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 ~Adult Events ~

One Book, One Litchfield

Stowe Center Discussions

April Monday Scholars

 




 

Monday Scholars:
How Winston Churchill Changed the World

Mondays: 
January 7  through April 1
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

 Click Here to Register 

 

Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines the best of online learning with classroom discussion. Each week a new lecture topic is watched together and then discussed by the group. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate. Join Adult Services Librarian Patricia Moore as she facilitates this discussion. 

Registration is Required

( for more information click on the Monday Scholars Tab)




 

Love on the Rocks:
Winter Reading (& Fun) Program

January 14 Through March 6

 

 

 

Warm up during the cold, dark days of winter with OWL’s Love on the Rocks: Winter Reading (and Fun) Program. To participate, register with us and then we’ll give you a Challenge Card filled with Love on the Rocks reading challenge categories.

You are welcome to browse our stacks or select one of the books we suggest to fill your challenge card. Read books that fit into four romance-with-an-edge categories:

  • Star Crossed Lovers

  • Parents Just Don't Understand

  • Young Love

  • Til Death Do Us Part

In addition to reading, what winter night is complete without some movie watching? We’ll also encourage you to check out movies/TV series that come with a healthy pour of heartache as well as the challenges and triumphs of finding that special love of your life.

For each challenge you complete cross off a square on your bingo card. If you get three in a row or four corners, then you will be invited to our exclusive Chocolate Truffles Finale After Hours Event on Monday, March 11 from 7 to 8:30 PM. (See page 16 for details.)

For your journey, we’ll kick things off with our favorite Love on the Rocks Picks and encourage you to go on a Blind Date with a Book and perhaps with a movie/TV series too.
 


 

Thursday, February 21
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 The ALCAN 5000
with Jeff Wacker & Julia Metcalf

Click Here to Register 

 

 

 

Named after the famous Alaska-Canadian Highway that was built as a gravel road during WWII to supply US troops protecting the Alaska frontier, the ALCAN 5000 is a time-speed-distance rally held every four years with over fifty competitors from all over the US and the world.

Two local residents competed in the 2018 event as a husband-wife team of driver and navigator. Covering 4,963 miles in eleven days and driving a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente rally car, the trip included nearly 1,000 miles of seldom traveled gravel roads. 

Starting in Seattle, WA and crossing through British Columbia, the Yukon into Alaska with stops in Valdez, Denali, Fairbanks and onto the Arctic Circle. Truly the definition of both Vast Wilderness and Small Worlds - our travelers encountered 90 degree heatwaves, wildfires, river crossings, glaciers, wildlife and mechanical challenges!

Hear the story of a trip through Alaska that definitely wasn’t your typical cruise ship tour.

Registration is Required

 

 


 

Wednesday, March 6
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Botanic Garden:
A Live Theatrical Event with M & M Performing Arts Company

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Botanic Garden is a funny, poignant drama about a widow, Kate Goodman, who is desperate to get out of a first date. She turns to the one person who can help: her deceased husband, Jake. Botanic Garden is an inventively constructed portrait of an imperfect marriage between people who always loved each other, even when they didn’t get along.

Scenes shift between the present and scenes from their marriage - scenes that will ring familiar to anyone married a long time. It is a fresh, engaging portrait of the intricacies of a long-term relationship. Unique and heartwarming, this play will charm the audience as it touches them, identifying with the story about the trials and joys of long-term relationships, loss and renewal.

Karen Quinn-Panzer and Frank Panzer, featured actors in this performance, have been performing for many years with the M&M Performing Arts Company. The Company has been producing extraordinary theatre in the Hudson Valley since 2000. With over 75 productions traveling to more than 50 venues in Westchester County and throughout the Hudson Valley and Connecticut, M&M continues to tickle, shock, and inspire audiences, producing classic and contemporary plays and developing new works. Visit their website at: www.mmpaci.com

Registration is Required

 


 

Love on the Rocks:
After-Hours Chocolate Party Finale

Monday, March 11
7:00 - 8:30 PM

 

 

Exclusively for participants in our Love on the Rocks: Adult Winter Reading (and Fun) Program only.

