News & EventsOctober images

Halloween Fall Festival & Downtown “Trick or Treat”

Saturday, October 22
12:00 – 2:00 pm

Russell Library is a stop on the Downtown Trick or Treat Trail. Pumpkin bags will be given out to children accompanied by a parent and dressed in costume.

See You Saturday!

Alice’s Ordinary People Film Screening

Saturday, October 22, 12:00 noon
Hubbard Room

This film by Craig Dudnick profiles Alice Tregay, an unsung heroine of the civil rights movement in Chicago. Alice’s life story reads like a history of the movement. In 1966, Dr. King came to Chicago. Alice and her husband James Tregay, marched with him, often at great personal risk. It was at this time that Dr. King joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the Reverend James Bevel to form Operation Breadbasket. Breadbasket fought racism on many fronts, but its main task was jobs for African Americans, particularly from those businesses drawing profits from the African American community. Under the leadership of Reverend Jackson, the months that Alice and her “ordinary people” spent picketing led to real change. But it was through her Political Education class, that Alice’s had her most significant impact.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Great Reasds Book Discussion with Hedda Kopf

Binocular Vision by Edith PearlmanWednesdays October 26 and November 16, - 6:30 PM
Hubbard Room

Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman

Four stories from the collection, Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman will be discussed. “Pearlman writes about the predicaments — odd, wry, funny and painful — of being human. Her characters are sophisticated, highly literate, relatively affluent and often musical. They travel, they read, they go to museums and concerts: they take pleasure in what the world offers. They’re also principled, and moral responsibility plays an important part in their lives. Pearlman’s prose is smooth and poetic, and her world seems safe and engaging. So it’s arresting when, suddenly, almost imperceptibly, she slips emotion into the narrative, coloring it unexpectedly with deep or delicate hues.” (Roxana Robinson, NY Times Book Review, Jan 14, 2011).
Hedda Kopf lectured on Women’s Studies and Literature at Quinnipiac University for many years. She now teaches at the Institute for Learning in Retirement and is the author of Understanding Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl. Ms. Kopf has created and facilitated book discussions for the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Southern CT Library Council and has led book discussions at Russell Library since 1985. Drop-in, no registration required.
The discussions are sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

The Eighth Annual Middletown International Common Ground Film Festival

Russell Library has partnered with Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University to select and screen acclaimed international films. The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about our world’s diverse cultures—their joys and their struggles—as we gather on ‘common ground’ to celebrate the shared human spirit.

All screenings are on Thursdays, beginning at 7:00pm. Free admission and free parking in the municipal lot directly across the street from the library.
All venues accessible to individuals with disabilities. Brief introductions and Q&A following each film, provided by area scholars.
Light refreshments follow each event.

The Eighth Annual Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival
Thursdays, 7:00 pm. Multiple locations, please check each date.

The Good Road
October 27: The Good Road
(Gujarat, India, 2012, directed by Gyan Correa)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies     

State Highway 378, Gujarat.  A family on vacation.  A truck driver on his last journey.  A little girl chasing hope.  A boy finding his home.  24 hours later their lives would have changed forever.

It Can't Happen Here -- A Nationwide Reading

It Can't Happen HereSaturday, October 29
1:00 PM
Hubbard Room

This event is a reading of a 1936 play adapted from the political novel, It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis.

The novel describes the rise of Berzelius 'Buzz' Windrip, a U.S. Senator who is elected to the presidency after promising drastic economic and social reforms.

On the 80th anniversary of the first theatrical adaptation of Lewis’s novel, and in cooperation with the Sinclair Lewis Estate, Berkeley Rep is organizing a nationwide reading of a new adaptation on Monday, October 24. Theatres, universities, and libraries across the United States have been invited to organize free public readings of the new adaptation by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen.

This nationwide reading is made possible thanks to the generous support of Barbara and Rodgin Cohen and Orin Kramer, with the cooperation of the Sinclair Lewis Estate.

Connecticut Heritage Productions and Russell Library are pleased to participate in this timely event.

