastern Connecticut Urban Professionals holds a holiday mixer and networking get-together at 5 p.m. on Friday. The event is free, but attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or food item for donation to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center.
This season means some special concerts aren’t hard to come across, and this week marks the return of a New London holiday tradition. The Nutcracker, a New London-themed version of the classic put on by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet, takes the stage at the Garde Arts Center at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday; tickets are $35 to $45 for adults and $21 to $28 for children. The Coast Guard Band offers to chances to catch their free holiday concert, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday at Leamy Hall.
Finally, a few art exhibits are open through this week and beyond. A Miniature Show includes smaller works designed to be affordable gifts and is on display through Dec. 31 at The Gallery at Firehouse Square. Chromophilia, featuring works by Ashleigh Kay, is on display at Spirit Gallery through Jan. 19. And Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s exhibit of “Dinotopia” illustrations will be up through Feb. 2.