If you participated and completed at least three squares, you are invited!

We’ll be celebrating our success at our Love on the Rocks, After Hours Party!
And what could be better on a cold winter’s night than indulging in some rich satisfying chocolate? Learning to make your own chocolate truffles could definitely top that! Maria Brandriff is a chocolatier and teacher of all things chocolate.

Maria has always had a strong interest in dessert and pastry making, which eventually evolved into a passion for chocolate making. In 2001, she completed a certificate of Gastronomy from the University of New Haven and in the winter of 2004, she took a private course in chocolate making with a professional chocolatier in the city of Arles in Provence, France.

Maria’s presentations include a discussion of the varieties of chocolate available, how to work with chocolate, and teaching the basics of chocolate truffle making through demonstrations with generous samples!

 


 

Sunday Salon
How to Grow Anything:
Food Gardening for Everyone

Sundays, March 3, 11, & 17
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Growing your own food can save you money, help the environment and increase the flavor and nutritional value of the food you eat. Plus, you and your family can have fun and improve your health with this outdoor activity. This course will help you get started on, or improve your existing skills of growing food both indoors and outdoors, no matter how much time or space you have available.

Throughout these lessons, you’ll gain insights into the most time and space efficient ways to plant, tend, and harvest vegetable and herbs. You’ll follow container, elevated, and inground gardens from planting through harvest. Its lessons will improve your health, with both the physical aspect of gardening and the nutritional value of the food you grow.

On video, Melinda Myers is the instructor lecturing this series. She is a gardening expert, television/radio host, author, and columnist with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a certified arborist and served on the board of directors for the International Society of Arboriculture and the Garden Writers Association.

After viewing two 30 minute video lectures, Librarian Patricia Moore will lead a brief discussion where attendees can share their individual plans for creating edible gardens and troubleshoot any obstacles they might have encountered along the way. 

Registration is Required

 

 


 

Sunday Salon
Gardening in Litchfield County
with Cameron Bove

Sunday, March 24
1:00 - 2:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Now that you know the basics, let’s concentrate on how to garden in Litchfield County. We will talk about what vegetables and varieties are best for New England’s fluctuating weather, how to manage pests using organic methods, how to deter deer and other critters, and how to get the most out of our short seasons. This will be mostly a Q&A session but we will discuss certain topics more closely.

Cameron Bove is the Head Horticulturist at Arethusa Gardens in Litchfield. Arethusa Gardensgrows organic, heirloom and heritage vegetables and fruits that are sold at its farm stand and served in many local restaurants including Arethusa al Tavolo and Arethusa a Mano. Cameron has been a passionate organic gardener for nearly two decades.

Registration is Required

 


 

Extreme Poverty
A Talk about Uganda with Karen Pease Marino

Tuesday, March 12
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Join Karen in this talk and slide show that will take you on a journey through Uganda - its slums, its schools, and its physical beauty and abundant wildlife. She will also cover topics very close to her heart: women and girls, Ugandan healthcare, what it means to live in extreme poverty - and the many ways in which we can all help.

A landlocked East African nation, Uganda was named “The Pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchill because of its magnificent natural beauty and resources. It is also one of the poorest nations in the world, with more than 50% of the population surviving on less than a dollar per day.

Born in California, Karen loves adventure. She sailed across the Pacific on a 32-foot sailboat, lived and traveled in Australia for two years, and backpacked solo across Europe. Today she is on the board of the United Nations Association of Connecticut and volunteers for Bead for Life and Street Business School, both of which are based out of Kampala, Uganda. The two organizations help women break out of extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start locally owned businesses. She works as a Senior Art Director at Ethan Allen in Danbury, CT and is happily married with two handsome sons.

Registration is Required

 

 


 

Mars: The Red Planet in Fact, Fiction & Lore
with Dennis Williamson

Wednesday, March 13
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

"Mars tugs at the human imagination like no other planet. With a force mightier than gravity, it attracts the eye to the shimmering red presence in the clear night sky.”
– John Noble Wilford, Mars Beckons

Join Denis Williamson as he discusses the “Mars Madness” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the hold Mars has on popular culture - from more than 100 novels, countless short stories and at least 74 movies including The War of the Worlds and The Martian.

