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Upcoming and Ongoing Events

July 2015

July 31, 2015

Building Communities: Mexican American Fast Pitch Softball Leagues

The project is part of "Hometown Teams," a statewide initiative exploring the way sports build and unite communities.

July 30, 2015

Writing War

After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, an impressive cadre of writers has emerged from the ranks of America’s military to put stories of war and homecoming on paper.

July 27, 2015 to September 4, 2015

Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition looks at the remarkable life and achievements of one of America’s most beloved personalities. Besides serving his country as a skillful diplomat and negotiator, Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, humorist and philanthropist whose wisdom and wit continue to inspire and entertain us more than three hundred years after his birth.

July 25, 2015

Zora in the Harlem Renaissance

This program will discuss Zora Neale Hurston in context of the Harlem Renaissance through discussion of: the social, political, economic and cultural factors that produced the Harlem Renaissance.  Harlem Renaissance icons (Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway) will also perform in Jacksonville in the now depleted Ashley Street district.

July 25, 2015

Walt Whitman's Lincoln

In this presentation, esteemed storyteller and actor Brian "Fox" Ellis re-creates one of the lectures that Whitman delivered annually on Lincoln's birthday after his death. These lectures interspersed commentary on the significance of Lincoln's life and work with Whitman's Civil War poems, including "The Artillery Man's Vision," arguably one of the first accounts of post-traumatic stress disorder as experienced by Veterans in American literature.

July 24, 2015

Young Historian Night at the Museum: Hometown Teams

See young adults perform their interpretation of historical figures with a sports connection. The performances are the result of mentored workshops that focus on historical research.

July 23, 2015

Domestic Servants in the Nineteenth Century

Having live-in domestic servants seems like the height of luxury today, but in the nineteenth century, "hired girls" were common in middle-class households in Illinois. In a society without electricity and running water, household chores were onerous, and in the nineteenth century, a wave of immigrants made labor cheap and plentiful. The result was a society that grew increasingly stratified as the century wore on and the social hierarchy became more entrenched. In domestic servant situations, working-class men and women lived and worked side-by-side with their employers yet were considered second-class citizens, often leading to tense relationships.

July 21, 2015

The Harvey Girls' Multicultural Workforce

The Fred Harvey Company not only hired recent immigrants to work in their famous Harvey House restaurants, they actively recruited them. Eventually African American workers became a part of the workforce, and during World War II American Indians and Mexican Americans were hired as well.

July 19, 2015

Roycroft Lecture Series with Timothy P. Schmalz

Timothy Schmalz will be discussing his artistic process and his recent interest and research on the Arts & Crafts Movement and its history.

July 18, 2015

A Closer Perspective: Furthering Access to Native Culture

The Arts Council, in partnership with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, will work to deepen community engagement in an on-going project to authenticate local native culture and provide community access to native arts and culture. A free public lecture/discussion will be at the Bethel Inn to explain the Wabanaki culture.

July 17, 2015

Lewis & Clark & American Indians

While Lewis and Clark were the first Americans to see much of what would become the western United States, those same lands had long been occupied by native peoples.          

Over the course of the expedition, the Corps of Discovery would come into contact with nearly 50 Native American tribes. Quickly, the captains learned how many different definitions there really were for the word “Indian.” The Mandans lived in earth lodges, farmed corn and were amenable to trade with America. The Teton Sioux slept in tepees, hunted buffalo and guarded their territory fiercely against anyone who passed through, whether foreign or Indian. Some tribes had never seen a white or black man before Lewis and Clark. Others spoke bits of English and wore hats and coats they received from European sea captains.

July 16, 2015

Historic Pioneer Trails Through Southwestern Iowa

This presentation on trails of southwestern Iowa covers the explosive years between 1804-1857 for the still relatively new American republic.

July 15, 2015

Robert Frost: The Impossibility of Interpretation

John Ward (Centre and Kenyon Colleges) will lead a presentation on Robert Frost that will provide a true taste of the Maine Humanities Council's programming.

July 14, 2015

The Star-Spangled Banner and the Struggle that Forged Two Nations

The War of 1812 contributed significantly toward defining the identities of the United States and Canada. The many songs composed during the war and its aftermath -- including our own national anthem -- express a broad range of Native American, white American, British, and Canadian perspectives. They demonstrate that perceptions of war and its repercussions can vary widely, depending on one's experiences of them. Skilled guitarist and singer Lee Murdock performs several of these songs and provides commentary about them based on his extensive research.

July 10, 2015

Preservation of the Dress Collection

Learn about a multi-month project to catalog, photograph, label, and preserve the historical society's collection of wedding dresses, Halloween Queen gowns, and early 1900s dresses.

July 9, 2015

Industry and Innovation in Bridgton: Products of New England Culture

Programs will run the gamut from formal lectures to guided historical hikes and hands-on activities for families.

July 7, 2015

Stay On, Stranger - 1876—1962

The story of Alice Lloyd College, a four-year liberal arts work college in pippa Passes, Kentucky.  It was co-founded by the journalist Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd and June Buchanan in 1923, at first under the name Caney Junior college, as an institution to educate leades for Appalachia locally.

