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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Soul of a People: the Federal Writers' Project"

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce, "Soul of a People: the Federal Writers' Project," September 19 - October 22, 2009. These events are free and open to the public.

"Soul of a People: the Federal Writers' Project"
September 19 - October 22
These events are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 651-222-3242 or friends@thefriends.org
August 15, 2009, SAINT PAUL, MN - The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library presents a month of lectures, readings, discussions and activities honoring the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, and the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project (FWP).
In the oral history tradition of the FWP, watch stories come to life with a new play by Al Justiniano, The West Side on the South Side. Created for and with the people in and around the West Side's Neighborhood House, Dunedin Homes and El Burrito Mercado, the story takes an unusual and hopeful ride from Downtown St. Paul to the West Side on bus 68. Watch a run-through of this production on Saturday, September 19, 2 p.m., at the Riverview Branch Library, 1 E. George St., Saint Paul.
On Tuesday, September 22 at 7 p.m., Brian Szott, Art Curator at the Minnesota Historical Society, will talk about the impact of the Federal Art Project on the Minnesota cultural scene through a closer look at the Ah-Gwah-Ching collection, comprised of art and objects created between 1935 and 1943 as part of the Federal Project. This program is held at the Minnesota History Center, in the Minnesota Historical Society Library, at 75 W. Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul.
Join Professor John Edgar Tidwell, who presents a lecture on Sterling Brown and the Slave Narratives on Wednesday, September 23 at 7 p.m., at Macalester College's Weyerhaeuser Chapel, 1600 Grand Ave., Saint Paul. Professor Tidwell, editor of Sterling A. Brown's A Negro Looks at the South, discusses Brown's work on the Slave Narratives as an integral part of the FWP.
On Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m., at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St., Saint Paul, watch Soul of a People: Writing America's Story, a major documentary about the FWP produced by Spark Media and broadcast by Smithsonian Channel HD. Professor Peter Rachleff, of Macalester College, leads a discussion on the film and the broader aspects of the New Deal's WPA programs following the film.
On Saturday, September 26 at 2 p.m., also at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, Nothando Zulu, of the Black Storytellers' Alliance, will share selections from the FWP Slave Narratives and excerpts of work by Zora Neale Hurston. Black Storytellers Alliance has entertained and educated audiences for the past two decades with the philosophy that art is a direct reflection of culture, and each performance draws from the richness of the African and African American experience.
Host of Minnesota Public Radio's "Morning Show" and Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac," Cathy Wurzer is also the author of Tales of the Road: Highway 61. She'll discuss her new book, a modern variation on the original WPA state guides, and some of the WPA projects in Minnesota on Sunday, September 27 at 2 p.m., at the Highland Park Branch Library, Hillcrest auditorium, 1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul.
On Monday, September 28, 7 p.m., acclaimed actress Regina Marie Williams presents Jump at the Sun a one-woman show based on the life and times of Zora Neale Hurston, at the Central High School Black Box Theater, 275 Lexington Parkway N., Saint Paul. This is a collaborative event with the Central Touring Theater, who will present a brief introductory program.
Get a larger picture of the FWP era with a tour of the 1930s art and architecture of Saint Paul's City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, on Wednesday, September 30, 4 p.m. Please call The Friends at 651-222-3242 to register.
On Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m., at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, Neala Schleuning, author of America, Song We Sang without Knowing: The Life and Ideas of Meridel Le Sueur, introduces the film The People Are My Home, about Minnesotan FWP writer Meridel LeSueur, and leads a post-film discussion.
In addition to these programs, the Saint Paul Public Library is hosting book discussions of work by several FWP writers:
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck - September 22, 7 p.m., Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., Saint Paul
The Actual by Saul Bellow - September 23, 7 p.m., Merriam Park Branch Library
The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel - September 24, Noon, Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St., Saint Paul
The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren - October 1, 7 p.m., Highland Park Branch Library
Native Son by Richard Wright - October 7, 7 p.m., St. Anthony Park Branch Library, 2245 Como Ave., Saint Paul
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - October 8, 10:30 a.m., Central Library
North Star Country by Meridel LeSueur - October 22, Noon, Central Library
These programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please call The Friends at 651/222-3242 or go online at www.thefriends.org. Soul of a People: Writing America's Story is a major documentary television program about the Federal Writers' Project produced by Spark Media, Washington, D.C., and broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel HD. Soul of a People programs in libraries are sponsored by the American Library Association Public Programs Office with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. Locally, the Soul of a People series is sponsored by: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library with support from Central High School Theater Department; Macalester College; Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Agnes Baking Company; and the Saint Paul Public Library.