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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
The washed out roads, fouled water supply, blackouts, clashes between police and demonstrators, and the contempt radiating from the White House make it easy to forget the universally high expectations that marked the American invasion of Puerto Rico one hundred and twenty years ago.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Frank Cicero, Jr.
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
How three constitutions built the modern Prairie State In its early days, Illinois seemed destined to extend the American South. Its population of transplants lived an upland southern culture and in some cases owned slaves. Yet the nineteenth century and three constitutions recast Illinois as a crucible of northern strength and American progress.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Catherine Kerrison
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In this talk, Catherine Kerrison, a scholar of early American and women’s history, will explore the ways in which Thomas Jefferson reveals himself, in sometimes unintentional ways, when we look at him as a father. We are often puzzled by disparities between Jefferson’s words—particularly those he uttered in public—and his actions.
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Becca Gercken and Julie Pelletier
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In the decades since the passing of the Pamajewon ruling in Canada and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in the United States, gaming has come to play a crucial role in how Indigenous peoples are represented and read by both Indians and non-Indians alike.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Free and open to the public; no registration required
The Newberry Library and the Washington Square Park Advisory Council invite you to come out to the park for a celebration of music on the first day of summer! Our lineup will feature spirited performances around a piano in the park.
Thursday, July 26, 2018Sunday, July 29, 2018
Free admission
#NLBF18 Don’t miss our annual Newberry Book Fair, one of the largest used book sales in the country. Browse through more than 120,000 used books, movies, records and more in 70 categories, many of which are priced at $3 or less. Admission is FREE!
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Free and open to the public; no registration required
At a time when political polarization is intensified by the extremes of digital discourse, the Bughouse Square Debates are a public forum where people can encounter new ideas and share their own in person!
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Suzanne Karr Schmidt
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance tells the story of a hands-on genre of prints: how innovative paper engineering redefined the relationship of early modern viewers to art, humanism, and science.
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Reading and Singalong, preschool through 2nd grade, with author Valrie Kemp-Davis and Chef Poppa Mikey of the One Love Project
Free and open to the public. No registration required.
Valrie Kemp-Davis will introduce children to the Jamaican One Love Project – “The world is smaller, the heart is larger, the love is bigger” – by rea
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
A Panel with Katherine Hamilton-Smith, Mark Pascale, and Mike Jackson
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Explore the history of the American postcard!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Performed by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A moving and powerful dramatization of the remarkable friendship between two presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—with the forthright Abigail Adams always playing a major role.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Susan Sleeper-Smith
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, by Susan Sleeper-Smith, recovers the agrarian village world Indian women created in the lush lands of the Ohio Valley.
Friday, September 28, 2018Monday, December 31, 2018
Exhibitions
Free and open to the public
Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
A Discussion with Daniel Greene
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
What did Americans know about Nazism during the 1930s and ’40s? How did the US government and the American people respond?
Thursday, October 4, 2018
A Lecture by Rebecca Graff
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Lasting for only six months before its structures “vanished,” the 1893 World’s Fair’s permanent impact on American consumer culture, city planning, questions around citizenry and foreignness was deeply tied to and reinforced by its ephemerality.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
A Talk by Gordon Wood
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, discusses his majestic new dual biography of two of America’s most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Music and Stories for Kids, preschool through 2nd grade, with the Lucky Trikes Storytelling Chamber Band
Free and open to the public; no registration required
In 1893, people from all over the world came to Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition—the World’s Fair!
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
A Performance with Commentary
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 is celebrated as a key moment in the cultural life of the city and the nation.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
“Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.” A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by J. R. Sullivan.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Joan Marie Johnson
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
How did a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advance the status of all women through acts of philanthropy?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
A Panel with Paul Durica, Celia Hilliard, and Liesl Olson
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Explore the proliferation of clubs and small arts organizations in Chicago from the 1890s through the 1920s to consider what clubs and “club-ability” contributed to Chicago art and design in the first decades after the Great Fire.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
A Lecture by Debra N. Mancoff
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
When Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert died in 1861, she swathed herself in black and mourned his loss for the rest of her life. But in her household, Albert was never truly gone.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Colonial History Lecture Series: David J. Silverman
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Take a tour of three Thanksgivings, spread across the centuries, that provide windows into why the Wampanoags have hosted a National Day of Mourning for Native America each Thanksgiving holiday since 1970.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
A Lecture, Demonstration, and Interactive Workshop
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The World’s Fair introduced Middle Eastern belly dance (inauthentic as it probably was) to audiences on the Expo’s Midway Plaisance. Join us to explore the history—and try your hand at—Middle Eastern dance forms in the US.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Robert Bruegmann
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Art Deco Chicago explores and celebrates Chicago’s pivotal role in the development of modern American design.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
“O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies?” A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Michelle Shupe.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste. And therefore is love said to be a child Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Staged Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A Shakespearean company puts down their rehearsal sides of Lear and curiously take up those of a new play entitled Moby Dick. On the rehearsal stage of platforms, the teasers overhead suddenly become yardarms with sails and a tall ladder becomes a mast.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
That disease Of which all old men sicken,—avarice. A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.