First Wednesdays

Free Public Talks at Libraries around Vermont

Upcoming First Wednesdays Talks

View a list of next month’s First Wednesdays talks below. See a full list of First Wednesdays talks by date.

Wed 05

Building Monticello

February 5
7:00 pm
Jefferson never knew the Monticello of today—in perfect condition, impeccably furnished. Dartmouth College senior lecturer Marlene Heck explains the lifelong project Jefferson called his “essay in architecture.” Read More »
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Wed 05

Love and Rockets and Alternative Comics

February 5
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
The 1980s comics movement offered an alternative to earlier mainstream superhero comics with groundbreaking works like Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez’s series Love and Rockets. Middlebury professor Enrique Garcia discusses the importance of this series and how its use of irony, parody, and nostalgia play with readers’ notions of race, ethnicity, and gender. Read More »
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Wed 05

Photography as Social Justice

February 5
7:00 pm
In conjunction with her retrospective exhibition at Catamount Arts, Dona Ann McAdams sits down with curator John Killacky to discuss her work, and shows her empathetic black-and-white portraits of performing artists, AIDS activists, political protests, people living with schizophrenia, Appalachian farmers, cloistered nuns, and others. Read More »
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Wed 05

Daybreak Express: Duke Ellington’s Train-Inspired Compositions

February 5
7:00 pm
Reuben Jackson, jazz scholar and former host of VPR’s Friday Night Jazz, shares some evocative Ellington recordings and discusses Ellington's love for trains and the role they played in his orchestra's work in the then-segregated United States. Read More »
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Wed 05

Stories about Composing Music

February 5
7:00 pm
Accompanied by recorded and live performances, musician and UVM professor Patricia Julien discusses the interplay between words and music, and the ways in which literature has influenced the process of her music composition. Read More »
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Wed 05

Little Kids, Big Impact

February 5
7:00 pm
For kids, the benefits of early education are obvious: 90% of the brain develops by age five. But the impact goes beyond just children; access to early education is Vermont’s most significant social and economic opportunity. Aly Richards, CEO of Let’s Grow Kids, discusses ways that early education both helps kids and strengthens communities. Read More »
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Wed 05

When the Bicycle Came to Vermont

February 5
7:00 pm
UVM professor Luis Vivanco explores the fascinating early history of the bicycle in Vermont, an invention that generated widespread curiosity when it arrived in the 1880s—helping spark important changes in industrial production, consumerism, road policies, gender relations, and cultural ideas. Read More »
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Wed 05

Refugee Theater: Kurdish and Yazidi Women Speak Out

February 5
7:00 pm
Rojava, a revolutionary experiment in Kurdish Syria, attempts to create an inclusive democracy safe from ISIS, Turkish incursion, and Syria’s civil war. Smith College professor Ellen W. Kaplan discusses the process of interviewing women, activists, refugees, and fighters from the Rojava region, and transforming their experiences into theater. Read More »
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Wed 05

Honoring the 19th Amendment through Word and Song

February 5
7:30 pm
In this Farmers Night program commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Marlboro College professor Meg Mott leads a dialogue on the history and meaning of the 19th Amendment. Meg will be accompanied by Wesleyan University scholar and composer Neely Bruce conducting the State House Singers in his original choral arrangement of the Bill of Rights, along with the premiere of his 19th Amendment composition. Read More »
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