Denis Williamson, a member of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club, organizes the Star Parties hosted by the club at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. He gives talks on various astronomy topics and enjoys stargazing with new and advanced amateur enthusiasts. Retired from a career in the computer industry, Denis spends clear days sailing on Bantam Lake and clear evenings stargazing.

The Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club, founded in 1956, promotes amateur astronomy with regular Star Parties at White Memorial and operates an observatory there with the Mattatuck Astronomical Society. Visit their website at lhastro.org.

Registration is Required

 


 

Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange,
The Woman Who Revealed the Real America
with Author Elise Hooper

Thursday, March 21
7:00 - 8:00 PM

 Click Here to Register 

 

 

 

At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dares to be different. But her choices came at a steep price…Join author Elise Hooper as she takes us on the journey of writing and researching the historical novel about Dorothea Lange, Learning to See. Many of us know Dorothea Lange’s celebrated images but few of us know about her eventful life. Elise Hooper wants to change this, with the creation of this meticulously researched and highly-praised novel.

From Dorothy’s fearless decision in 1918 at the age 22 to move to bohemian San Francisco, determined to make her own way as an independent woman to her decision in the 1930s to take to the road to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor and later her continued rise with documentary photographs of World War II, Elise brings Dorothy’s story to life, moving beyond professional accomplishments to look at her personal conflicts and decisions.

A New Englander by birth, Elise Hooper now lives with her husband and two daughters in the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound. When not writing, she teaches American history and literature to high school students. She’s drawn to historical figures, especially women, who linger in the footnotes of history books yet have fascinating stories waiting to be told. Her previous novel was The Other Alcott.

Registration is Required

A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.

 


 

 

Kilimanjaro: Journey to the Roof of Africa
A Presentation by Photographer Peter Christoph

Wednesday, March 27
7:00 - 8:00 PM

 Click Here to Register 



Join Peter as he takes you on a photographic journey through five climate zones from tropical rain forest to arctic conditions in his quest for the summit of 19,340 foot high Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Peter provides commentary throughout the entire slideshow, and includes behind the scenes photos of how he trained for his adventure!

Peter Christoph is a well-known wildlife advocate, naturalist and award-winning bird photographer based in Lancaster, MA. He has a great respect for wildlife and through his presentations seeks to raise awareness of the need to conserve bird habitats. He has taken a special interest in helping to restore the declining American Kestrel population in Massachusetts by installing several kestrel boxes in collaboration with Mass Audubon, the MA Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the Trustees of Reservations.

Peter is the recipient of many prestigious national and international awards and medals recognizing his photographic talent. He has also published three bird photography books, including his latest “The Art of Bird Photography.” You can visit his website at peterchristoph.com.

Registration is Required



 

Identification & Early Intervention
for Struggling Readers & Dyslexia Awareness

with Dr. Caroline Wilcox Ugurlu

Wednesday, April 3
7:00 - 8:15 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

Why do some children struggle with reading? What is dyslexia? Are all struggling readers dyslexic? What can parents, caregivers and communities do to intervene, provide support, share information and create solutions for struggling readers/dyslexic children? We’ll answer these questions and more during this discussion.

One in five readers will need systematic, explicit instruction. Together we can move from looking at reading struggles as “disorders” to looking at them as learning styles. Reading acquisition is independent of intelligence but our children do not know this when they experience failure. The good news is that we do and we also know how to help and help early so that children don’t experience the sting and sometimes permeant scars that happen when they are diminished because they can’t read.

Caroline Wilcox Ugurlu, Ph.D., is an interpretive researcher, teacher and OWL’s library assistant with a focus on early literacy. She has spent four years studying reading including the neurological processes involved in reading and the sociological, physiological and cultural aspects of reading acquisition and its opposite – failure to acquire reading fluency. She has developed a method to help children ages 4 – 7 break the phonemic code in a fun and playful way and has authored a book on the subject (in publication).

