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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Digital Screenings of Author Talks, Lectures, Performances, and Audience-favorites such as Classical Interludes, BPL-commissioned Kahn Humanities Lectures, and Keynote Addresses from A Night of Philosophy and Ideas to Be Made Available, For Free to All

Brooklyn, NY – April 9, 2020 – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) today announced its evolving line-up of free, online cultural and civic programs for people of all ages engaged in social distancing, expanding the Library’s myriad opportunities for social connection, cultural exploration, and intellectual study to audiences across Brooklyn and around the world. 

BPL Presents will offer both live, real-time digital programs, along with unprecedented access to its archive of lectures, performances and author talks. Amid these challenging times, BPL’s curatorial team has selected programs from their archives that challenge and inspire audience, and aims to introduce patrons to some of the world’s most celebrated authors, thinkers, and creatives. 

Highlights include former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; award-winning author Arundhati Roy on her book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; Nathaniel Rich on his work Losing Earth; shorts from the International Children’s Film Festival; a performance from the Classical Interlude Series by piano duo Rolf Schulte and James Goldsworthy; and a special edition of Stomp, Clap and Sing with award-winning songwriter Esther Crow. 

“Engaging in a dialogue with our community is at the heart of everything we do at BPL,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture at Brooklyn Public Library. ““We are presenting a wide range of programming to stimulate critical thinking, to embrace our roles as citizens in a democracy, and to find inspiration in music and literature as we practice social distancing and prepare to re-enter a vastly changed world.” 

The 28th Amendment Project, BPL’s recently launched initiative to discuss, debate, and propose the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has moved online. The town halls are free to access and open to all, creating a lively virtual forum to explore ideas for a more inclusive and reflective governance. Originally launched as an in-person town hall series to be held at library branches and schools throughout the borough, the reconceived virtual 28th Amendment Project provides a platform for communities across Brooklyn and around the country to reexamine America’s founding principles at a time when COVID-19 is spotlighting societal and governmental structures once taken for granted. For more details on this program, please click here. 

All BPL Presents programs will be available on specified dates on the BPL Presents webpage, where they will remain accessible for 24 hours. Additional content will also be available on the BPL Presents YouTube and Facebook pages. A complete calendar of upcoming programs can be found below. 

BPL Presents’ virtual programming expands upon the Library’s more than 60,000 free programs offered each year. Even when its physical doors are closed BPL continues to provide patrons access to virtual story times with librarians from across the borough, career help through its Business and Career Center, 

resources for students of all ages, and details on how to ensure all Brooklyn residents participate in the 2020 Census. 

BPL Presents Virtual Programming Calendar Please visit bklynlibrary.org/bpl-presents for the most up to date listings 

Timothy Snyder Discusses On Tyranny Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m. The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. 

Toddlers in Rhythm Friday, April 10 at 10 a.m. In this virtual movement workshop for parents/caretakers and their little ones, we will explore the fundamentals of rhythm and movement, using the lens of African Dance. Listening to the beat of the drum, participants and their parents will explore their range of movement and feel how the rhythm moves them to their core! We will use rhythm and stories to bridge the distance between us and keep on moving to a connected beat. View the broadcast on the Urban Stages Facebook page. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Brynna Tucker Saturday, April 11 at 4 p.m. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

Jennifer Egan on Manhattan Beach Saturday, April 11 at 4 p.m. ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK-winning author Jennifer Egan, in conversation with Meredith Wisner, former Asst. Director of Archives at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Manhattan Beach researcher and oral historian Zaheer Ali from the Brooklyn Historical Society. Together they will paint a picture of day-to-day life along the Brooklyn Waterfront during WWII and celebrate the enormous contribution of women and African Americans who worked at the Navy Yard in 1940s. Together they will examine how the Brooklyn Navy Yard became an indelible central character in Jennifer Egan’s book, Manhattan Beach. Moderated by Alexis Coe. 

Classical Interludes: Piano duo violinist Rolf Schulte and Pianist James Goldsworthy Sunday, April 12 at 4 p.m. Piano duo with violinist Rolf Schulte and pianist James Goldsworthy, performing works by Josef Suk and Edvard Grieg. 

Astra Taylor on “Philosophical Publics: Ruling Ourselves, Thinking Together” Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. In her Night of Philosophy talk, "Philosophical Publics: Ruling Ourselves, Thinking Together" Astra Taylor considers ways philosophers have dealt with inequality, long seen to be an enabler of tyranny. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Brian Tate Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Registration Required. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

Nathaniel Rich on Losing Earth, in Conversation with David Leonhardt Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m.  In his book Losing Earth, Rich provides more of the context for what did—and didn’t—happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us in 2019. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it's truly too late. 

