Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities, through a variety of formats tailored to the subject at hand: lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more. Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and registration in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Saturday, February 23, 2019Thursday, November 14, 2019
A series of public programs examining the legacy of the 1919 Chicago race riots
Held at locations across Chicago
Chicago’s 1919 race riots barely register in the city’s current consciousness, yet they were a significant turning point in shaping the racial divides we see today.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's September Meeting
We are delighted to start our new program year with Dr. Andrew Johnston of the Adler Planetarium. As the Adler’s Vice President for Astronomy and Collections, Dr. Johnston oversees astronomy research, collections care, and history research. His presentation will take us across the cosmos for a history of astronomical observations and celestial cartography.
Friday, September 20, 2019Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Exhibitions
Often called “the Heartland” or “flyover country,” the Midwest tends to be characterized as a homogeneous, barren space between the American coasts. This exhibition challenges the assumptions, stereotypes, and persistent narratives about the Midwest, exploring the confluence of peoples and environmental conditions that has defined the region and made it unique.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Eve Ewing and Kenneth Warren
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
What words come to mind when you think about Chicago? How did poets and writers in this city develop a voice and a language distinct to the city?
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
For the last year the Newberry has led a year-long NEH-funded initiative to heighten the 1919 Chicago Race Riots in the city’s collective memory, engaging Chicagoans in public conversations about the legacy of the most violent week in Chicago history.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
The Forum building was built in 1897 by the architect Samuel A. Treat and contains possibly the oldest hardwood ballroom dance floor in Chicago. This imposing red brick building played a significant role in Bronzeville’s cultural scene by hosting performances of music luminaries and providing space for civic groups and political meetings.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Conversations at the Newberry
Rick Kogan and Carol Marin
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Rick Kogan and Carol Marin discuss the broad contours of historical and contemporary journalism in Chicago and reflect on their own experiences as television, radio, and print reporters. They will explore such questions as: What is the state of news in Chicago today? What has Chicago news become, and where is it headed?
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Simon Balto and Laurence Ralph
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join us for a Meet the Author event with Simon Balto and Laurence Ralph, who will converse about their latest work on police violence in Chicago.
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Opening Symposium
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
How can we define “the Midwest”? Is it a delimited geographic region? Does a Midwestern identity exist? What can region tell us that urban/rural or state divides do not?
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
First Nations Film and Video Festival
Mekko, Directed by Sterlin Harjo 2015 - Drama/Thriller Run Time: 1h 27 m
Thursday, October 10, 2019Friday, October 11, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; registration required
This conference explores the development, use, and afterlife of religious libraries in the Americas.
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep No more; and, by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
An Event in Celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day and the International Year of Indigenous Languages
What do we consider a “Midwestern Indigenous Language?” Is it an Indigenous language that was spoken here in the past, present, or both, and what does this tell us about ongoing connections Indigenous peoples hold to land within this geography? What kinds of education and revitalization efforts are being led by Indigenous peoples whose languages are connected to the Midwest?
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's October Meeting
Please join us for a special presentation at the Newberry Library to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt’s birth. In conjunction with the Chicago Sister Cities International program, this meeting will feature a keynote presentation by Prof. Laura Dassow Walls, as well as a sneak peek of the new documentary on von Humboldt, La mirada del explorador.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Meet the Author
Lee Bey in Conversation with Amanda Williams
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join us for a Meet the Author event with photographer Lee Bey and artist Amanda Williams, who will discuss Bey’s latest book, Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side.
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Colonial History Lecture Series: Mark Peterson
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Mark Peterson reframes Boston’s early history as the story of the development of an autonomous city-state in the colonial period.
Thursday, November 7, 2019Saturday, November 9, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
1919 was a year of heightened map production around the world. ‎Among the many maps produced immediately after the First World War were new maps drawn to preserve the peace. These maps reflect the instability and the experimentation of a world attempting to solve the problems that had led to four years of devastating war.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Andrew Sandoval-Strausz
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join us for a Meet the Author event with Andrew Sandoval-Strausz, who will discuss his latest book, Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's November Meeting
It’s all about “Location, Location, Location” and the word ‘Chicago’ has referred to at least three geographic locations, multiple rivers and creeks, and two portage routes, begging the question, What if our Chicago isn’t really Chicago?
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Jill Metcoff and Mike Mossman
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Jill Metcoff and Mike Mossman will discuss their shared fascination with the Midwestern prairie and the use of intentional fires in maintaining the Midwestern landscape and ecosystem. Bringing together photography, conservation biology, ecology, and personal history, their interdisciplinary work celebrates the union of visual art and scientific method.
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Conversations at the Newberry
Tiya Miles and Kirstin Hoganson
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Tiya Miles and Kristin Hoganson reflect on the idea of “The Midwest as Place.”
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Chicago's Architectural History in Print
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join Chicago architecture aficionados Robert Bruegmann, Kim Coventry, John Ronan, and Pauline Saliga to discuss the significant architecture and urban design projects profiled in Chicago by the Book:101 Publications that Shaped the City and Its Image.
Saturday, December 14, 2019
A theatrical reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join us for a special holiday-themed morning, with traditional carols, a special holiday performance, and free hot chocolate and treats.
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's December Meeting
We hope that you will join us for our annual Holiday Gala, which will feature an especially full smorgasbord of holiday treats for your dining and drinking pleasure. We will continue our tradition of pairing this party with our “Members’ Night,” which allows our members to showcase a special item in their personal collections.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's January Meeting
Take a trip around the planet to discover the cultural and historical backstories behind some of the most unusual international and interstate borders on the map!
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's March Meeting
George Ritzlin, a founding member of the Chicago Map Society, will return with the second half of his two-part presentation on map collecting. In his first presentation, George explained how to determine the authenticity of an antique map and explored the process of paper production, printing, coloring and atlas assembly.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
The Chicago Map Society's April Meeting
Please join us for a special joint presentation between the Chicago Map Society and The Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry. The Newberry Library owns a copy of the 1550 edition of Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia. This book is a groundbreaking description of the world that was published in Basel from 1544 to 1628 by Münster’s stepson Heinrich Petri and his sons.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's May Meeting
The Midwest is a region that’s difficult to define, especially to those that reside outside of America’s heartland. What states are included? Does the idea of the Midwest change over time? What does it mean to be Midwestern? Fellow CMS member Amanda Murphyao explores possible definitions of the region in her presentation on carto-caricatures of the Midwest.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's June Meeting
In June, we will take our annual field trip to the MacLean Collection in Lake Forest, Illinois. The MacLean Collection is one of the premier map destinations in the United States, with close to 40,000 individual items, and we’re grateful for their generosity in sharing their collection.