Filtering by: Public Scholars Project

Rosa Parks: First Lady of Civil Rights
Sep
23
3:00 PM15:00

Rosa Parks: First Lady of Civil Rights

On a December day in 1955, this tired seamstress and NAACP secretary refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery Alabama Bus. Rosa Parks’ story will serve to remind all who hear it that we cannot always stand by and observe the status quo. We all bear the responsibility to bring about the changes that will help “We the People…” form that “…more Perfect Union” that is our Nation’s promise.

Location: Middlesex Public Library, 1300 Mountain Ave., Middlesex, NJ 08846-2039.

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The Fiddle in America: A History and Demonstration
Sep
21
7:00 PM19:00

The Fiddle in America: A History and Demonstration

How often do you get to hear music and then have a high-energy conversation about its role in historical traditions, its cultural influence, and its style and technique? Until the early twentieth century, the fiddle was the centerpiece of American folk music and folk culture. In this interactive session, Backes explores the origins and history of American fiddle music—covering a range of styles and modes of expression—and raises along the way big questions about musical tradition and music making.

Location: Cranbury Public Library, 23 N Main St., Cranbury, NJ 08512-3257.

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"Jerusalem: Holy – and Wholly Complex - City "
Sep
16
2:00 PM14:00

"Jerusalem: Holy – and Wholly Complex - City "

Why can Jerusalem be thought of as a city of both joy and sorrow? And what does it mean to be at the intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, influenced heavily by the convergence of differing religious views, is a truly unique city that allows a look at the past and the present simultaneously. In this session, participants will explore the rich and complex history and how thousands of years have shaped how we see, understand, and experience Jerusalem today.

Location: South Brunswick Public Library, 110 Kingston Lane, Monmouth Junction, NJ, 08852-3005.

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We the People…wait, which people?
Sep
13
7:00 PM19:00

We the People…wait, which people?

We’ve all heard those first three words of the preamble of the Constitution. But what does that mean? And can “We the people” mean different things at different times to different people? This complex topic can best be explored through historical moments and events. From sharecropping to immigration, participants can consider the concept of the changing meaning of citizenship and have an engaging and important dialogue about immigration today and the impact of the policies that affect us all.

Location: Piscataway Public Library, 500 Hoes Ln., Piscataway, NJ, 08854-5040.

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The World Changed, so Did the Music
Aug
22
7:00 PM19:00

The World Changed, so Did the Music

Did Prohibition change the music of the 1920s? And did the Cold War impact the music of the 1950s? Yes, music – concert and popular – music was influenced by the technological and political changes. From the late 1800s to today, the times have shaped what and how American hear and experience opera, concert works, musicals, jazz, country and folk music, and rock and roll. In this session, participants can tune into a discussion about the sounds, aesthetics, and auras of each decade in the modern era.

Location: Edison Township Free Public Library, North Branch, 777 Grove Ave., Edison, NJ 08820-2770.

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What is Jazz and Why Does It Matter?
Aug
9
6:30 PM18:30

What is Jazz and Why Does It Matter?

Branford Marsalis once said, “What is jazz? It, It’s almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It’s a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.” Sometimes called “America’s Classical Music,” the tradition and history of the genre embodies the essence of freedom and democracy. From its origins within the slaves songs, to the advent of the blues, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, and other styles, jazz exhibits how each individual (through his/her independence) must function within the framework of a group to better serve the entire community. In this session, through music and discussion, participants will explore jazz and why it matters.

Location: Sayreville Free Public Library, 1050 Washington Rd., Parlin, NJ 08859-1061.

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Springsteen and his Layered Lyrics
Jul
25
7:00 PM19:00

Springsteen and his Layered Lyrics

Bruce Springsteen expects attentiveness of his listeners. How do we know this? Over the past 50 years, Springsteen has written songs and created music that have been experienced by countless fans. But many don’t know the extent to which his work has been influenced by the American folk tradition. Through experimental reinterpretation and the creation of new traditions, The Boss has worked within known folk traditions, but at the same time, created new sounds and messages. In this session, participants can learn about some of the works that have influenced one of Jersey’s most celebrated musical artists.

Location: Edison Township Free Public Library, 340 Plainfield Ave., Edison, NJ 08817-3147.

