Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities, through a variety of formats tailored to the subject at hand: lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more. Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and registration in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Friday, September 28, 2018Monday, December 31, 2018
Exhibitions
Free and open to the public
As the grandest international spectacle in a great age of spectacles, the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 captured the public’s imagination through a dazzling array of visual images.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Conversations at the Newberry
Architects Ann M. Beha and Steven G. Gerrard on the challenges of renovating historic buildings
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Ann M. Beha and Steven G. Gerrard will present work that renews—and challenges—historic settings, in support of new programs and identity. They will explore the recent Newberry Library renovation—its purpose, principles, and design expression—to probe the issues of change and continuity for landmark buildings.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
This colloquium honors the quasquicentennial of the Cobb Building by considering the recent renovation of the first floor in historical context. In fact, there have been many major projects here across the years - all aimed at improving the serviceability of the building. Photographs of earlier projects and building configurations will help us assess our institutional past and present.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
A Lecture by Julia Bachrach
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In the late 1860s, when acclaimed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. visited the site for Chicago’s Jackson Park he did not consider it very promising.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Robert Bruegmann
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America explores and celebrates Chicago’s pivotal role in the development of modern American design.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
A Discussion with Paul F. Gehl and Tanner Woodford, and a Holiday Card-Making Workshop
Free; very limited space. Registration required.
Explore the aesthetic and technological dimensions of typography and book design in Chicago, with an in-depth look at the Newberry’s collection of type specimens, book designs, and advertising. 9:30 - 11:30 am Display of Materials from the Archives ITW Seminar Room (just west of Ruggles Hall)
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Travel to the 1893 World’s Fair through a special conversation on The Joffrey Ballet’s 2018 production of The Nutcracker, set during the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Barking Water, Directed by Sterlin Harjo Hoping to see his daughter and grandchild, a terminally ill man (Richard Ray Whitman) embarks on a road trip with his former lover (Casey Camp-Horinek). Barking water is story of love, family, and a final journey home. Run time: 85 minutes
Saturday, December 8, 2018
A Lecture and Demonstration by Lisa M. Snyder
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Reclaim the lost experience of navigating through the White City with this digital visual simulation.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
A Theatrical Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended
Join us for a special holiday-themed morning.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Reel Injun – Search for the Hollywood Indian, Directed by: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, and Jeremiah Hayes The history of the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood films. More Than a Word, directed by Kenn Little and John Little Directors: Kenn Little and John Little
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
“O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies?” A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Michelle Shupe.
Friday, January 18, 2019Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Life, Writings, and Influence of Herman Melville, Author of Moby-Dick
Free and open to the public
Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition. For the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, this exhibition will highlight the many facets of his work, illustrating how he has been perceived and repurposed over the past 200 years.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
A Keynote Address by Nathaniel Philbrick
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Why Read Moby-Dick?, explores the timeless relevance of Herman Melville’s masterpiece.
Saturday, January 19, 2019Sunday, January 20, 2019
Live Marathon Reading of Herman Melville's Masterpiece
Sign up now to be a reader!
Join us for an hour, an afternoon or morning, or all night long! To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, the Newberry Library will host a Moby-Dick Read-a-Thon lasting 25 continuous hours. By the end of the marathon reading, a series of readers-performers will have collectively read Moby-Dick (aloud) cover to cover!
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series: Peter C. Mancall
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In the sixteenth-century Atlantic world, nature and culture swirled in people’s minds to produce fantastic images.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Panel Discussion with Performance, Chicago Opera Theater
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Hear from the artists behind this new opera, which had its world premiere just three years ago at Beth Morrison Project’s PROTOTYPE Festival.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Kissed by Lightning, Directed by Shelley Niro “Kissed by Lightning” is a story of woman trying to keep the stories of her late husband alive while also working through her grief and learning to love again. Run time: 1 hour 29 minutes She is Water, Directed by Darlene Naponse
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Tera Agyepong and Elliott Gorn
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join us as authors Tera Eva Agyepong and Elliott Gorn explore the tangled history of black children and America’s criminal justice system.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
This performance will be held at Fourth Presbyterian Church
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste. And therefore is love said to be a child Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Adina Hoffman
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In Adina Hoffman’s Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, Chicago becomes its own character. Hoffman writes in detail about Hecht’s years here and his involvement both with the city’s newspapers and with the Chicago Renaissance.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A gritty realist drama about Irish Americans in one of Chicago’s toughest early 20th-century neighborhoods, in which a cop and a priest collaborate to save a young man at risk.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Brian McCammack
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Situated at the intersection of race and place in American history, Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago traces the contours of a black environmental consciousness that runs throughout the African American experience.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
#stillhere, Directed by Desmond Hessing (Oklahoma Choctaw) Short Video Art piece which challenges traditional representations of Indigenous people as being trapped in the past. Run time: 1 minute 20 seconds Nothing about Moccasins, Directed by Eden Mallina Awashish
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Staged Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A Shakespearean company puts down their rehearsal sides of Lear and curiously take up those of a new play entitled Moby Dick.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Music by Rudolph Ganz and Friends
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
To celebrate the musical legacy and contributions of Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972), a series of three concerts will take place in 2019. Each concert will have a different program, different performers, and a different location in order to reach new audiences.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Panel Discussion with Performance, Chicago Opera Theater
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join the artists of Chicago Opera Theater’s Moby-Dick and the Melville Society in celebrating the 200th birthday of author Herman Melville.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join us as authors Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm discuss the rise and fall of the printed newspaper, in Chicago and nationwide.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Susan Sleeper-Smith
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, by Susan Sleeper-Smith, recovers the agrarian village world Indian women created in the lush lands of the Ohio Valley.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series: Alan Shaw Taylor
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
By examining a map made by natives of the Carolina backcountry in 1721, this presentation reveals efforts to understand and adapt to colonial trade and settlement.
Monday, May 6, 2019
The Board of Trustees invites you to join the Newberry in honoring Marilynne Robinson for her outstanding contributions to the humanities. Ms. Robinson is the author of Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2005), Home (2008), and Lila (2014).
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, Directed by Cody Lucich “Standing Rock, 2016: the largest Native American occupation since Wounded Knee, thousands of activists, environmentalists, and militarized police descend on the Dakota Access Pipeline, in a standoff between Big Oil and a new generation of native warriors.”
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
That disease Of which all old men sicken,—avarice. A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.