Registration is Required

 


 

 One Book, One Litchfield

 

 

One Book, One Litchfield

Celebrating the 300th
Anniversary of Litchfield
with a Community - Wide Read

April 4 Through May 9

 

 

 

The Oliver Wolcott Library and the Litchield Public Schools have partnered together to create our first One Book, One Litchfield. We will be encouraging everyone in our community from age 9 to 99 to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Along with reading, we invite you to join us for a number of special events about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. See the following pages for all of our special events - and see the Litchfield Public Schools for similar special events planned for grade school children/teens.

All of this is possible because of the incredible generosity and support of Union Savings Bank Foundation.

What Is a Community-Wide Read?

Ever since Seattle started the trend in 1998, the phenomenon of One Book, One Community reading programs has been growing steadily across the country. The concept is simple. Encourage everyone in your community to read the same book, at the same time. It’s a new approach to a basic reading and discussion model, and its ability to create a shared experience of reading among a wide spectrum of people.

We hope that you will participate in our One Book, One Litchfield, and that through this shared community experience, we will all come closer together. As Mary McGrory told The Washington Post in March of 2002, “The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.”

 

Selected Book:

When our team of library and school staff began the journey of planning this, we knew we wanted to select a book that both children and adults could enjoy. We also needed it to connect to the history of Litchfield. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe perfectly fit both criteria. Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born in Litchfield on June 14, 1811, where she lived until the age of 14. She was the seventh of 13 children born to outspoken Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher. Her famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, continues to have appeal to readers of all ages.

About Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S. and is said to have “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War.” In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. In 1855, three years later it was called the most popular novel of our day.

Featuring the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve, the sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.

 

 


 

The Greatest Hits of the Civil War
Performed by Rick Spencer

Thursday, April 4
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

 

 

Enjoy the greatest hits of the Civil War as Rick Spencer performs classic tunes from the Civil War Era- songs and melodies he believes are in the collective consciousness of people today. He will perform them a capella and accompanied by his guitar and 5-string banjo

Rick Spencer is recognized internationally as a scholar, researcher and presenter of music programs based on historic themes. These programs are well-researched concert/lectures with a strong focus on entertainment. He currently is the Executive Director and Curator of the Dr. Ashbel Woodward Museum in Franklin, CT.

Registration is Required

 


 

Raise a Glass, Borrow a Book!

Thursday, April 4
8:00 - 8:30 PM

 Click Here to Register 

 

 

Join us after Rick’s performance as we raise a glass, and borrow Uncle Tom’s Cabin to begin our collective journey participating in One Book, One Litchfield. Enjoy a glass of wine or sparkling water as we give you the first opportunity to check out Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

 

 



 

Stowe Center Discussions

 


 

 Registration is Required for each Discussion Session 

 

Who Was Uncle Tom?

Thursday, April 11
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 

This discussion will examine the evolution of the character Uncle Tom and the term “Uncle Tom,” from their inception in the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous nineteenth-century anti-slavery novel to modern-day iterations. Explore the complicated history of this legacy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in an interactive presentation.

 

From the Archives: Uncle Tom's Cabin in Popular Culture

Friday, April 12
3:00 - 4:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

Learn more about the material culture surrounding the publication and impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the nineteenth century. This is an opportunity for participants to get an exclusive look at images of some of the rarely seen objects in the Stowe Center’s extensive collection and engage in dialogue about how the book was reimagined over time.

 

Her Words Changed the World

Tuesday, April 23
3:00 - 4:00 PM
 

Click Here to Register 

In this dynamic presentation, we’ll explore the life and impact of anti-slavery novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. The talk will cover Stowe’s life - her childhood, family, education, marriage and motherhood - as well as her inspiration to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the lasting impact of its message.

 

The Stowe Salon

Thursday, April 25
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Click Here to Register 

 In classic “salon style”, this will be a conversation facilitated by Stowe Center staff. Connect the past to the present by discussing the effects of institutionalized racism on American society today, and identify steps for creating positive change.

