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Posted: June 15, 2018 New 2-Part American Experience Documentary THE CIRCUS Premieres October 8-9 on PBS
Broadway World

"The Circus,"a four-hour, two-part documentary, explores the colorful history of this popular, influential and distinctly American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time. Written, directed and produced by Sharon Grimberg and executive produced by Mark Samels, "The Circus" premieres on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Monday and Tuesday, October 8-9, 2018,9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.

A transformative place for reinvention, where young women could become lion tamers and young men traveled the world as roustabouts, THE CIRCUS allowed people to be liberated from the roles assigned by society and find an accepting community that had eluded them elsewhere. Drawing upon a vast and richly visual archive and featuring a host of performers, historians and aficionados, "The Circus" brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town, its stars were among the most famous people in the country, and multitudes of Americans gathered to see the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular.

"There's nothing in the world like a circus," said ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson. "You cannot come to a circus and still believe as you previously did. Circus is a peek into what we could be, how great we could be, how beautiful our world could be. It's about making your own miracles, conjuring your own miracles.

Major funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance, Consumer Cellular and by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for "The Circus" provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Additional funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, The Documentary Investment Group: Burton D. and Gloria Rose, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

Posted: June 15, 2018 Libraries celebrate Juneteenth in Kenton and Humboldt
Star News

Two local library branches plan special events to celebrate Juneteenth, sometimes called Independence Day or Freedom Day, especially in African American communities.

It commemorates the arrival of Union soldiers in Texas on June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, when they announced that slavery was abolished in Texas and other Confederate states.

From 2-4 p.m. June 17, the history of Juneteenth, early literacy and stories from Eva Abrams of Rainwater Storytelling will be featured at the Kenton Library, 8226 N. Denver Ave. Kenton also will have family crafts, books, prizes and light refreshments.

The North Portland Library, 512 N. Killingsworth St., will have a program of words and music from 3-4:30 p.m. June 17. Events at both branches are supported by The National Endowment for the Humanities and The Library Foundation.

Posted: June 15, 2018 Lecture series: 500 years of maritime Florida
Historic City News

St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum informed local Historic City News reporters that an archaeological speakers series will be held beginning this month and running through March 2019.

Thanks to a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: June 14, 2018 78 indigenous languages are being saved by optical scanning tech
Fast Company

Like in countless science-fiction stories, researchers at UC Berkeley are using futuristic technology to save a piece of the past. Project IRENE is using cutting-edge optical scan technology to transfer and digitally restore recordings of indigenous languages, many of which no longer have living speakers, Hyperallergic first reported.

The recordings were gathered between 1900 and 1938 when UC anthropologists asked native speakers of 78 indigenous languages of California to record their songs, histories, prayers, and vocabulary on wax cylinders. Many of those cylinders are housed at Berkeley’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and they are in a state of disrepair, degraded and broken. It’s a frustrating state of affairs, as many of the languages recorded on the cylinders have fallen out of use or are no longer spoken at all.

The “Documenting Endangered Languages” initiative, which has support from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, is hoping to save this important history.

Posted: June 14, 2018 Berkshire Immigrant Stories Exhibit: 'It's so important that we tell these stories'
The Berkshire Eagle

An intricately engraved silver bracelet. A Peruvian paratrooper pin. Family recipes and photographs of loved ones left behind but not forgotten. These are among the things people living in the Berkshires have carried with them through their journeys to the United States from homes abroad.

This month, photos of these objects and the narratives behind them are on display in the "Berkshire Immigrant Stories Exhibit" at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.  Collected over the past year and a half, they can also be seen and read in an online archive, "Your Story, Our Story," developed by the Tenement Museum of New York, under the category of Berkshire Immigrant Stories. The local entries were gathered through a grant-funded initiative based at Berkshire Community College.

"The stories here on the walls are very personal and also energizing," said Antonia "Toni" Buckley, Berkshire Immigrant Stories project coordinator.  After this month, Buckley said the grant funding from the Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which supported the collection and exhibition of the local immigrant stories, will not be renewed. But, she said, she is hopeful that the efforts to at least grow the online gallery of Berkshire Immigrant Stories will continue, and continue to be shared.