Explore Humanities with Dane County Libraries
African American Writers in Wisconsin: Voices Past and Present
Join three Madison-area African American writers - poet Fabu, novelist Sherry Lucille, and playwright and novelist Catrina Sparkman - as they discuss their poetry and prose in relation to the work of three African American literary giants who also lived and worked in the Madison area during the 20th century: novelist Jean Toomer, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, and poet Sarah Webster Fabio. Experience poetry, prose, and drama that will shed light on what it means to be African American in Wisconsin today, yesterday, and tomorrow through a multimedia presentation about the work and lives of these literary artists and their interpretations of race in Wisconsin.
Participating Libraries: Fitchburg I Goodman South I Hawthorne I Lakeview I Madison Central I Meadowridge I McFarland I Verona
Bard on Broadway
Can you name 19 musicals that were based on plays by Shakespeare? The Bard on Broadway, presented by Heartline Theatricals, features a selection of songs from these shows, some disguised so well you’d never know they were based on familiar classics. In between numbers, a quiz show segment invites the audience to test “How Much Do You Know About Shakespeare?” Shakespeare scholar Sarah Monette provides background information about The Bard’s lasting influence, while a pianist and 6-8 singers lend him a contemporary voice and showcase his work the way it was meant to be: performed live!
Participating Libraries: Belleville I Black Earth I McFarland I Stoughton I Verona
Five Dane County Libraries will partner with the Madison Opera to celebrate the life and impact of Charlie Parker by offering seven free events centered around jazz music, as well as behind-the-scenes information on Madison Opera’s featured performance of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird debuting mid-February. The “Extending the Stage” events include: a multimedia preview of the opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Madison Opera’s general director Kathryn Smith and artistic manager Salvatore Vasta; a lecture on Charlie Parker and the history of Bebop by renowned saxophone professor Les Thimmig; and a viewing of rare jazz films by master-archivist Gary Alderman.
Participating Libraries: Alicia Ashman I DeForest I Fitchburg I Goodman South I Oregon
From Page to Stage with Forward Theater Company
Forward Theater brings the written word of plays to audiences through performances of locally-produced monologues and Play Clubs. During the monologue performances, the audience will have the opportunity to discuss contemporary social, economic, racial, and cultural issues that these monologues have been written to address, through familiar subjects such as love, food, community, and censorship. Play Club is part book club, part performance experience. This program presents the opportunity to explore a play in depth through guided discussion, performance of scenes, and discussion with directors and actors. Participants will gain a new perspective on what makes a play work and how it is brought to life on stage.
Check your local library for program details
Get to Know Our Neighbors: Wisconsin Tribal Nations and Communities
American Indian nations and tribal communities in Wisconsin are a big part of the state’s history, but more importantly, are a part of society today. We want to explore beyond each of their heritages to what our neighbors’ lives are like, how we live and work, side by side, without really knowing who each other is in our communities. We will tie together many aspects of Native life through books, film, food, and speakers to educate and communicate contemporary life of Native people of Wisconsin. We want to look beyond what we think we know to actually exploring people and culture in a meaningful way.
Participating Libraries: Black Earth I Cross Plains I Deerfield I Madison Central I Mazomanie I McFarland I Mount Horeb I Oregon I Pinney I Waunakee
The Horse-Human Connection
Humans have connected with horses on a deeply personal and emotional level for centuries. Participating Dane County libraries will attempt to study, understand, celebrate, and honor this connection in the "Horse-Human Connection". Events will kick off with 13 libraries screening the film documentary Unbranded by Ben Masters. The film highlights the beautiful relationship 4 recent college graduates develop with wild Mustangs as they ride from Mexico to Canada. Following the film screening, local humanities experts will lead a discussion on various topics including "Horses as Healers," "The Connection," and 'The Role of Horses in our Society: Change over Time."
Participating Libraries: Black Earth I Cross Plains I Deerfield I DeForest I Fitchburg I Madison Central I Mazomanie I Mt. Horeb I Oregon I Pinney I Sun Prairie I Verona I Waunakee
This project has expert speakers presenting about aspects of criminalizing American citizens who live in poverty. Subjects featured will be the trends of mass incarceration and the abundance of new prisons built in the United States since the 1980s, the modern day version of debtors’ prisons, the validity and effectiveness of policing and court procedures in low-income neighborhoods, and a comparison of incarceration systems worldwide. There will also be a passive programming event to capture the feeling of the isolation cell experience by encouraging each library to tape off the dimensions of an isolation cell, furnish it with a chair and allow patrons to spend time within its parameters.
Participating Libraries: Goodman South I Middleton I Monona I Oregon I Pinney I Stoughton I Verona I Waunakee
Reel Reflecting: International Cinema & Conversation
Dane County Public Libraries will collaborate with Wisconsin Film Festival (WFF) to provide a breadth of intelligent, provocative, and diverse international cinematic programming, discussions, and activities for multicultural adult, teen, and family audiences. A collection of Wisconsin Film Festival films will circulate throughout Dane County to extend the reach of this partnership to anyone with a public library card.
Participating Libraries: Alicia Ashman I DeForest I Fitchburg I Madison Central I Meadowridge I McFarland I Middleton I Monroe Sreet I Oregon I Pinney I Sun Prairie
Stories in Motion
You may have a smartphone with a cool stop-motion app, tons of LEGOs, and the whole afternoon to make a short film. But, you need a story! The librarians are here to help. Eight Dane County Libraries are hosting workshops that will show you how to create a stop-motion film– from writing a story, creating a storyboard, and finally filming it.
Participating Libraries: DeForest I Middleton I McFarland I Monona I Verona I Waunakee
“The Stories of Fiddler on the Roof” provides a unique look at the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof. The short stories of Yiddish folklorist Sholem-Aleichem were the genesis of the musical, but there are other stories about the creative process, too: the stories of the composer, lyricist, and playwright adapting the tales into a musical, and the story of the director and producer bringing the tales to life on the Broadway stage. This program is produced by Four Seasons Theatre as an outreach component of its 2016/2017 season and draws on the work of Alisa Solomon, author of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof. Tamara Brognano, Four Seasons Theatre Outreach Coordinator, will lead a program that introduces the audience to Sholem-Aleichem’s stories and describes the collaboration of Broadway artists that resulted in the creation of Fiddler on the Roof. Singers and a pianist will perform songs from the show to illustrate the different stories from this iconic musical.
Participating Libraries: DeForest I Fitchburg I Hawthorne I Middleton I McFarland I Mount Horeb I Oregon I Sun Prairie I Verona I Waunakee
Storytellers and Their Traditions: Our Shared Humanity
Storytellers from different cultures representing communities in Dane County will perform one hour programs at eight different library locations and entertain attendees by sharing their stories and traditions. Storytelling is the preservation of history and a vehicle for sharing wisdom, serving as a source of comfort while providing means of entertainment. Storytelling allows us to reflect on not only who we are but also upon whom we’ve been and what we can be, both as individuals and a collective humanity. It spans generations, exists across culture and is as old as humanity itself.
Participating Libraries: Alicia Ashman I Belleville I Fitchburg I McFarland I Meadowridge I Oregon I Pinney I Sun Prairie