Magazine Room

Keene Chautauqua -- Community, Civility & Compassion

Thursday June 28, 2012 in Heberton Hall, Library Annex
6:00 p.m. -- Music by Hunt and Allision
6:30 p.m. -- Henry David Throeau and Sarah Orne Jewett take the stage.

Henry David Thoreau is potrayed by Kevin Radaker: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is known for his thoughts on political reform in Civil Disobedience and for his sentiments on nature and conservation in his natural history essays. His place in American literature and culture is secure, by virtue of the remarkable artistry of one book: his masterpiece, Walden.  This evening, our Thoreau will offer trenchant criticism of an overly materialistic and mechanized life, argue that principled non-violent resistance against injustice can lead to profound change, and celebrate the spiritual value of nature and the wild. Thoreau was a visionary whose eloquent prose has inspired countless persons to live lives of simplicity, integrity, and higher purpose. Civil Disobedience inspired such great reformers of the past century as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his thoughts on nature provided the ideological underpinnings of the wilderness preservation movement and contemporary environmentalism.
 
Sarah Orne Jewett is portrayed by Betty Jean Steinshourer:  Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) was an American novelist and short story writer, as famous as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or Mark Twain in her day.  Her writing centered on the southern tier of Maine, especially the seacoast area, where she lived most of her life. Her literary reputation rests upon more than 170 works of fiction, most of which depict the lives of the ordinary people of nineteenth-century rural Maine.

The Keene Public Library is able to host this series of events because of a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council (NHHC), a private non-profit organization whose mission is “to offer essential opportunities for discovery, self-reflection, and lifelong learning by fostering civil discourse and bringing ideas from the humanities to the people of New Hampshire.” The NHHC awards grants and develops and sponsors free public programs such as book discussions, workshops, seminars, and conferences led by scholars in literature, history, languages, ethics, philosophy, comparative religion and culture, and the interpretation of the arts.
 
This event is part of our Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion programs, which has been made possible through a grant from the American Library Associationand the Fetzer Institute.