On October 27, 1936, 'It Can't Happen Here' opened in 22 theaters in 18 cities across the nation. The play, which was adapted by Sinclair Lewis from his best-selling novel of the same name, eventually ran for a total of 260 weeks and was seen by more than 316,000 people.

Hallie Flanagan, director of the Federal Theatre Project - a program of the WPA, and the only National Theatre the U.S. has ever had - said this about the play:
'We want to do 'It Can't Happen Here' because it is about American life today, based on a passionate belief in American democracy. The play says that when dictatorship comes to threaten such a democracy, it comes in an apparently harmless guise, with parades and promises; but that when such dictatorship arrives, the promises are not kept and the parade grounds become encampments.'

Smoking Cessation Workshops with Middlesex Hospital

Tuesdays, November 1and 8, 10:00am to 12:00 noon
Hubbard Room and Meeting Room 3

On November 1st the workshop will meet in the Hubbard Room. Through these workshops you will learn: how to deal with triggers and cravings; how to manage withdrawal symptoms; healthy lifestyle ideas; what you should know about e-cigarettes; about the dangers of first and second-hand smoke. Earn incentives for attending and additional incentive for quitting!
Limited seating is available; Registration is recommended. Call 860-358-5420.

Revolutionary War Genealogy

Saturday, November 5, 10:30am
Meeting Room 3

Are you interested in tracing your ancestor’s Revolutionary War service?  The records of the Daughters of the American Revolution can offer useful hints.  Join us for a presentation by Wadsworth Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution on how to access and use the online resources of the DAR to build your family tree. Bring your own laptop or the library will provide one. Bryna O’Sullivan, a member of Wadsworth Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and a Middletown based professional genealogy researcher and teacher, will present the lecture on using the records of the DAR.
Pre-registration is suggested.  To reserve a seat, please call (860) 347-2520.

Free Concert: Exotic Romanticism with the FaReLa DuoFaReLa Duo

Saturday, November 5, 1:30pm
The Hubbard Room

Cellist Tanya Anisimova and pianist Pi-Hsun Shih have been drawing rave reviews ever since their debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2012. This concert will include pieces by Manuel de Falla and Cesar Franck, as well as original compositions by Anisimova.  
The two met while studying in Boston many years ago. After pursuing separate careers, they were able to reconnect in 2011. Both are versatile chamber musicians and teachers with a wealth of expertise.
Described as a pianist of 'searing precision' by the Hartford Courant, Taiwanese-American Pi-Hsun Shih has been a featured soloist with the Sao Paulo State Symphony, The Hartt Symphony, and the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with ensembles such as Empire Brass and the Emerson String Quartet.
Tanya Anisimova is an internationally renowned Russian cellist and composer. In addition to composing, performing and touring, she has taught master-classes at Moscow Conservatory, Hartt School of Music, Loyola University, and Virginia Commonwealth University among others. Celebrated cellist Janos Starker has hailed Anisimova as, 'an Everest climber,” and a 'high class cellist with a strong and inventive musical mind.” 
This concert has been funded by The Friends' of the Russell Library.

The Art Guild of Middletown Opening Reception

Sunday, November 6, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Hubbard Room

The entire community is invited to celebrate the expressive achievements of the artists and writers involved in the special exhibit that runs throughout the month of November.
Drop-in, no registration.

Middlesex County Historical Society - 'A Vanished Port' Speaker Series

Wednesday, November 9, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

Wesleyan professor and monetary scholar Richard Grossman will talk about the wealth of colonial Middletown and its richest citizens. Were the ‘Middletown barons’ rich by our standards?

Daughters of the American Revolution – Information Workshop

Saturday, November 12, 10:30am
Hubbard Room

Interested in becoming a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution?  Join us for a help session with a member of Wadsworth Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.  You will have an opportunity to work one on one with a member to locate a patriot ancestor or check an application for completeness. 
Pre-registration is suggested. To reserve a seat, please call (860) 347-2520.