 


 

Uncle Tom's Cabin
A Book Discussion Facilitated by Mark Scarbrough

Sunday, April 28
1:00 - 2:30 PM

 Click Here to Register 

 

When President Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, he said, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” Or so goes the story - which is fully apocryphal, part of Stowe family lore, without a shred of historical evidence, although every biography of Stowe offers up this quote as her tribute. Maybe she didn’t “make this great war,” but in many ways she set the terms of how we think about race even today in our divided America.

In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, we’ll encounter the parameters of how we still think about race. We’ll find one of the best trailblazers of the fate we cannot seem to escape, partly because Stowe’s book helps set us on this journey just over a hundred and fifty years ago.

Mark Scarbrough started his professional life as an academic whose focus was Chaucer and Harriet Beecher Stowe. After several years teaching, he resigned and moved to New York to write. In New York, he met and married Bruce Weinstein. Together they have written more than two dozen cookbooks, and have appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning and The View. His website is bruceandmark.com.

Registration is Required
Books will be available 4 weeks prior to the discussion
 

 


 

 

Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson &
the Story that Sparked the Civil War
Presentation & Film with 
Author & Director Jarod Brock

Thursday, May 9
7:00 - 8:30 PM

 Click Here to Register 

 

Josiah Henson is the real-life slave whose story was the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Author-filmmaker Jared Brock retraces Henson’s 3,000+ mile journey from slavery to freedom and re-introduces the world to a forgotten figure of the Civil War era.

After more than forty years of brutal enslavement, Henson went on to rescue 118 enslaved people, helped start a freeman settlement called “Dawn” that was one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad, won a medal at the first World’s Fair in London, and was entertained by Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House.

Join us for this important community event where speaker Jared Brock will host a screening of his film Josiah, the accompanying documentary of his critically acclaimed biography The Road to Dawn, narrated by the actor Danny Glover. This will be followed by discussion, Q&A, and a book signing.

Jared Brock is the author of the book, The Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson and the Story that Sparked the Civil War a ground-breaking biography lauded by leaders at the NAACP, the Smithsonian, senators, authors, professors, the President of Mauritius, and the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, and will no doubt restore a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.

 


 

 

Mondays: 

April 8  through July 1
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Monday Scholars:
Understanding Russia: 
A Cultural History

 Click Here to Register 

 


Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines the best of online learning with classroom discussion. Each week a new lecture topic is watched together and then discussed by the group. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate. Join Adult Services Librarian Patricia Moore as she facilitates this discussion.

About the course:
The video lecture series of Understanding Russia: A Cultural History will be taught by Professor Lynne Ann Hartnett. The lectures will define - and sometimes redefine - a Russian identity through culture.

These lectures will give you a better understanding of the empire of land and spirit stretching from Europe to Asia and from the Baltics to the Pacific. To do so, we will focus on the country’s intellectuals - the poets, novelists, artists, composers, leaders, clerics, and revolutionaries.

We will also look deeply into the recesses of the Russian mind, from holy medieval icons to the expressive 19th-century paintings of Ilya Repin, from the comedic plays of Anton Chekhov to grueling memoirs from the Soviet gulags, and from the ceremony and majesty of the Romanov autocracy to the Russian baths and daily rituals of the Russian village.

 

Key figures in the course include the 16th-century Russian ruler Ivan the Terrible, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Peter the Great, among many others. We’ll also look at Lenin and Stalin through the lens of their cults of personality and the imposition of a Soviet rather than historically Russian character on the people. In later lectures, the course enters the shared public spaces of the immediate post-Soviet period and the faceless flats constructed by Nikita Khrushchev.

In sum, the course seeks to answer the same question asked by Russians throughout history: What does it mean to be Russian? The answer is multifaceted, fascinating, and continually changing.

About the Professor:
On video, Lynne Ann Hartnett, PhD is the professor lecturing this series. She is an Associate Professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches courses on all facets of Russian history as well as on the social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. She earned her PhD in Russian History at Boston College. Dr. Hartnett’s research focuses on the Russian revolutionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and she has conducted archival research in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and London. She regularly presents her research at international conferences in the United States and Europe. 
 

Registration is Required

 

 

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

160 South Street, P.O. Box 187 Litchfield, Connecticut 06759 | Ph: 860-567-8030 | Fx: 860-567-4784

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