Tag Archives: East Side Freedom Library

Places to go, things to do in March

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light.” Attributed to Plato, (428 BC – 348 BC).

At times it seems that the designation of special months is at best redundant, sometimes trying to cram a millennium of history into a 30-day span.  And yet, it’s good to focus, and so we highlight a couple of monumental issues that claim March as their month to shine.

  • Women’s History is of relatively recent origin. First identified in 1982 as Women’s History Week the recognition gathered momentum and time until 1995 when the topic of women’s history flowered as an entire month.  The Law Library of Congress has actually collected the laws, proclamations and resolutions related to the saga of Women’s History Month.  The National Archives offers an informative – and fun – starting point to understanding the history:  https://womenshistorymonth.gov    Check out the Women’s History Month website sponsored by the National Women’s History Project here:  http://www.nwhp.org/about-2/our-history/   Other sites are sponsored by the National Park Service, the Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Humanities, all of which offer myriad programs and resources that serve as starting points for local groups that need a spark to light a fire under their Women’s History Month plans.

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The calendar of Women’s History Month activities is prodigious – just a couple of highlights give a flavor:

  • The East Side Freedom Library and the Minnesota Historical Society are working together on a special program set for Saturday, March 24, 1:00 PM at ESFL. Objectivity: ’68 to today: Women’s activism: Dolores Huerta.  The program includes a play written by the MNHS Teen Action Group and the examination of historical objects from the MNHS collection.  Focus is on Dolores Huerta, an unsung figure in the fight for equality.  Also featured is an examination of  the intersections between the women’s movement and race, communities in Minnesota and the national context, labor rights and civil rights.
  • Also at ESFL, “Let’s Talk about Hmong Women: Leadership Thursday, March 15, 6:30 pm.  This is the first in a four-part series of conversations led by members of Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together.  Future conversations are set for June 1 (Patriarchy), September 13 (Motherhood), and November 8 (spirituality)
  • At the U of M Walter Library, March 30 – “Make or Break: Women in Technology Rich Spaces” 9:30 AM-11:00AM.  Women from across the U of M campus discuss the topic.  Speakers include Charlene Ellingson, Samantha Thi Porter, Robin Schwartzman and Simone Vuong.  Registration required.

Also at the University of Minnesota:

Lots happening at the State Capitol in days to come, including these events:

Aging with Dignity and Respect: It’s a social justice issue.    Tuesday, March 20, 1:00 PM, East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street NE, Mpls.  Free and Open.  Sponsored by Vital Aging Network.  Register 651 917 4652.

World Storytelling Day (www.globalastorytellingday.org)  is an annual celebration of the theme “If I can hear our story, it’s harder for me to hate you.”  The theme explored this year by local advocates is “Wise Fools: Wisdom on the folly of war.”  Storytelling Day 2018 will be celebrated locally on Tuesday, March 20 at the Landmark Center in downtown St Paul (www.landmarkcenter.org) Six storytellers will share stories reflecting the theme.  The event is free and open.  Learn more about the event and prime mover Larry Johnson here: (https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_post/community/golden-valley-resident-draws-international-attention-to-the-art-of/article_282a7376-1c9f-11e8-83cc-1f20f00f22c1.html

“Working—The Musical” reflects “the hopes dreams and heartbreak of the American working class expressed in the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Taylor and others.  The show runs March 16-18 at The O’Shaughnessy on the campus of St. Catherine University. https://oshag.stkate.edu/events/category/series/working-the-musical/

Opening March 14 at the American Craft Council  – Ani Kasten, artist, ceramist and sculptor.  Details here: https://craftcouncil.org/event/ani-kasten-ceramists-journey

The National Book Critics Circle has announced finalists for 2017 awards: http://bookcritics.org/blog/archive/national-book-critics-circle-announces-finalists-for-2017-awards

Plans are well underway for the 37th annual Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival (https://filmfreeway.com/mspiff)  Focus this year will be on Chinese cinema with films from China to be presented throughout the Festival.

