1/16 | Healing Hands Collage Workshop
Artist and art instructor Mansa Mussa led a group of fifteen adults in a colorful and fun “Healing Hands” collage workshop in which they learned to create vibrant 8×10 inch collages using a variety of wallpaper samples and traced images of their hands.
For the collages, Mansa instructed the participants to use techniques found in collage painter, Romare Bearden’s, works: these techniques included adding various cut geometric pieces, colorful hearts, flowers, word stickers, and various textures and layers to create a dynamic composition. Calling collage the “most democratic” art form, Mansa urged the attendees to create a narrative through their collages and to “break at least one rule” in the process.
A couple of participants took up the option of using digital pictures in their collage –Mansa took a picture from their phone and used a photo printer to make a copy– which made the collages more “personalized.” Students walked away with beautiful, unique collages and expressed how much they not only enjoyed the program, but that they would like to have Mansa come back.
1/16 | Get Lit Adult Book Club
This week’s group read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. In this chilling, dystopian narrative, women have lost all of their rights and must live under the extreme religious society’s patriarchal rule. In the fictional world of Gilead, it is illegal for women to work, have money and read. The women are also expected to eat what they are given and do whatever they are told, or pay dire consequences. As expected, our lively group had a lot to say about this!
Group members were interested to learn that Margaret Atwood was quoted to say that she had “invented nothing” in Gilead. All of the extreme acts of violence and oppression against women were indeed happening in parts of the world when she wrote the book in the 1980’s. The group was also fascinated to learn that the popular quote from the book, “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum,” a phrase that has been loosely translated to mean “Don’t let the bastards grind you down,” is actually a joke from Atwood’s Latin classes!
Now that they have read the book, the group is excited to watch the highly acclaimed award winning series
1/23 | Understanding Race in America with Dr. Khyati Joshi
Dr. Khyati Joshi presented a historical narrative that helped to provide and understanding of how Supreme Court decisions and immigration laws have contributed to our society as we know it today. Dr. Joshi entertained questions and comments from the audience regarding these issues.
This program was the first lecture of the Livingston Public Library’s Livingston Listens Series: A Series of Programs on Inclusion, Representation, and Social Justice. Livingston Listens is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Livingston Library.
We look forward to welcoming Dr. Joshi back on Tuesday, February 27th for the second lecture in our series, Understanding Your Child’s Racial Identity.
1/23 & 1/25 | Coffee and Crime
Our first set of Coffee & Crime Mystery Book Club meetings for 2018 started off with a bang. Thirty-one members in total (nineteen in the daytime and twelve in the evening) came to the local history room to talk about Keigo Higashino’s literary thriller, Malice. Reference librarian Ariel Zeitlin, the group’s facilitator, served dry roasted edamame to go with the Japanese setting, but they were eclipsed at the evening meeting by member Nancy Pearl’s amazing home-baked chocolate chip cookies.
Because of the novel’s “unreliable narrator,” the group listened to an audio clip about how to construct the perfect lie. A few members resented the author’s skillful manipulation of the reader, while others were spellbound by his mastery, but as usual, everyone had a great discussion.
1/25 | “Nutty by Nature” Improv Comedy Troupe
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library “Think Theater” series, eleven actors arrived to perform hilarious improv skits for a crowd of fifty-two people, including three children.
While Livingston resident and professional actor Robert Sapoff is the founder of the troupe, it was Elaine Brodie of Caldwell that led the show. The other actors joining them were Michael J. Foy, Christina Mastroeni, Alex Bernstein, Tarek Salib and Charles (Chuck) Tsocanos of Bloomfield, Ray Brandess, Bruce Mejia, Tiffany Bizub, Nat Gennace, and Doug Pinkowsky.
In one of the skits, a “husband and wife” were pantomiming barbecuing a steak on a grill and were told to do it in various emotional states, such as anger, depression, love, etc. The audience couldn’t stop laughing when the fuming wife slathered BBQ sauce over the steak while the furious husband shouted out that she very well knew he only liked salt and pepper and the “argument” escalated. It was so funny to see how quickly they could jump from one emotion to another and had the audience in stitches.
In another skit, they asked the public to call out names of various professions and two actors had to perform how those occupations would work together. When the actors chose how a leprechaun (not actually a profession, but let’s pretend it is) was paired off with an astronaut in an office on the moon, some people were left in literal tears from laughing so hard. All in all, it was a wonderfully entertaining evening in which winter doldrums were set aside and good times were had by all.