Vermont Humanities

Suggested Activities

Painting of two girls in 1950s San Francisco in a corner under a streetlamp
Vermont Reads

There are many ways to approach Last Night at the Telegraph Club as you explore activities to enrich your community experience. They range from book discussions, online and in-person talks, film screenings, and cooking projects. We are happy to share ideas and help in any way.

We urge you to share your events by submitting them via our online form so we can help spread the word!

Attend a Vermont Reads 2023 Event

To support Vermont Reads 2023 we’ll host a series of public events starting in the fall, featuring in-person and online discussions and presentations related to the themes in Last Night at the Telegraph Club. This will include regular First Wednesdays lectures on these topics through May 2023. Encourage members of your community to attend these events.

View upcoming Vermont Reads events

Virtual Exhibits and Tours

Our Online Materials page includes links to several online exhibits related to the book’s themes, including:

Visit Our Online Materials page

Cooking Demonstrations, Classes, and Cookbooks

Food plays an important part in Lily’s community in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Consider hosting a cooking class or demonstration as part of studying Last Night at the Telegraph Club. Or develop a community cookbook, based around family recipes of area residents!

Author Malinda Lo has written about Chinese Food in 1950s America in her blog.


Music from the 1940s and 1950s is central to the plot in the book. Consider hosting or attending a concert, or simply crank up Malinda Lo’s Spotify playlist!

Host a Concert

Green Mountain Swing is an all-volunteer, 18-piece big band that plays music from the swing era such Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and others.

Learn more about Green Mountain Swing

Host a Movie Night

We recommend previewing all films before sharing with your group.


Rocket Building

Lily’s aunt Judy works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Their website provides detailed instructions for such classroom activities as building stomp rockets or soda-straw rockets.

View Rocket-Building Activities

Statewide Events in June and September

June is Pride Month. Here are some events held around Vermont in June, 2023:

Other Pride events

Oral History Projects

Andrews Inn was a gay disco, bar, hotel, restaurant, co-counseling site, and community space on the Square in downtown Bellows Falls, Vermont from 1973-1984. The Andrews Inn Oral History Project emerged from a rich collaboration between Out in the Open (formerly Green Mountain Crossroads), Marlboro College and Vermont Performance Lab.

Consider creating a project to gather stories in your community as part of your Vermont Reads program.

The Vermont Folklife Center offers workshops for those interested in developing skills in ethnography, oral history and cultural documentation. Through these trainings they provide the theoretical background and technical skills for participants to ethically and respectfully explore the cultural fabrics of their home communities and the broader communities of which we are a part.

Contact them at to discuss scheduling workshops for your community or organization.

More about Vermont Folklife Center workshops

Hold Last Night at the Telegraph Club Discussions

We strongly recommend that group discussions of Last Night at the Telegraph Club be led by a trained facilitator from our Reading & Discussion program.

Leading a Book Discussion Page

New this year!

We are offering each Vermont Reads host organization one free discussion of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, led by one of our trained facilitators. Email us at for more details or visit our Leading a Book Discussion page.

Host a Book Discussion Series

Our Reading & Discussion program is an easy, inexpensive way for libraries and other nonprofit organizations to host high-quality, facilitated book discussions in their communities. We provide the books, and trained scholars lead each session.

We are offering each Vermont Reads host organization one free discussion series related to the themes in Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

Related Reading and Discussion Series

Host a Guest Speaker

Our Speakers Bureau provides informative and thought-provoking presentations by scholars and experts on diverse humanities topics. These rich experiences are accessible for Vermont non-profit organizations to present in their community for a small fee.

New this year!

We are offering each Vermont Reads host organization up to three free Speakers Bureau talks related to the themes in Last Night at the Telegraph Club. Please note that the limit of three Speakers Bureau presentations per organization per year still remains.

Email us at for more details.

We’ll be adding new Speakers Bureau presentations related to the themes in Last Night at the Telegraph Club throughout 2023.

Related Speakers Bureau Talks

Silhouette pen-and-ink drawing of the historical lesbian couple Charity and Sylvia

Comics and Queerness in Vermont and Beyond

From Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home to Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, comics have been a part of American culture since print first began. But comics are no longer relegated just to the newspaper. Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Tillie Walden presents a look at the intersection of indie comics with queer identity through her many graphic novels.

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

Rick Winston explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

Black and white photo from Vermont Lesbian and Gay Pride march in 1983

Stories from the Vermont Queer Archives

Objects such as banners, T-shirts, and buttons in the Vermont Queer Archives at the Pride Center of Vermont reflect currents and changes in the lives of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Meg Tamulonis, volunteer curator of the Archives, discusses how these objects mark various milestones, from Pride events to legal rulings.


Libraries, bookstores, schools: be sure to create a prominent display of Vermont Reads 2023: Last Night at the Telegraph Club books and other related titles at the public library, school library, or local bookstore along with helpful information from associated organizations.

Culminating Celebrations

Communities often choose to conclude their Vermont Reads activities with a celebratory event co-hosted with other collaborating organizations. Organize a show that documents your activities with drawings and posters, storytelling and a movie or presentation. These final events are useful for showcasing student work done as part of the Vermont Reads project, recognizing contest winners, or hosting a panel discussion or presentation. Consider singing or playing songs from Latin America during the event!

While potlucks are a fun way to provide food for such celebrations, considering hiring local restauranteurs or caterers from Vermont’s Asian community.

Vermont Humanities*** March 6, 2023