Upcoming on Talk of the Stacks sponsored by Friends of the Hennepin County Library:  Alex Sager on Tuesday, April 24 and Tracy Smith on May 16. https://www.supporthclib.org/sites/default/files/2018%20Talk%20of%20the%20Stacks%20Press%20Release.pdf

“To Be Honest” is the theme of a series of programs sponsored  by The Loft, March through May. (https://www.loft.org/events__programs/thematic_series/to_be_honest/)

Poet Billy Collins hosts a unique resource designed to create a love of poetry with young people.  Poetry 180 offers a poem a day for high school students – the 180 refers to the fact that the project is for school days only. https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/

Some fun links:

Sunshine Week March 11-17, 2018

See also: Women’s history month reads:  https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1186-elaine-f-weiss-what-to-read-this-women-s-history-month?rto=x_gr_e_nl_general&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=march062018&utm_content=bookend2womenshistory&ref_=pe_3097180_272564230
 
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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” *

A recent issue of Access Press overflows with both information and reminders.  Front page information is that Stuart Holland who has managed the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network since 1986 is retiring.  His retirement prompted the newspaper to published a great review of the RTB history written by Jan Willms.  It’s a good read and a good reminder.  http://www.accesspress.org/blog/2017/09/08/retirement-awaits-new-chapter-for-radio-talking-books-holland/

But don’t stop there, subscribe to Access Press online or pick up a free copy at a convenient newspaper rack.  AP is a timely and indispensable source of information about what’s happening in the disabilities community – a tool for anyone who has a disability or who is in a position to share the news with friends, family, patrons, the faith, academic or other community.  So many resources, so many opportunities to share the word!  Much more about the mission, content and programs of Access Press here: (http://www.accesspress.org)

“Feast” is the theme of Interact Visual Artists’  exhibit (https://interactcenter.org/artists/visual-arts/) open through October 8 at Birchwood Café in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. (http://birchwoodcafe.com)  The exhibit explores the subject of food and the relations and perceptions of food and art.  Individual artists assume varying relationships with food by exploring different ethnic foods and approaching the issue in a variety of media and styles.

October 5 – Talk of the Stacks features journalist and food industry authority Larry Olmsted, 7:00 PM at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.  Olmsted’s book, is entitled Real Food Fake Food: Why you don’t know what you’re eating and what you can do about it…. The event is free, doors open at 6:15; programs begins at 7:00 PM

October 12 – The City of Minneapolis is offering a class for group that are interested in creating a cooperative.  Sessions run October 12-December 7.    Details here:  http://webbercamden.org/2017/09/27/city-of-minneapolis-free-class-on-creating-a-cooperative/   To learn more about the history and present state of coops check this recent talk given by Tom Pierson at the Seward Coop –https://seward.coop/posts/1048

October 18 – The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) announces the Autumn Open House, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the historic Crosby Mansion, 2105 First Avenue South.  RSVP by Friday, October 14 at iatp.org/open-house.  Speakers include IATP ED Juliette Major and Tara Ritter, Senior Program Association for Climate and Rural Communities.  Free and open RSVP by 9/14. (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15ed34ccdaf2ec36 .  IATP is also developing a robust distance learning component, including an informative podcast series on NAFTA(https://www.iatp.org/blog/201709/trade-ag-your-ears-our-new-podcast-uprooted)  Take time to explore the many facets of IATP, a robust and timely resource essential in this world of global/corporate economic flux. (https://www.iatp.org/nafta-portal)

October 20 – Insurgent knowledges: Book talk with Damien Sojoyner and Sabrina Vaught.  Sojoyner is the author of First Strike: Educational enclosures in Black Los Angeles (U of M 2017) and Vaught is the author of Compulsory: Education and the dispassion of youth in a prison school, U of M Press 2017,7:00 PM at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul.  Details online.

October 21 – A Resister’s Handbook: A benefit performance for East Side Freedom Library.  Xavier Morilla, described as “a labor leader, activist, podcaster, writer and storyteller” – not to mention President of SEIU Local 26.  Working with Levi Weinhagen, Morilla has created the presentation in which Morilla will share his “wit and optimism” with ESFL supporters at a fundraiser event, 5:30-7:00 PM.  A minimum tax-deductible gift of $25 is requested at the door.