 

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Jersey’s Most Famous Road, the Turnpike
Jun
16
2:00 PM14:00

Jersey’s Most Famous Road, the Turnpike

Think back to your last Turnpike experience. For some, it’s an occasional ride, for others it’s part of the daily grind. Have you considered what it took to create that road? New Jersey was a pioneer in major highway innovation (the Turnpike even predates the interstate highway system). In this interactive discussion, participants will be encouraged to consider its execution, significance in travel, aesthetics, and impact and how it can be seen as an emblem of American ideas and values.

Location: Old Bridge Public Library, 1 Old Bridge Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ, 08857-2474.

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The Life and Writing of James Baldwin
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

The Life and Writing of James Baldwin

The influence of writer and social critic James Baldwin reached far and wide. In this unique exploration of Baldwin’s groundbreaking literary and social justice work, actor/comic Grant Cooper and scholar Dr. Lindsey Swindall engage participants in an interactive dialogue that unravels the truths of racism in this country and examines other themes in Baldwin’s writings. Mr. Cooper’s dramatic interpretations of Baldwin’s writing are complemented by historical context from Dr. Swindall, leading to thought provoking questions that spark audience participation.

Location: Raritan Bay YMCA: 365 New Brunswick Ave., Perth Amboy, 08861-3979.

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The Missing Stories
May
24
7:00 PM19:00

The Missing Stories

n 1883, Anandibai Joshee, a young woman from a small city in western India arrived in Roselle, New Jersey. She had traveled thousands of miles, overcoming incredible physical and emotional hardships. She arrived with a purpose and eventually became the first South Asian woman in the world with a degree in western medicine. South Asians have been a presence in the US for more than 130 years, but their stories are mostly unknown. In this session, participants will engage in an interactive discussion about underepresented populations, specifically examining South Asians, and how sharing community stories can help create a more inclusive future.

Location: Piscataway Public Library, 500 Hoes Ln., Piscataway, NJ, 08854-5040.

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What is Jazz and Why Does It Matter?
Apr
27
7:00 PM19:00

What is Jazz and Why Does It Matter?

Branford Marsalis once said, “What is jazz? It, It’s almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It’s a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.” Sometimes called “America’s Classical Music,” the tradition and history of the genre embodies the essence of freedom and democracy. From its origins within the slaves songs, to the advent of the blues, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, and other styles, jazz exhibits how each individual (through his/her independence) must function within the framework of a group to better serve the entire community. In this session, through music and discussion, participants will explore jazz and why it matters.

Location: Raritan Bay YMCA, 365 New Brunswick Ave., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861-3979.

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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Preservation and Grace, and American Legacy
Apr
22
3:00 PM15:00

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Preservation and Grace, and American Legacy

She was a Kennedy. She was an Onassis. She did not define herself by her husbands. Realizing that future generations would need the insights of the past for guidance, her preservation efforts galvanized the rest of the country to protect its historic monuments. Aided by her public profile, her work helped bring about the Historic Preservation Act of 1966: the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

Location: Middlesex Public Library, 1300 Mountain Ave., Middlesex, NJ 08846-2039.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "An Arsenal for Democracy"
Apr
21
2:00 PM14:00

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "An Arsenal for Democracy"

The date is December 29, 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office. But the world is in a crisis. Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war. Meet with the President just prior to his delivery of the famous “Arsenal for Democracy” speech.

Location: South Plainfield Free Public Library, 2484 Plainfield Ave., South Plainfield, NJ 07080-3531.

 

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Go, van Gogh!
Mar
28
12:30 PM12:30

Go, van Gogh!

At one point, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother that since he had no children, he viewed his paintings as his progeny. A painter and pastor, van Gogh produced more than 2,000 “brilliant children.” In this session, dozens of his works of art, with a focus on pieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be explored. An overview of his life experiences and how it influenced his art will lead to a lively discussion, which will include talking about the differences between experiencing original artwork and reproductions.

Location: South Brunswick Public Library, 110 Kingston Lane, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852-3005.

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Jersey’s Most Famous Road, the Turnpike
Mar
27
12:30 PM12:30

Jersey’s Most Famous Road, the Turnpike

Think back to your last Turnpike experience. For some, it’s an occasional ride, for others it’s part of the daily grind. Have you considered what it took to create that road? New Jersey was a pioneer in major highway innovation (the Turnpike even predates the interstate highway system). In this interactive discussion, participants will be encouraged to consider its execution, significance in travel, aesthetics, and impact and how it can be seen as an emblem of American ideas and values.

Location: Piscataway Township Senior Center, 700 Buena Vista Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854-4956.

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