First Wednesdays

Free Public Talks at Libraries around Vermont

Rutland First Wednesdays

Venue: Rutland Free Library

10 Court Street Library, Rutland
Library phone: (802) 773-1860
Library website
Directions to the library


Statewide Underwriters: The Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Program Underwriters: Jim Alic, Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund, The Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Phyllis and Michael Wells

Library Underwriters: Friends of Rutland Free Library

Printed Rutland First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2019-2020 Rutland Schedule (PDF)

All First Wednesdays events are free and open to the public!

Wed 06

Photography as Social Justice

November 6
7:00 pm
In conjunction with her 45-year career retrospective exhibition at Castleton University, 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 »
Wed 04

The Other America II

December 4
7:00 pm
Using as inspiration Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech “The Other America,” author Mitchell S. Jackson reflects on his childhood in a poor, black community in Portland, Oregon—where he witnessed drug use, gang violence, and sexual exploitation—and reveals how he transformed despair into hope. Read More »
Wed 08

How to Read a Renaissance Portrait

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Renaissance portraits were serious undertakings, carefully crafted to indicate wealth, status, interests, trade, and family ties of the subject. Dartmouth professor Jane Carroll leads a visual exploration of the messages encoded in these portraits. Read More »
Wed 05

Daybreak Express: Duke Ellington’s Train-Inspired Compositions

February 5, 2020
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 »
Wed 04

I Am a Man: Martin Freeman, Colonization, and Identity

March 4, 2020
7:00 pm
Martin Freeman was the second black graduate of Middlebury College (1849) and the first black president of an American college. But he left to teach at Liberia College in Monrovia, Liberia. Middlebury professor Bill Hart discusses what eventually convinced Freeman that he could only experience freedom, full citizenship, and self-determination in exile in a black republic. Read More »
Wed 01

A Slight Sound at Evening: Why Thoreau’s Quiet Writing Endures Today

April 1, 2020
7:00 pm
Drawing upon Thoreau’s journals and letters, Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine examines the spirituality, inherent and explicit, in his walking and writing life. Read More »
Thu 07

Edward Gorey’s Morbid Nonsense

May 7, 2020
7:00 pm
Critics never knew quite what to make of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the author and illustrator whose picture books full of murder, mayhem, and discreet depravity influenced Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket, and Guillermo Del Toro. In this illustrated lecture, cultural critic Mark Dery reveals the surprisingly serious themes woven through Gorey’s whimsically sinister work. Read More »