Tellabration! With Storyteller and Master Puppeteer Marilyn O’Connor MillerMarilyn O'Connor Miller

Sunday, November 13

Hubbard Room

Storyteller and Master Puppeteer Marilyn O'Connor Miller will be the featured performer for this Tellabration! event. Marilyn O’Connor Miller is a seasoned performer, with television and stage credits to her name. For the last twenty years, she has performed in Connecticut’s theaters, schools and libraries with her expansive selection of stories and puppets. One of her signature puppets, ‘Piccolo’, is an Italian baby boy deeply seated in Marilyn’s ethnicity. Since her maternal Italian grandmother came to America at the turn of the century and refused to speak any English the entire time she lived in Hartford, so ‘Piccolo’ does the same. Now a grandmother herself, Marilyn has the stage presence of a true Italian matriarch. In this program, Marilyn will blend folk tales such as the Italian 'Il Lupo” and the Japanese 'The Tongue Cut Sparrow” with puppets and masks in a performance that will delight and thrill young and old alike. Tellabration! is produced by The Connecticut Storytelling Center each November by partnering with other individuals and organizations to bring storytelling to sites all over the State of Connecticut for adult, as well as family audiences.  School-aged children are welcome to come with their families.
This program has been funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Fall Noontime Movie Series
Race to the Rescue: Classic Hollywood Adventures

Saturday Matinee Serials - BatmanTuesday, November 15, at noon
Hubbard Room

Join us for a look at the roots of cinematic action and adventure with this series about swashbuckling heroes and tales of derring-do. Stories of danger, courage, and physical action have been a staple of Hollywood from the very start. By rendering drama in purely visual terms, the genre helped filmmakers master the medium and brought popular audiences to the theater.  Featuring the films of Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, and the Saturday matinee heroes of the great movie serials, we will discuss the enduring appeals of adventure movies and how they’ve changed over the years.

Saturday Matinee Serials - We present a selection of weekly chapters from the action and adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s. Each episode offers fifteen to twenty minutes of non-stop daring and ends in an inescapable cliffhanger. Come and see Dick Tracy, Batman, Perils of Nyoka, Daredevils of the Red Circle, and other movies that thrilled a generation of young filmgoers.
Scott Higgins is professor of Film Studies and chair of the College of Film and the Moving Image at Wesleyan University. His latest book MATINEE MELODRAMA is about action serials of the 1930s and 1940s.
The series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Yoga In courtyard (or The Hubbard Room!)
Saturday, November 19th, 11:00am to 12:00pm.

No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor for our class will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience what Yoga flow can do to assist you in feeling calmer and also more energetic. Learn how it helps in having a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns.

Reader’s Theater -The Sunset Limited

Thursday, November 20, 7:00 pm
Hubbard Room

Reader’s Theater is live drama enacted by area actors, co-directed by Richard B. Kamins and Anne Cassady. The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy will be presented. This is a dramatic dialogue between a white professor and a black ex-convict who deliver opposing views of life and human nature; competing voices of empirical reasoning and world-wearying experience;  and, on the other hand, hope and the transcendent spirit.

This presentation is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Poet’s Corner Susan Allison

Friday, November 18, 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Information Area, Second Floor

Middletown's Poet Laureate Susan Allison will be available to talk poetry to patrons in the information area on the second floor. Look for the sign saying 'Poet's Corner'.

Cultural Connections Women’s Group

Wednesdays, November 26 - 5:30 to 6:45 PM
Hubbard Room

Women of all nationalities are invited to come and meet other immigrant women in order to help one another adapt to American culture. Get help with local resources and network. Share stories, tips and make new friends.
Children are welcome. Fluency in English is not necessary.
Drop-in, no registration.

Classic Mystery Novel Group: The Moonstone

Tuesday, November 29, - 12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of one of the founding mystery-detective novels, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. When a young English woman inherits a large, ill-gotten diamond sacred to the Hindu moon god, the diamond soon disappears. The accused seeks to clear his name amid a series of sinister and deadly events.
Drop-in, no registration.

Make a Holiday Card – for Adults

Wednesday, November 30, - 2:00pm
The Hubbard Room

Do you value hand-made items? Would you like to make a one-of-a-kind card for a special person this holiday season? The library will provide a selection of materials, with some directions for making pop-up cards and other specialty cards. If you have your own pens or paints, bring them along!
Drop-in, no registration required.

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