Tag Archives: East Side Freedom Library

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 Price 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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Meridel LeSueur’s words ring true at ESFL

A good civilization gives the greatest possible scope to the common passions and makes them intelligible among the great number of people ~ Meridel LeSueur

Meridel LeSueur would embrace the vision and endorse the vision of the East Side Freedom Library (ESFL).  She would no doubt have some helpful suggestions for programs and outreach strategies, but she would embrace the idea!

The feeling is mutual. The vision and words of Meridel resonate in the essence of ESFL In fact, the mission of ESFL is to “give the great possible scope to the common passions and make them intelligible among the great number of people.

Though Meridel died in 1996 her spirit lives, captured in her own words, in the memories of colleagues and in film/video – not to mention in the lives of those who felt her influence. Her spirit is needed at this hour.

To underscore that point, ESFL is sponsoring a Labor Movie Night, starring the spirit of Meridel.  My People Are My Home is a 45-minute creative documentary produced in 1976 by a Twin Cities women’s film collective.  The documentary follows the text of several of Meridel’s writings “woven with images of Midwestern people, especially working class women.  It fulfills Meridel’s vision of making “common passions…intelligible among the greatest number of people.”

Following the film there will be a discussion of the film and of the life and work of Meridel LeSeuer.  The discussion will be led by Neala Schleuning who has written about Lesueur, including for this MNOpedia entry (http://www.mnopedia.org/person/le-sueur-meridel-1900-1996)   Members of the women’s collective that created the film will be on hand to participate in the exchange of ideas.

The film showing and discussion are Tuesday, August 1, 7:00 p.m. at ESFL 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul 55106.   Free and open.

Summertime means time to read!

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by ~~Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

The recent post report notwithstanding, the F. Scott Fitzgerald international conference does not a summer make. When the dust has settled bibliophiles will continue book binge and reluctant readers won’t be able to resist the abundance of literary lures. What follows are hints of the possibilities.  Whether you’re a reader, a good listener, a browser or just choose to hang out with word lovers, you’ll want to keep your eyes and mind open to the possibilities!  The list here is sadly metro-centric and arbitrary – the idea is to suggest sources and inspire creative searches for bookish gatherings that may pop up in unexpected places.

Public libraries and local Friends of the Library are planning close-to-home programs for all ages.  The MELSA calendar is humungous and detailed, loaded with Bookawocky events for kids,  book discussions, music, house history, art, gardening, something for everyone.  Think reading options, varieties of content and the choice of format that fits the seeker’s fancy and device.

More than ever libraries have no monopoly on reading resources and events – the great good news is that book sales are rising, book groups, literary events of every fashion are everywhere – in coffee shops, places of worship, indie bookstores, parks, book festivals  and more.

Following are some bookish possibilities that suggest you’ll find books and reading – local writers reading their books, book art, book discussions, poets, historians, even Little Free Libraries — in unexpected places!  Troll the neighborhood to learn who’s reading or listening to what… consider your nosiness as a high-brow form of voyeurism.

A few events that might activate your literary inclinations:

June 16, 7-8:00 PM Victoria Houston (http://www.victoriahouston.com) The author will discuss her new book Dead Spider at Once Upon a Crime Bookstore, 604 W 26th Street, , Minneapolis. Doors open at 6:30.

June 17, 2 PM.  History Comes Alive: Emily O. Goodridge Grey.  Emily O. Goodridge Grey was an African American social activist, pioneer and abolitionist in Minnesota during the 19th century.  Hosmer Library. 347 E 36th St, Minneapolis  This is just one in a robust series of History Comes Alive programs, stories of African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. The series is developed by Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center.(https://www.facebook.com/MAAMCC/

June 17, 10 AM.  Joel Katz, author of From Footpaths to Freeways, Minneapolis Central Library.  Katzwill discuss the history of highway development in Hennepin County and around the state.  His talk will trace Minnesota’s road and street systems, how they developed in pre-statehood times in the 1840’s to today.  Katz will also talk about classifications, construction, maintenance, traffic control, safety congestion, bridges and the interstate system.  Sponsored by Friends of Minneapolis Central Library.

June 17, 3 PM. David Sedaris and Ariel Levy, Common Good Books.  The authors will read and sign their new books:  Sedaris’ Theft by Finding and Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply. http://www.commongoodbooks.com/event/common-good-books-hosts-david-sedaris-ariel-lev

June 21. All day. Book it to the parks!  To celebrate the 50th anniversary of MPR the Minneapolis Foundation is donating 50 Little Free Libraries to Minneapolis Parks.  Local writers will be reading from their children’s books at city parks throughout the day.  For a full list of parks and readings check here: https://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/bookit/

June 25, Open Mic Night at Coffee House Northeast, 2852 Johnson in Northeast Minneapolis– 5:45-8:30 PM.  This is one of countless  summertime open mic possibilities –  For a full list of Open Mic events check here: http://openmikes.org/calendar/MN

June 16 7 PM.  Heid E. Erdrich Eat My Words, 1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis. Learn more about Heid Erdrich here:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/heid-e-erdrich 

June 17, 2 PM David Housewright, What the Dead Leave Behind.(https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/rosemary-simpson/what-dead-leave-behind/) Valley Bookseller, Stillwater. 