November 2-  ESFL will also co-sponsor a timely presentation, The Origins of the Radical Right and the Crisis of Our Democracy, a talk by Nancy MacLean, Professor History and Public Policy at Duke University.  The event is sponsored by ESFL, ISAIAH-Minnesota and the U of MN History Department.7:00 PM at ESFL 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul, 651 230 3294. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reports on details of the digital divide.  Data re the Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington area are above average, with plenty of room for improvement.  Broadband access in households with income under $20K was 55.5% while 86.6% of 20K+ households enjoy broadband access.

The latest greatest fad at Eat My Words bookstore is Squibs. Squibs are short one-to-ten-page writing pieces – with or sans visuals – described by Squibs hosts as “mini-stories with a beginning, middle and end.”  They can be about any topic that helps get the writer writing.  To follow the EMW muse to a new life of squibbing, join a Squib writing session, Saturdays Noon-1:00 PM at EMW Bookstore, 214 13th Avenue NE (new location) 651 243 1756 or more at www.eatmywordsbooks.com.

Note to out-of-control bibliophiles: Help is at the ready:  https://www.bustle.com/articles/183327-9-things-book-lovers-do-in-the-fall-because-autumn-is-the-perfect-season-for-reading

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As we plunge into the season’s political melee, it might be a good time to catch up on some basics of the democracy.  Following are some tools to help us review and put in contemporary context some of the basics:

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  * Quote from  L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

Autumn Options #IV

Though we haven’t got down to the “precious few” yet, the days are visibly dwindling down.   We need to choose with care from the lure of learning options that wrap up the summer – and prime the mental pump for what’s to come.  Just a few of the opportunities waiting to be explored:

September 23 – April 22, 2018. Renewing What They Gave Us.  On exhibit now at the Minnesota History Center are the fruits of labor of participants in the Native American Artists-in-Residents program.  The exhibit includes beadwork, birch bark and textile artworks by five contemporary American Indian artists including Jessica Gokey, Pat Kruse, Denise Lajimodiere, Gwen Westerman and Holly Young.  Details here: http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/exhibits/renewing-what-they-gave-us

September 27-October 1.  Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/festival-director-shares-stories-of-twin-cities-arab-film-festival-2017/.  Even if you can’t make it to the Film Festival, take time to view the delightfully informative interview with Mizna staffer Michelle Baroody who is responsible for All Things Film Festival.  The link to that interview is embedded on the earlier post. UPDATED SCHEDULE: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15ebe301851de3d9

September 28, 7:00 PM –  Peter Breen of The Bolt Weevils will host an open mic and Tom Kingstrom will play a featured set at Eat My Words, 215 13th Avenue NE in Participants will have a max 10 minutes of stage time. (note new location)  http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events/2017/9/28/eat-my-words-open-mic

September 28, 7:30 PM and October 1, 2:30 PM – Elision Theater’s production of Goblin Market by Polly Pen and Peggy Harman.  The performance, a musical adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s 1859 narrative poem, features the artwork of Omar Rayyan. To further explore the connections between the musical, the original poem, and the historical contact, the October 1 matinee will include a discussion facilitated by Andrew Elfenbein, Chair of the U of M English Department.  Crane Theater, 2303 Kennedy St NE, Minneapolis  https://www.facebook.com/TheatreElision/?fref=mentions

Much happening during coming weeks at East Side Freedom Library: 

  • September 28, 7:00 PM – Closing event in the Women from the Center Series: A harvest reading by Native Writers including Diane Wilson (host) with Colleen Casey, Pauline Danforth, Ruth Denny, Rosie Peters, Tayah Reyes, and Kim Wensaut. An opening song provided by the Asiginaag Singers with music by JG Everest.  Free and open. info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org or 651 230 3294.
  • September 30, 1:00–4:00 PM “Against Labor: A book discussion with the authors of a new collection.” Participants include David Roediger, Elizabeth Esch, Chad Pearson, Tom Klub, Rosemary Feurer, and Peter Rachleff.

