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 some events; see the individual listings for details.

Upcoming Public Programs

Friday, January 20, 2017Saturday, April 15, 2017
Exhibitions
African American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, 1935-1946
Chicago-area photographer Helen Balfour Morrison is largely unknown today, but she created an impressive body of photographs documenting African American life in Depression-era Kentucky. Beginning in 1935, Morrison traveled to the Inner Bluegrass region near Lexington, Kentucky, where she photographed the residents of two small African American communities, Zion Hill and Sugar Hill.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Other Programs
Presented by Chicago Collections Consortium and the Newberry Library
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Learn about little-known aspects of the history of city planning in Chicago, drawing on the breadth and depth of resources available through the Chicago Collections Consortium. Chicago and city planning have a long history, one that extends well beyond Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett’s 1909 Plan of Chicago.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Please join Andrew Lipman as he discusses his recent book, The Saltwater Frontier, a previously untold story of how the ocean became a “frontier” between colonists and Indians. When the English and Dutch empires both tried to claim the same patch of coast between the Hudson River and Cape Cod, the sea itself became the arena of contact and conflict.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Please register by 10 am Monday, April 3, 2017
“What Dante Means to Me” is the title of an essay by T.S. Eliot published in his To Criticize the Critic, originally given as a lecture. 2016 recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize Boitani has adopted Eliot’s title to indicate that he, too, will reconstruct the story of his own relationship with Dante.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Other Programs
Chicago Studies Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
As part of a citywide celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks marking the one-hundredth anniversary of her birth, the Newberry will gather poets, scholars, historians, and archivists to discuss the historical context of Brooks’ groundbreaking first book of poems, A Street in Bronzeville.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Other Programs
A Memorial Tribute Concert for Norman Pellegrini
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Created by Donald Knight, this year’s Faces of Love concert will feature music by Brahms, Verdi, Ned Rorem, and Stephen Sondheim, beautifully performed by Erich Buchholz (tenor), Alex Honzen (baritone), Kimberly McCord (soprano), and special assisting artist, Marcie Tilkin (soprano).
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
“Zion Hill: Envisioning a Black Future” will frame the photographs of Helen Morrison, by offering some background on Black life in Kentucky. Zion Hill was one of many Black towns established after the Civil War. Freedom meant envisioning a future for themselves and their children outside of slavery. Zion Hill was rooted in African American religion and the search for a Promised Land.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
William Apess and John Norton in the War of 1812
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
This talk by Drew Lopenzina tracks the extraordinary experiences of two “Writing Indians” in the War of 1812, bringing new biographical information to bear on their lives. One, William Apess (Pequot), fought on the U.S.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The adoption of firearms by American Indians between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries marked a turning point in the history of North America’s indigenous peoples—a cultural earthquake so profound that its impact has yet to be adequately measured.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village—the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early twentieth century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; registration in advance required
Join us for a performance with commentary of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Italian popular secular music.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Ring Lardner (March 6, 1885-Sept. 25, 1933) will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame at the Newberry Library.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no tickets or registration required
“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Fanny Butcher (September 13, 1888 - May 11, 1987), for four decades a writer and critic for the Chicago Tribune, will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame at the Newberry Library.
Friday, May 12, 2017Saturday, May 13, 2017
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Recognizing the reality of war and massacre, this scholarly symposium takes new approaches to examining violence in past and present-day Native communities by engaging the intersections of a broad array of themes, including:
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Sharp, resourceful, and with a style all her own, Althea McDowell Altemus embodied the spirit of the independent working woman of the Jazz Age.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
This program highlights indigenous concepts of identity and sexuality that surpass standard contemporary gender binaries. American Indian and other indigenous communities have historically celebrated multiple gender identifications, including two-spirit peoples, as well as the unique roles that women and men contribute to warrior societies, political leadership, and home life.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Join Jane Kamensky as she speaks about her book A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley. In this bold new history, Kamensky recovers an unknown American Revolution as seen through the eyes of Boston-born painter John Singleton Copley.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
To mark the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth on June 8, 1867, John Waters will focus his talk on two important written works by Frank Lloyd Wright, and their connections with his built work. The works are “The Art and Craft of the Machine,” presented to the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society in 1901, and Genius and the Mobocracy, published in 1949.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Other Programs
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, which will be posted as soon as it’s available, will feature spirited performances around a piano in the park. Limited seating is available in the park, but feel free to bring a chair to relax and join in on the fun!
Thursday, July 27, 2017Sunday, July 30, 2017
Other Programs
Free Admission
Don’t miss our annual Newberry Book Fair, one of the largest used book sales in the country.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Join the Newberry Library for Chicago’s favorite free speech event! Lively musical entertainment will kick off the program at noon, followed by the Main Debate, soapbox speakers, and the presentation of two awards: the Altgeld Freedom of Speech Award and the Dill Pickle to the champion soapbox orator.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public
This fall’s new series for children, on the second Saturday morning of each month, features the Lucky Trikes storytelling chamber band.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; please register in advance
This fall the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet, is mounting an exciting new production of the 1774 Paris version of Christoph Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Other Programs
Wing Foundation Lecture Series on the History of the Book
Free and open to the public; please register in advance
The year 2017 marks the centenary of the death of John M. Wing, the remarkable and eccentric collector whose bequest founded the Newberry’s John M. Wing Collection on the History of Printing.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public
This fall’s new series for children, on the second Saturday morning of each month, features the Lucky Trikes storytelling chamber band.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; please register in advance
This remarkable cultural history celebrates the great Midwestern city of Chicago for its centrality to the modernist movement.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; registration in advance required
Nathaniel Philbrick will speak about his latest book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, which appeared for seven consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been named a finalist for the New England Independent Booksellers Association 2016 New
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; please register in advance
Heralded as America’s most quintessentially modern city, Chicago has attracted the gaze of journalists, novelists, essayists, and scholars as much as any city in the nation. And, yet, few historians have attempted big-picture narratives of the city’s transformation over the twentieth century.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public
This fall’s new series for children, on the second Saturday morning of each month, features the Lucky Trikes storytelling chamber band.