About the Vermont Humanities Council

Because Ideas Matter

First Wednesdays Lecture Series Begins September 27

Image of 2017-2018 First Wednesdays bookletThe Vermont Humanities Council’s popular First Wednesdays statewide lecture series begins a new season of diverse talks with renowned scholars this fall. New Yorker humorist and writer Calvin Trillin kicks off the season on the special date of September 27 with his talk “The Writing Life” at UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington. The schedule gets fully underway a week later, on October 4, when eight other First Wednesdays locations hold talks on topics ranging from The Beatles to FDR’s New Deal to the musical “Hamilton.”

Other speakers on the 2017-2018 First Wednesdays schedule include cartoonist Alison Bechdel, Pulitzer-winning historian Douglas Blackmon (who will present two talks), NPR’s Robert Siegel, and New York University professor Martha Hodes. And First Wednesdays welcomes the return of former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Pulitzer-winning author David Hackett Fischer, among many others.

First Wednesdays is a free monthly lecture series that runs October through May at 7:00 pm on the first Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise noted. The program offers regular free lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of people in Vermont communities, and gives audience members the opportunity to engage the speaker during a question-and-answer period following each talk. The series draws 6,000-7,000 attendees each season.

First Wednesdays takes place in Brattleboro (Brooks Memorial Library); Essex Junction (Brownell Library); Manchester (First Congregational Church, hosted by Manchester Community Library); Middlebury (Ilsley Public Library); Montpelier (Kellogg-Hubbard Library); Newport (Goodrich Memorial Library); Norwich (Norwich Congregational Church, hosted by Norwich Public Library and the Norwich Historical Society); Rutland (Rutland Free Library); and St. Johnsbury (St. Johnsbury Athenaeum).

See the complete First Wednesdays schedule.

VHC thanks the statewide supporters of First Wednesdays: the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation, the National Life Group Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries. VHC also thanks the libraries and local businesses who support the program.

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life. Because Ideas Matter.