September 29-30 – Don’t miss this rare and wonderful opportunity to Illuminate the Locks.  Once again the 49-foot tall chamber of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam will be “re-purposed” – now as a canvas for an experiment in art.  Andrea Carlson’s creative work, entitled “The Uncompromising Hand” is a hand-crafted animation based on six photographs of the island during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  The artwork will be accompanied by text in Dakota and Ojibwe.  http://parkconnection.org/event/illuminate-lock-uncompromising-hand/

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), an ever-simmering cauldron of ideas and energy, whets your learning appetite with these options. Check out the NEMAA website to get seriously informed – and engaged. https://nemaa.org/events

  • October 5 – Overcoming Writer’s Block and Growing from Criticism
  • October 21-22 – Ever tried a rigid heddle? Design your own project at this intriguing workshop

October 14 – Grand Reopening of the Water Bar.  Check out this earlier post. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4157&action

AMVETS Post #5: Photographs by Xavier Tavera. Now on exhibit at the Minnesota History Center the powerful exhibit features color portraits that document the lives of Mexican and Mexican-American military veterans who now live on St Paul’s West Side. The photographs represent the artistry of Xavier Tavera who was born in Mexico City and has lived in the Twin Cities for the past two decades. http://www.minnesoahistorycenter.org/exhibits/amvets-post-5

 

 

 

LBGT History Month: Robust resources reflect a rich heritage

We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny . . . I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history is long, often painful, and fractured.  Though time is too short for a thorough delve into the details of that history, it has occurred to me that this may be the reason we now honor both Gay Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October.

It’s also the reason it may make sense to begin this MPR-produced video – an introduction to LGBT history the video was the highlight of this year’s Gay Pride Month celebration. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/06/24/lgbt-pride-month-march-of-progress.  It’s also a good reason to check this extensive calendar of events and commemorations of that history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_awareness_days

A Big Picture approach to the complex history absolutely must begin with a review of essential resources prepared by the Library of Congress.  One is this amazingly thorough – and accessible – guide prepared by the Library of Congress.  Do not pass “go” – stop here:  https://www.loc.gov/rr/main/lgbtq/lgbtqgeneralguide/pride-masterlist-exhibition-2017.pdf

You’ll want to keep learning, so move on to this backgrounder on LGBT Month.  And now proceed to some other gems, including an informative backgrounder on the history and purpose of LGBT Month (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/) and a great overview of related resources. (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/resources/

The National Archives offers a comprehensive overview of the documents and other archival records that trace and preserve the history of LGBT Americans. https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/lgbt-pride-month

No surprise that Wikipedia offers a substantive overview of the background on LGBT History Month which includes a very helpful listing of related resources – another good starting point to further exploration.  The bibliography is excellent.

With all due respect to the National Park Service I admit that I was surprised – and totally awed, to find their excellent series of series about the heritage of the LGBT community.  It is unique and essential!  https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tellingallamericansstories/lgbtqheritage.htm

LGBT History Month will undoubtedly prompt a host of local nonprofits, professional and educational associations, the faith community and corporations to sponsored related events. Watch the mainstream or social media for details.    A couple of local LGBT History Month events have been mentioned briefly in past blog posts.

  • The East Side Freedom Library will host a special LGBT Month program on September 18. Brian V Xiong Ed.D, Minnesota State University Mankato will lead a discussion of his dissertation in a program entitled “The Experiences of Gay Hmong Men: An Exploratory Study.”  The free and open program is 7:00 PM at ESFL, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. (http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/the-experiences-of-gay-hmong-men-an-exploratory-study%E2%80%8B/)
  • Beginning October 13 through January 31, 2018 the Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project at the U of M will sponsor a major exhibit entitled “In Their Own Words.” The exhibit “highlights the diversity, resilience and creativity of the Trans and Gender Non-conforming community in Minneapolis and throughout the Upper Midwest, through images storytelling, film, and critical conversations.”   One feature of the Project is a special public program set for Thursday, October 19, 5:00-7:30 PM at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, 222 21st Avenue South, on the U of M West Bank.  Free and open; details and reservations here: https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/words-t ter-collection-transgender-oral-history-project/

Finally, a couple of related resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumnal Options 2017 – Part II

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.      Albert Einstein

Except sometimes it feels as if everything does happen at once…especially in the autumnal burst of energy mentioned in a recent blog post.  So not everything got included that post – nor will it be in this one.  Still, following are some more autumnal options for those whose appetite to learn is wonderfully insatiable.

