First Wednesdays Welcome Page

Last Updated 4/1/2014 4:23:10 PM

First Wednesdays Humanities Lecture Series Hosted by Nine Libraries Around Vermont

2013-2014 First Wednesdays Brochure/Schedule (PDF)


  *** Talk Cancellations and New Dates ***

The April 2 Rutland First Wednesdays talk with Bosnian-American journalist Kemal Kurspahic has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

The April 2 Brattleboro First Wednesdays talk with H. Nicholas Muller, III, retired executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, has been rescheduled to June 4.

The following talks cancelled on February 5 have been rescheduled:

Manchester (with Susanne Claxton), rescheduled for June 4
Middlebury (with Randall Balmer),
rescheduled for June 4
Norwich (with Kavita Finn),
rescheduled for June 4
St. Johnsbury (with Eugene Uman),
rescheduled for June 4

This eclectic lecture series offers talks in nine towns on the first Wednesday of the month, October through May. Topics are varied, timely, timeless, thought-provoking, and fun.

The 2013-2014 season of First Wednesdays begins October 2 at locations listed to the right.  Since its beginning in 2002 at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, First Wednesdays has expanded to nine sites within or near most of Vermont’s population centers.

The free lectures draw nationally and regionally renowned authors, artists, scholars, and public figures who speak on diverse topics before audiences sometimes numbering several hundred people.

All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public, held at libraries and other venues in the host communities.

Here are a few of the new speakers and topics for each site this season:

  • Conductor and pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn on his father Alexandr's writing of the history of the Russian Revolution (Brattleboro, February 5)
  • An evening with Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and bestselling editor of VHC’s 2013 Vermont Reads book, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Burlington's Ira Allen Chapel, October 2)
  • Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR's On Point, on changes in the news and his career as a reporter (Manchester, November 6)
  • Dartmouth professor of American religious history Randall Balmer on the rise of the Religious Right and the life and times of Jimmy Carter (Middlebury, February 5)
  • Shelburne Museum director Thomas Denenberg on the Wyeth family and the legacy of their painting in America (Montpelier, May 7)
  • Middlebury College artist-in-residence Jule Emerson on the costumes of the popular PBS series Downton Abbey (Newport, March 5)
  • Dartmouth professor Russell Rickford on the last years of Malcolm X (Norwich, April 2)
  • Gastronomica editor Darra Goldstein on the history of various foods and their influence on cultures around the world (Rutland, October 2)
  • Linda Tarr-Whelan, ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in the Clinton Administration and deputy assistant for Women’s Concerns to President Carter, on women’s issues locally and around the globe (St. Johnsbury, November 6)

***See communities at right for the full 2013-2014 schedule***

First Wednesdays talks always include a question and answer time, offering a chance for the audience to interact with the speaker. The talks bring vitality and the opportunity for lifelong learning to Vermont’s communities.

2013-2014 First Wednesdays Statewide Sponsor:

Vermont Department of Libraries (First Wednesdays is supported in part by the Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries)

Listen to First Wednesdays on VPR or watch on community television

Vermont Public Radio and Vermont community TV stations have covered many First Wednesdays talks. See a listing of talks available at VPR Presents and on the local TV sites. Listen, watch, download, or find out more information.

 Image: Bean seller, Varanasi Benares, India by Jorge Royan


At Nine Libraries

Last Updated 8/19/2011 11:08:41 AM

Hosted by Nine Libraries

(Brooks Memorial Library)
Essex Junction
(Brownell Library)
(Mark Skinner Library)
(Ilsley Public Library)
(Kellogg-Hubbard Library)
(Goodrich Memorial Library)
(Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society)
(Rutland Free Library)
St. Johnsbury
(St. Johnsbury Athenaeum)
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