Since the earlier 1970s, our organization has played a unique and valued role as producers of cultural, literary and civic programs in our libraries. Over the past twenty years, we have hosted more than 1,000 authors, lecturers and artists at free programs. Past presenters for events have included Anthony Burgess, Walter Mosley, Jane Hamilton, Quincy Troupe, Joyce Carol Oates, Marilynne Robinson, Grace Paley, Tom Robbins, Louise Erdrich, Anchee Min, Andrei Codrescu, and Garrison Keillor (to name just a few).
In 2010, the Friends of HCL produced 67 free cultural programs – attracting more than 10,000 people to the Library. In addition, the ticketed Pen Pals series was attended by 6,000 people and raised over $213,000 to help the Friends of HCL and the Library.
Our programmatic mission is to provide engaging cultural activities to attract new audiences to the Library,engage our current members, and raise the visibility of Friends of HCL. Past signature series have include a Favorite Poem Celebrity Reading, Twin Cities Most Extra Ordinary Places, The Politics of Language, Voices from the Heartland, Writer Next Door, Noontime Authors, Library Kidfest, The People’s University, Censorship and Libraries, One-on-One Dialogues, Hands-on Tour for Book Lovers, Perspectives on Business, ArchiTalks, Globalized Unearthed, and dozens more.
Here is a selection of upcoming cultural programs hosted by the Friends of HCL:
- Pen Pals (this award-winning ticketed author lecture series will feature Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Ondaatje, Wallace Shawn, Dr. Brian Greene, and Arthur Phillips in the 2011-2012 season.)
- Talk of the Stacks (offering free programs with authors Nuruddih Farah, Calvin Trillin, Lisa Randall, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Will Hermes)
- Spotlight on Local Presses (highlighting Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, and Milkweed Editions)
- Childish Films (a program of cinema and arts for all ages and up at Central, Ridgedale and Southdale libraries)
Please join us at an upcoming event.