September 15–October 15 – National Hispanic Heritage Month – https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.govDetails in separate post

September 16. 3:00 PM – Pangea World Theatre and Mizna present “History and Theater: How do we tell the stories that have been silenced? http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/history-and-theater-how-do-we-tell-the-stories-that-have-been-silenced/

September 19, 7:00 p.m. –  The Experiences of Gay Hmong Men: An Exploratory Study: Dr. Brian V. Xiong will discuss his dissertation research. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/history-and-theater-how-do-we-tell-the-stories-that-have-been-silenced/

September 23 9:00 AM-12:30 PM. Tour of St. Anthony of Padua Church, 813 NE Main Street, Minneapolis.  Sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  Registration fee.  Contact Kristin Anderson anderso3@augsburg.edu or leave a message at 612 330 1285

September 24-30 – Banned Books Weekhttp://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks Details re programs and banned titles in separate post.

October–LGBT History Month https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_HistoryMonth  – Details in separate post

October 13-January 31.  “In Their Own Words”: The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project.  Elmer L. Andersen Library Gallery, University of Minnesota.  Thursday, October 19 5:00 p.m. Celebration of the Project and the collections, featuring international recording artist, Venus Demars.  https://www.lib.umn.edu/tretter/transgender-oral-history-project

And the list goes on…

September 23, 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  Northeast religious space: Diversity in cultures and architecture.  Minnesota chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  Tours of ethic churches in NE Minneapolis.  Reservations due September 18  – free.  Details and reservations  at http://www.mnsah.org

October 4, 7:00 PM. Author Kathleen Norris will discuss “how spiritual grounding and practice can hep us in this hectic era of fake news and the manipulation of fear for political Ends.”   St Catherine University,  The O’Shaughnessy.  Free and open.  Reserve tickets  –  https://www.stkate.edu/news-and-events/events/kathleen-norris-2017

October 5, 5:00 PM. Writers Workshop: Overcoming Writer’s Block and Growing from Criticism. Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Avenue NE, Minneapolis.No fee, monetary contributions support the Jac Flats honeybees and pollinator garden. http://www.facebook.com/groups/NorthEastMplsWriters/?sw_933460904&fbr_t=…

 

 

 

Things to do during this “odd uneven time”

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.   Sylvia Plath

 Sylvia Plath didn’t know about the Minnesota State Fair – had she known she would have realized that the best of summer is definitely not gone….Nor did she know about the amazing array of options that lure us during this “odd uneven time.”  Just a few of the possibilities, including some that escape the headlines….

Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack is guest speaker at Talk of the Stacks at Minneapolis Central Library on Thursday, August 17.  Doors open at 6:15, program at 7:00 PM.  Free and Open to the public.  Sponsored by Friends of the Library.  https://www.supporthclib.org/steve-sack

To Really See, is a unique art exhibit on display through September 27 at the Minneapolis Central Library.  Subtitled “art exploring the medication-taking experience” the exhibit is presented by Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE.  Learn more about RESOURCE and Spectrum ArtWorks here:  https://www.resource-mn.org/about-resource/

Though the days are indeed getting shorter, the East Side Freedom Library is determined to fill them with a robust series of late summer programs.  All are free and open to the public.

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Looking ahead – Details to follow about these forthcoming activities

Thanking those who were the soul of this Carnegie Library

A collection of good books, with a soul to it in the shape of a librarian, becomes a vitalized power among the impulses by which the world goes on to improvement. Justin Winsor

Putting a soul in any building is a worthy challenge.   In the words of founders of the East Side Freedom Library it is “librarians who brought life and commitment to our historic building.”

And it is those librarians who will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 8, 7:00 p.m. at the ESFL as appreciative community members gather remember and “to honor the women and men who have worked in this building.”

The celebration is part of the ESFL celebration of the centennial of the historic Carnegie Library building, once the home of the Arlington Hills Library.  Read more about the history and evolution of the Carnegie Library here:  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/east-side-freedom-library-gives-new-life-to-carnegie-library-st-paul-neighborhood/

There will be a short program, refreshments and a reunion of library supporters, neighbors, bibliophiles, library lovers and history buffs.  The evening is free and open to all.

The East Side Freedom Library is at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul.  Info@eastsidefreedomlibirary.org   651 230 3294.