July 6, 2015

Hollywood in the Heartland

Celebrate Iowa’s legacy with the silver screen throughout history.  See how Iowa has been portrayed on-screen in films like State Fair, The Music Man, Cold Turkey, Field of Dreams, The Bridges of Madison County, and others you may not have seen.

July 2, 2015

Let’s Talk About It!

A free, library-based reading and discussion program for people who want to talk with others about what they have read, presented in collaboration with the Maine State Library!

July 2, 2015

Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

 On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving.

July 1, 2015 to July 25, 2015


William Shakespeare is the quintessential subject for a humanities program. Born into a culture formed by the great humanists of the Renaissance, he peopled the stage with characters that embody both the glory and riddle of being human.

July 1, 2015

How We Survive: North Dakota Conversations

Presented by humanities scholars and author-survivors of childhood abuse, "How We Survive" engages multiple disciplines to consider one of life's most pressing questions: how do we survive the struggles we face, as individuals, families, and cultures?

July 1, 2015

Writing My Way Back Home (Written works and mementoes from veterans)

Written works and mementoes from veterans that participated in "Writing My Way Back Home," writers workshops that document the veterans' experience.

June 2015

June 30, 2015

Exhibit: The Griots of Oakland

This multimedia exhibition illuminates the brilliance, beauty, and humanity of African American young men and boys. Positioning them as the storytellers and praise-singers of their communities.

June 28, 2015

The Music of Irving Berlin

Learn about great American composer Irving Berlin's career, compositions and importance in shaping American popular thought in the 20th century. This presentation provides extensive musical excerpts to illustrate five periods of Irving Berlin's musical career. Each musical selection is accompanied by discussion of the historical context and cultural climate of the time.

June 27, 2015

Mark Twain: American Icon

Through his characters and stories, Twain single-handedly put American literature on the map. Ernest Hemingway was quoted as saying, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." Mark Twain lived many lifetimes in one, traveled much and entertained multitudes with his particular sense of humor. But that humor was borne on the back of great sorrow and many personal tragedies. He was irreverent, irascible, and had a razor-sharp wit. He is an American icon.

June 25, 2015

Hopi Summer

This presentation portrays the lives of the Hopi people during the 1920s and 1930s, prior to the tremendous cultural changes that occurred before World War II.

June 24, 2015

In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone

This presentation tells the life story of Daniel Boone by putting his life on the landscape and taking the audience to some of the 85 sites spread across 11 states where the life of America’s pioneer hero is commemorated with markers, monuments, plaques, statues, historic homes and replica forts.

June 22, 2015 to July 11, 2015

Working Warriors: Military Life Beyond Combat

About 75% of military work is considered non-combat. These roles rarely make the headlines, but are vital to every military operation. Exploring the non-combat roles of military service personnel, including work as beauticians, military police, dentists, mechanics, and photographers, this exhibit showcases an often overlooked but highly relatable side of military life.

June 21, 2015 to June 27, 2015

Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop

The Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop (AYWW) is a seven-day residential writing workshop for rising 10th, 11th, 12th graders, and graduating seniors.

June 20, 2015

A Story of Service Throughout the Years

This event supports "The 1011th -A Story of Service Throughout the Years," a project to collect and preserve the images of veterans who served with the 1011th Quartermaster Company, US Army Reserve, during deployments to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

June 19, 2015 to August 15, 2015

Behold the People: R. C. Hickman’s Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949–1961

R. C. Hickman was a Dallas photographer whose thousands of images produced from 1949 to 1961 document aspects of life in an African American community in Texas. His photographs depict a community largely invisible to white Americans—thoroughly a part of mainstream America by virtue of accomplishment and lifestyle but excluded from it because of race.

June 18, 2015

The Things They Carried Home

Public workshop, led by a preservation consultant, aimed at helping veterans and their families preserve material related to military service.

June 16, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt: Wilderness Warrior in Washington State

How did Roosevelt achieve so much? In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt made a stop in Washington state as part of a 17-city national tour, inspiring thousands of Washington residents on both sides of the Cascades. The wilderness legacy that ensued from this visit guarantees our sense of place in Washington state today with the formation of national wildlife refuges, national forests and parks, and national monuments.

June 13, 2015

Excess Baggage: Riding the Orphan Train

Excess Baggage: Riding the Orphan Train. Presented by Charlotte M. Endorf.  Endorf traveled more than 8,500 miles, seeking the last surviving riders and descendents to document the real-life stories of the children who rode the Orphan Trains between the years 1854 and 1929. Dressed in period attire, Endorf entertains and educates audiences of all ages about this little known Nebraska history.

June 12, 2015

Aristotle's Email: Friendship in the Cyber Age

In Book VIII of his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle categorizes three different types of friendship: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. The latter, Aristotle states, are the most important, and the rarest. Such friendships of the good require time and intimacy -- to truly know people's finest qualities you must have deep experiences with them, and close connections.