June 22, 7 PM. East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. Norah Murphy reads from her book White Birch, Red Hawthorn: A MemoirThe story of the author’s ancestors’ maple grove, home of Dakota, Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk who were dispossessed when the Irish arrived, the story of the author’s search for the connections between the contested land and the communities who call it home.  Part of the ESFL’s monthly “Women from the Center Reading Series.”

Friday, June 22, 7 PM Kevin Kuhn: Do you realize? A Novel.  Eat My Words, 1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis https://www.evensi.us/kevin-kuhndo-you-realize-a-novel-eat-my-words-bookstore/212898374

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You get the idea — These are June happenings only.  During the summer months Minnesotans will take part in these and a zillion other book/reading/word events.  To know what’s happening in your community,  keep checking these current – and complementary – calendars.  Each posts literary happenings set in bookstores, parks, coffee shops and wherever people who dare to share ideas gather.

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge;

it is thinking that makes what we read ours. John Locke

Escaping Anxiety This Summer of Our Discontent

By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something about the world.  Umberto Eco


In this summer of our discontent we have a sense that control has been wrested from our hands.  One way to be sure that we are not reduced by the situation in which we find ourselves is to explore our options – especially ideas and events that expand our thinking beyond the harsh reality of the day.  Here are just of few of the creative mind-refreshing events happening this summer – the tip of a mighty learning iceberg (which, unlike physical icebergs, is not melting as a result of human stupidity.) Clearly the major institutions have promoted grand events, exhibits, openings and more.  Following are just a just a very few of the initiatives with a bookish connection that may be slipping through the promotional cracks.  There’s no intent to be inclusive, simply to suggest that readers be on the lookout for escape routes from anxiety!

The 2017 Book Art Biennial.  “Shout Out: Community Intervention, Independent Publishing, and Alternative Distribution” is the theme of this biennial event.  Expect programming that “encourages people of all disciplines and skill levels to amplify individual and collective voice through grassroots artistic practice.” The centerpiece of the Book Art Biennial is the presentation of the MCBA Prize, a unique award that showcases and honors the best artists’ books in the world. The winner will be announced at a gala and awards ceremony the evening of Saturday, July 22. (http://www.mnbookarts.org/biennial)

Registration is open through June 11 for exhibitors at the Thirteenth Annual Twin Cities Zine Fest set for September 24 2017.   The Free For All Zine Lounge is now open through August 13 at Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Avenue South.  Sponsored by the Twin Cities Zine Fest (http://tczinefest.org)

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. June 12 (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM) Minneapolis Central Library. IBé, Bao Phi and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria as they read their essays from the timely book, “A Good Time for the Truth.” This collection from 16 local writers features reflective essays on life as a person of color in Minnesota. Q&A will follow the reading hosted by the editor Sun Yung Shin. Registration is encouraged and can be done here. (https://www.facebook.com/events/1761221477450326/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22ref_newsfeed_story_type%22%3A%22regular%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%22117%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D)

The East Side Freedom Library continues its monthly collaboration with A Greener Read Bookstore.  On June 16th the theme is “Storytelling through Vinyl and Film” Gather at 5:00 at the Bookstore, 506 Kenny Road in St. Paul, for happy hour and listening to music.  Focus will be on South African “kwaito” music, a blend of traditional South African forms and hip hop. ESFL will also continue their Women from the Center Reading Series, featuring the work of Midwest writers from diverse communities who support one another as they “write their truths.   Writers on the fourth Thursdays of the summer months include these:   June 22: Norah Murphy (White Birth, Red Hawthorn: A Memoir), July 27: Marcie Rendon (Murder on the Red River), August 24: Carolyn Holbrook (Earth Angels).  In fact, ESFL sponsors a robust summer programs overflowing with ideas and energy. ESFL is at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul 55106. Check the full schedule here: (http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org)

On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries  a gift from the Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day. Book It to the Parks!  (http://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/bookit/)

Silverwood Park, in the far Northeast corner of Hennepin County, is one of the mighty county’s lesser known havens for creative expression of every sort.  Focus is on the talents of local and emerging artists. Silverwood Onstage is the summer series of amphitheater programs that include Wednesday night concerts, movies and a mixed bag of performances. For details on the diverse selections click here:   (https://www.threeriversparks.org/page/silverwood-onstage)

If you’re not already in a book group, you might want to join one of the several sponsored by the Minnesota Women’s Press.  To learn more, click here:  http://womenspress.com/main.asp?SectionID=10&SubSectionID=36&ArticleID=38&TM=62697.43

When’s the last time you reached out to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar bookstore?  Here are some possibilities that will welcome you with open tomes:   (https://www.newpages.com/independent-bookstores/minnesota-bookstores)

My favorite indie, Eat My Words, is moving up the road a piece this summer – still in Northeast Minneapolis.  More in a related blog post.   Meanwhile, the EMW calendar indicates more, not fewer, events.  Proprietor Scott VanKoughnett  confirms that event attendees will not be asked to tote armloads of books to the new site.  Click here for an interview with EMW Scott  VanKoughnett::  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tumRr08qkrc)

Traveling this summer?  The American Writers Museum, the gift of retired executive Malcolm O’Hagan and other donors, opened May 16 in Chicago.  (http://americanwritersmuseum.org)

Closer to home, you might want to check out the SoMN, a network of southern Minnesota history museums.  (http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/5-must-see-museums-in-southern-minnesota/)

For the motherlode of ideas for summer escapes explore with the editors of Explore Minnesota their “bucket list” of possibilities!       (http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/your-2017-minnesota-bucket-list/)