Tayari Jones in Conversation with James Hannaham Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. As the culminating event in a series of Big Read programs on Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones discusses her work with author James Hannaham. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Brynna Tucker Saturday, April 18 at 4 p.m. Registration Required. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

Robert Reich Discusses Saving Capitalism: For the Many Not the Few Saturday, April 18 at 4 p.m. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich worries that America’s economic recovery is bypassing most Americans. In a discussion of his new book, Reich examines how the economic system that helped make our country strong is now failing us. And he lays out what’s needed to fix it. Many of today’s workers aren’t paid what they’re worth. A higher minimum wage doesn’t equal fewer jobs. And corporations needn’t serve shareholders before employees. 

Helen Philips Discusses The Beautiful Bureaucrat with Rob Spillman Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. Rob Spillman talks with Helen Phillips, whose debut novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat has been widely praised, including by the New York Times Book Review, which called it "a riveting, drolly surreal debut novel." Kakfaesque, comic, and moving, Phillips's novel captures modern urban existentialism like few can. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed story collection And Yet They Were Happy. Her work has been featured on PRI's Selected Shorts, at the Brooklyn Museum, and in Tin House, The New York Times, Electric Literature, New York Magazine, and BOMB, among other outlets. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Craig Manbauman Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. Registration required. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

Bill McKibben Discusses Fighting for Climate Justice Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. Bill McKibben is author of The End of Nature, regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. A founder of 350.org and Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, McKibben discusses, in the Library's 2017 Kahn Humanities Lecture, environmental activism under the new regime of climate science denialism, and describes strategies for inclusion of all groups in the movement's work. 

Michael Cunningham Discusses A Wild Swan with Rob Spillman Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham transforms the people and talismans of lands far, far away - the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder - into stories of sublime revelation. Hosted by Rob Spillman. 

Arundhati Roy on The Ministry of Utmost Happiness with Robin Desser Saturday, April 25 4 p.m. Arundhati Roy discusses her bestselling and award-winning novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, the dazzling, richly moving novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Brian Tate Saturday, April 25 at 4 p.m. Registration required. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

Stomp, Clap & Sing with Esther Crow in Instagram Tuesday, April 28 at 11 a.m. Esther Crow is an award-winning singer, songwriter and teacher. Her online show experience is an eclectic mix of original acoustic guitar songs, and backing tracks of Thunder & Sunshine songs (a rock band she founded in 2017), which she sings both independently, and as duets with her handmade felt puppets (created by Jeff Lewonzyck). Each of her puppets have big personalities and dance moves of their own; like Bernie the Bee who loves to eat anchovies and dance to the sound of a kazoo. She weaves comedy and kindness into each show, while encouraging kids to shake instruments and move their bodies. View the broadcast on the Esther Crow Instagram page. 

Sarah Lewis on Vision & Justice Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Harvard scholar Sarah Lewis offers "Vision & Justice," a lecture and conversation inspired by Frederick Douglass’s ideas about the role of images for American progress and the power of aesthetics for the invention of race. 

Darryl Pinckney discusses Black Deutschland with Rob Spillman Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. Darryl Pinckney discusses his novel Black Deutschland with Rob Spillman. Pinckney is a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, and the author of a previous novel, High Cotton, and two works of nonfiction, Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy and Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature. 

Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivers the Kahn Humanities Lecture Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m. In a commissioned lecture at Brooklyn Public Library, Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor who removed the city’s Confederate statues, confronts the racism that shapes us and argues for America to reckon with its past. 

Jonathan Franzen discusses The End of the End of the Earth with Henry Finder Saturday, May 2 at 4 p.m. Jonathan Franzen presents his new book The End of the End of the Earth, featuring essays collected over the prior five years, with a talk, Q&A, and book signing. Franzen was joined in conversation with New Yorker editor Henry Finder. 

28th Amendment Town Hall, moderated by Craig Manbauman Wednesday, May 20 at 9:15a.m. Registration required. Through this series of online town hall forums, BPL invites people of all ages and backgrounds to propose their ideas for how the U.S. Constitution should be adapted to better reflect contemporary society. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who act as the project’s legal advisors, ideas put forward during the virtual town halls will be pulled together into a new proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of the people. While the result will not be a legal document, the amendment will reflect the aspirations and collective will of the people. 

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About Brooklyn Public Library 
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book. 

 

 
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