June 11, 2015

Is the Water Glass Half Empty or Half Full? A Balanced Rationale about Dam Removal

Why remove a dam? Is the decision an environmental or economic one? In a state that is rich with water resources, the topic of dam removal has proved to be extremely controversial. With restoration of salmon populations as one well publicized aspect, author and scientist, Dennis Dauble, discusses other important components of the process and the decision of whether to remove a dam. He explores dam removal as both economic and environmental decisions, and also dives into long-term implications.

June 9, 2015

David Thoreson: Personal Adventures and Explorations of the Northwest Passage

David Thoreson tells adventure stories visually, stitching voyages together and along the way go into brief history, photography and landscape, trip planning, ice charts, wildlife, native villages, and changes in the environment contributing to loss of Arctic ice.

June 7, 2015

Trunks and Travel... a 19th Century Journey

The audience is part of the program in this lecture, which brings to life the customs, sights, and sounds of travel in late-19th-century New York State. Exploring the preparations of a wealthy Victorian industrialist and his wife as they get ready to travel, participants learn about transportation modes, rules and etiquette of the road, proper attire, and the era's social expectations. Digital projection enables large-scale presentation of graphics and photos of transportation and travelers.

June 6, 2015

Let’s Celebrate Margaret Walker

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Margaret Walker's birth in 1915, the Jackson Hinds Library System will present a series of lectures during Walker's Centennial year of 2015 titled "Let's Celebrate Margaret Walker: An African American Woman Author of the 20th Century." The series will focus on the literary and historical importance of Walker, her influence on other African American women, and the lasting value of her works.

June 4, 2015

The Music History of French-Canadians, Franco-Americans, Acadians and Cajuns

Lucie Therrien follows the migration of French-Canadians and the evolution of their traditional music: its arrival in North America from France; the music's crossing with Indian culture during the evangelization of Acadia and Quebec; its growth alongside English culture after British colonization; and its expansion from Quebec to New England, as well as from Acadia to Louisiana.

June 3, 2015

The Shia-Sunni Divide in Islam

Former Iranian Ambassador to the UN Mansour Farhang examines the origin and contemporary revival of this 1,300-year-long divide and explores how contemporary challenges facing states and societies in the Middle East exacerbate the animosity.

June 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015

Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890 – 1920

This interactive, multi-site, multimedia exhibit at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport will highlight women’s roles in culture through the exploration of the lives and work of four women photographers who lived and photographed in mid-coast Maine at the turn of the 20th century.

May 2015

May 31, 2015

Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria’s Monarchs

Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria’s Monarchs presents 40 visually stunning portraits from a new series by acclaimed Nigerian photographer George Osodi. Exhibited for the first time in the U.S., these vibrant color photographs feature the regional rulers of modern-day monarchies throughout the country. They provide audiences with a rare and intimate look inside Nigeria’s palaces and throne rooms, capturing the personalities of the rulers, the splendor of their dress, and the details of their settings.

May 30, 2015

Crossing Over: Works by Contemporary American Indian Writers

Let’s Talk About It is a free, library-based reading and discussion program for people who want to talk with others about what they have read, presented in collaboration with the Maine State Library.

May 28, 2015

Civilians of Gettysburg, 1863

Most students of the Battle of Gettysburg, and most of the books (past and present) about the battle, address the military events leading up to and taking place on July 1-3, 1863. This living history program presents another point of view. Ginny Gage portrays Sarah Broadhead, a wife and mother at the time of the battle living with her husband and young daughter.

May 26, 2015

"Muslim Voices"

May 26, 4:00 pm: The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, by Mohja Kahf
Presented by Children's Librarian Priscilla Wenzel and Dr. Andrew Vassar.

May 17, 2015 to June 13, 2015

Fur, Feathers, and Fidelity: Military Mascots

The Seymour Community Historical Society is hosting a traveling exhibit curated by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum dedicated to military mascots. These animals are a source of pride and morale for troops. .

May 17, 2015 to September 13, 2015

The Red that Colored the World

From Antiquity to today, as symbol and hue, red has risen to the pinnacle of the color spectrum.

May 11, 2015 to June 1, 2015

The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition looks at early Texas buildings for information about settlers' visions of community and progress and their accommodation to the physical demands and economic realities of everyday life.

May 8, 2015 to November 28, 2015

Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave ship to Pirate Ship

Discover the Whydah, slave ship turned pirate ship, which sank in U.S. waters in 1717.  Using actual artifacts recovered from the wreckage of the Whydah, this exhibit will reveal the trails and tribulations of pirate life in the 18th century.

March 2015

March 2, 2015 to May 31, 2015

Images of Valor: U.S. Latinos and Latinas of World War II

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition provides a historical overview of U.S. Latino participation in World War II and features historical photographs from the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project archives and contemporary photographs of men and women of the WWII generation by photojournalist Valentino Mauricio.

November 2014

November 12, 2014 to June 14, 2015

Mendes Cohen Living History Character

Come meet the most interesting person you have never heard of!

September 2014

September 26, 2014 to May 25, 2015

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion chronicles the complex history of the Chinese in America, from the early days of the China trade to the history of Chinese immigration and the life of Chinese Americans.

January 2014

January 15, 2014 to December 31, 2017

In Pursuit of Freedom

Exhibition on the unsung heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement