News

Author Kirsten Holmstedt to visit Waukegan Public Library

Post date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 9:04am

Kirsten Holmstedt, writer and expert on female members of the armed forces, will visit the Waukegan Public Library on Thursday, November 5, to discuss her acclaimed book, Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq. Holmstedt’s visit is one of many special events in Waukegan and surrounding areas in support of “Those Who Serve,” a two-month initiative by the Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan.

The book recounts the stories of twelve American women serving in Iraq, with a forward by Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Holmstedt’s book offers journalistic insight into the experiences of American servicewomen, featuring the stories of soldiers, military policewomen, and nurses. Winner of the Military Writer’s Society of America Founders Award and the American Authors Association Golden Quill Award, the book represents a look into the sometimes universal, sometimes unique challenges faced by servicewomen, from the dangers of war to hazing to the multitude of emotions and struggles confronting returning soldiers. While the book’s primary focus is the experience of women in combat, whatever their roles, the closing chapter offers a peek into their lives as they continue their service - some remain with the armed forces, and others adjust to civilian life.

“Kirsten Holmstedt conducted detailed interviews with each subject to produce this book,” said Waukegan Public Library Executive Director Richard Lee. “That makes for a compelling and truly insightful look into what it means to be a female member of the armed forces.” The interviews, coupled with the book’s organization as anecdotes for each woman, result in a book that is at once broad in scope and deeply personal.

Holmstedt’s appearance is the last in Waukegan Public Library’s “Those Who Serve” writers series, which will bring three acclaimed authors to the Library for book talks, signings, and Q&A sessions this fall. The exhibit and writers series represent the Library’s contribution to “Those Who Serve,” a community-wide initiative called Waukegan ArtWise, which in its inaugural year spotlights the experiences of American service men and women.

As part of the series, Waukegan Public Library welcomed former Marine officer, artist, and author Benjamin Busch in mid-September, with Busch’s photographs on display in the Library’s lobby through November 11. Author Michael Pitre visited the Library on October 8, 2015, for a reading and Q&A.  

For more information about Waukegan Public Library’s writers’ series, as well as Benjamin Busch’s ongoing “The Art in War” exhibit, please visit www.waukeganpl.org, or contact Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager, at (847) 775-2560.

For more information on Waukegan ArtWise - “Those Who Serve,” a project of the Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan, please visit waukeganartwise.com.

WPL's Big Read kicks off this weekend!

Post date: Sunday, October 25, 2015 - 2:02pm

The Waukegan Public Library is excited to announce three special events that will kick off its four-month Big Read, Fahrenheit 451! The festivities will run from Friday, Oct. 30, through Saturday, Oct. 31. As Halloween was Ray Bradbury’s favorite holiday, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

10th Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival: The Art of Storytelling
Friday, October 30, 7:30pm; Genesee Theatre
Buy tickets here

Stories will be spun for the tenth year in a row at the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 7:30pm at Waukegan’s historic Genesee Theatre. This year, the award-winning Festival will feature an all-Bradbury program that will be sure to delight fans of Waukegan’s famous son. The Storytelling Festival will also kick off the Library’s Big Read: a four-month celebration of Bradbury’s landmark novel Fahrenheit 451.

Five acclaimed storytellers will return to the Genesee Theatre to tackle some of Ray Bradbury’s most iconic works – from Fahrenheit 451 to October Country to Dandelion Wine, one of many works to feature Waukegan re-imagined as “Green Town.” Hosted by the Waukegan Public Library, the festival will be a celebration of Bradbury’s literary genius.

Storytellers Jim May, Oba William King, Carol Birch and Bill Oberst Jr. will join Artistic Director Megan wells for an evening of stories culled from Bradbury’s short stories and novel Dandelion WineDandelion Wine is the first of three novels set in Green Town, which was Brabdury’s way of recapturing the rapidly disappearing Midwestern country town of his memory.

Tickets are on sale now at the Genesee Theatre and at ticketmaster.com. For more information about storytelling, this year’s program, or ticketing information, please contact Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Waukegan Public Library, at amandacivitello [at] waukeganpl [dot] info or 847-775-2560.

Keynote: Prof. Jonathan R. Eller, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Saturday, October 31, 1:30pm; Waukegan Public Library

Ray Bradbury will again be the star of the show at the Waukegan Public Library on Saturday, October 31, when Professor Jonathan Eller will lead a workshop as part of the Waukegan Public Library’s Big Read. The Library was recently awarded a grant to fund through reading initiative designed to energize the community around a single book.

Fittingly scheduled for the author’s favorite holiday, the keynote workshop will center on Bradbury’s landmark novel Fahrenheit 451. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the many complicated themes at play in a novel that so often is reduced to a single one: censorship.

“Ray Bradbury was insistent that Fahrenheit 451 be read as a cautionary tale against intellectual complacency just as much – if not more so – than as an argument for intellectual freedom,” said Richard Lee, Executive Director of the Waukegan Public Library. “It’s about much more than censorship.”

Dr. Eller is an Americanist at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis specializing in the work of Ray Bradbury. He is the author of several books on Bradbury, including Becoming Ray Bradbury (University of Illinois, 2011). Choice called him “the preeminent biographer of Ray Bradbury.” The co-founder and present director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Eller is responsible for maintaining and developing the Bradbury collection at IUPUI, which includes artifacts and ephemera from Bradbury’s Los Angeles residence. Eller will answer audience questions after his talk.

The event is free and open to all; registration is not required.

Performance: Ray Bradbury’s Pillar of Fire by Bill Oberst Jr.
Saturday, October 31, 3:30pm; Waukegan Public Library

Actor Bill Oberst, Jr. will captivate audiences at the Waukegan Public Library on Saturday, October 31, with a theatrical reading of Ray Bradbury’s eerie short story “Pillar of Fire.” Oberst’s award-winning performance will be free and open to the public. It is the final event of a two-day celebration of Bradbury sponsored by the Library.

Oberst, a Los Angeles-based actor, is passionate about preserving Bradbury’s legacy through performance. Described by Broadway World as “a haunting story, masterfully told,” Oberst’s theatrical reading is a Hollywood Fringe Platinum Award winner. His one-man show will follow his tandem telling of a Bradbury story, “The Foghorn,” with Megan Wells at the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival the evening prior.

A Los Angeles actor who plays dark, conflicted characters on film and television, Oberst is perhaps best known for his role as The Killer Woodsman on the CBS-TV series “Criminal Minds,” and for his Emmy-award winning performance as the Facebook Stalker in viral video hit “Take This Lollipop.” Oberst’s roles in horror and cult films, one-man shows and portrayals of historic figures have garnered considerable attention. A stage actor first, Oberst toured the country in a biographical production of Lewis Grizzard, the American writer, a role for which he was chosen by Grizzard’s widow, and received critical acclaim for his portrayals of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, as well as for his one-man show “Stand Up! When Comedy Was Funny,” which featured Oberst’s portrayal of several comedic greats, including Bob Newhart and Woody Allen. For more information and to view Oberst’s complete filmography, please visit his profile at IMDB.com while his website is under construction: www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994.

The performance is free and open to alll; no registration is required.

The Waukegan Public Library’s Fahrenheit 451 Big Read provides for four months of programming for all ages. Events are free and open to the public.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

10th Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival: The Art of Storytelling

Post date: Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 9:47am

Stories will be spun for the tenth year in a row at the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 7:30pm at Waukegan’s historic Genesee Theatre. This year, the award-winning Festival will feature an all-Bradbury program that will be sure to delight fans of Waukegan’s famous son. The Storytelling Festival will also kick off the Library’s Big Read: a four-month celebration of Bradbury’s landmark novel Fahrenheit 451.

Five acclaimed storytellers will return to the Genesee Theatre to tackle some of Ray Bradbury’s most iconic works – from Fahrenheit 451 to October Country to Dandelion Wine, one of many works to feature Waukegan re-imagined as “Green Town.” Hosted by the Waukegan Public Library, the festival will be a celebration of Bradbury’s literary genius.

Storytellers Jim May, Oba William King, Carol Birch and Bill Oberst Jr. will join Artistic Director Megan wells for an evening of stories culled from Bradbury’s short stories and novel Dandelion WineDandelion Wine is the first of three novels set in Green Town, which was Brabdury’s way of recapturing the rapidly disappearing Midwestern country town of his memory.

The 10th Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival is the kick-off event for Waukegan Public Library’s Big Read, a project of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Library was awarded an $8000 grant to sponsor four months of community-wide programming focused on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The Library’s Big Read grant will fund a keynote workshop with Professor Jon Eller of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University, readers’ groups in CUSD 60 schools, literacy initiatives designed to bring Fahrenheit 451 to English language learners, fun family activities and more. In particular, the Library’s programming will focus on making the novel’s themes relevant to high school students through innovative programming such as a planned “Broadcasting Bradbury” podcast session.

The Big Read aims to promote literacy by engaging communities in an ongoing discussion about a book, supported by community events. Waukegan Public Library’s Big Read will run from October 30, 2015 through February 2016.

Tickets for the 10th Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival on sale now at the Genesee Theatre and at ticketmaster.com. For more information about storytelling, this year’s program, or ticketing information, please contact Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Waukegan Public Library, at amandacivitello [at] waukeganpl [dot] infoor 847-775-2560.