News & Events

Cultural Connections Women’s Group

Wednesdays, September 21, October 19 - 5:30 to 6:45 PM
Hubbard Room

Women of all nationalities are invited to come and meet other immigrant women in order to help one another adapt to American culture. Get help with local resources and network. Share stories, tips and make new friends.
Children are welcome. Fluency in English is not necessary.
Drop-in, no registration.

Free Concert: The Caroline Doctorow Duo Caroline Doctrow

Saturday September 24, 1:30 PM
The Hubbard Room

Daughter of renowned author E.L. Doctorow, Caroline Doctorow's original folk songs and her very personal tribute to songwriters of the '60s IS folk music at its finest. She will be concentrating on the work of performers such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, among others. This promises to offer the listener a unique perspective of this significant period in our country's musical history. 

Caroline Doctorow is a chart-topping folksinger and songwriter, with a stirring voice that recalls Judy Collins and Sandy Denny. In addition to eleven solo albums, she released the first retrospective of the work of folk icons Richard and Mimi Fariña called AnotheCountry which received critical acclaim. She has just concluded a sold-out tour of venues in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas.

This concert has been funded by The Friends of Russell Library.

Anarchist Histories and Activism (Wesleyan Student Presentations)

Saturday, October 1st, 10:00am to 1:30pm
Hubbard Room

Come hear Wesleyan students publicly present their research from the American Studies course, “Anarchy in America: From Haymarket to Occupy Wall Street,” taught by J. Kēhaulani Kauanui. The course focused on anarchism as a political philosophy and practice - a little known, aspect of American culture and society. Students examined select aspects of anarchist political thought and praxis in the United States and the ways that anarchism has been represented positively, vilified, or dismissed. The class included: histories; philosophies and theories; and activism. The course explored a range of diverse political traditions including: individualist anarchism, socialist anarchism, anarcha-feminism, black anarchism, queer anarchism, indigenous influences and critiques, and other schools of thought. These presentations – by just several students from the class - are based on the final assignment for the course, a research-based political pamphlet. Professor Kauanui will moderate the two panels.

Preparing for College

Fridays October 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, 3:00 to 5:00pm
Meeting Room 3

For teens and young adults who are concerned about knowing how to manage finances, these four workshops presented by Mr. Timothy L. Cooper of March for Education and Ms. Vivian Dominquez of Wells Fargo Bank will help give you a good start! Friday, October 7th is on the “Basics of Banking”; Friday October 14th is on “Budgeting”; Friday October 21st is on “Credit”; and Friday October 22nd is on “College”.
Sponsored by March for Education and Wells Fargo Bank.

The Eighth Annual Middletown International Common Ground Film Festival

Russell Library has partnered with Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University to select and screen acclaimed international films. The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about our world’s diverse cultures—their joys and their struggles—as we gather on ‘common ground’ to celebrate the shared human spirit.

All screenings are on Thursdays, beginning at 7:00pm. Free admission and parking.
All venues accessible to individuals with disabilities. Brief introductions and Q&A following each film, provided by area scholars.
Light refreshments follow each event.

The Eighth Annual Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival
Thursdays, 7:00 pm. Multiple locations, please check each date.

October 6: The Second Mother, Second Mother
(Brazil, 2015, Directed by Anna Muylaert)
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room

In modern day Sao Paulo, when the estranged daughter of a hard-working live-in housekeeper suddenly appears, the unspoken class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. 

October 13: Rhymes for Young Ghouls
(Canada, 2014, Directed by Jeff Barnaby
Location: MXCC / Chapman Hall

Based on a true story about Mi’c Maq Reservation in 1976, requiring that all Indian children must attend a residential school and be at the mercy of the sadistic Indian agent that runs the school, unless they pay a “truancy tax” to the Indian agent.  This is the story of one teenage girl who can no longer pay the “tax”.

October 20: Horses of God
(France/Morocco, 2012, Directed by Nabil Ayouch)   
Location: MXCC / Chapman Hall

A fictional account of the lives and the radicalization of the young men responsible for the suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, the deadliest act of terrorism in Morocco’s history. 

October 27: The Good Road
(Gujarat, India, 2012, directed by Gyan Correa)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies     

State Highway 378, Gujarat.  A family on vacation.  A truck driver on his last journey.  A little girl chasing hope.  A boy finding his home.  24 hours later their lives would have changed forever.

November 3, 2016: Aftermath
(Poland, 2012, directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies 

Two brothers uncover a dark secret that forces them to confront the history of their family, their village and their nation.  Inspired by actual events, Aftermath caused controversy in its native Poland due to its present-day reckoning with a dark period in that country’s history.

November 10, 2016: The Fool
(Russia, 2014, directed by Yury Bykov)
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room

A dramatic tale worthy of Dostoyevsky, tells the story of one man’s fight against a corrupt political system. A young plumber’s assistant eking out a living in modern day Russia finds himself drawn into a world of dark secrets and cancerous corruption.

This program is made possible by the generosity of the Middletown Commission on the Arts, CT Humanities, The Friends of the Russell Library and individual donors.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine: Health for Life with Dr. Chris

Wednesday, October 12, 6:30 to 8:00pm
Hubbard Room

Dr. Chris Maslowski of Sophia Natural Health Center in Marlborough will discuss and demonstrate acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Chinese medicine is the oldest medical system in the world. He will describe the different diagnosis methods such as tongue, pulse and palpation. The tools of Chinese medicine include acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine. Modern research will also be presented to prove how powerful these techniques are for restoring health, and keeping you healthy and disease free.

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band presented by The East Haddam Stage Company

Thursday, October 13, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

The East Haddam Stage Company presents a live-action 'radio' drama: 'Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band' using THE 1930 radio script of William Gillette. This radio drama is complete with sound effects, audience participation, and four actors portraying seven characters. 
William Gillette was best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes in his adaptations of the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He assumed the role on stage more than 1,300 times over thirty years, starred in the 1916 silent motion picture based on his Holmes play, and voiced the character twice on radio. His portrayal of Holmes helped create the modern image of the detective. The East Haddam Stage Company is the featured theater company of Gillette Castle State Park, where they perform each summer. 
This presentation is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Fall Noontime Movie Series
Race to the Rescue: Classic Hollywood Adventures

Tuesday, October 18, at noon
Hubbard Room

Join us for a look at the roots of cinematic action and adventure with this series about swashbuckling heroes and tales of derring-do. Stories of danger, courage, and physical action have been a staple of Hollywood from the very start. By rendering drama in purely visual terms, the genre helped filmmakers master the medium and brought popular audiences to the theater.  Featuring the films of Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, and the Saturday matinee heroes of the great movie serials, we will discuss the enduring appeals of adventure movies and how they’ve changed over the years.

The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks The Mark of Zorro (1920). Douglas Fairbanks stars as the masked avenger in this early action blockbuster. Our hero fights oppression in Spanish California and wins the heart of the beautiful and proper Lolita (Marguerite De La Motte). But she is also wooed by a rich and lazy fop she cannot stand. Could it be that hero and fop are one in the same? (yep!) Said to have influenced the creation of Batman, this silent film also stars Noah Beery and Charles McKim.
Scott Higgins is professor of Film Studies and chair of the College of Film and the Moving Image at Wesleyan University. His latest book MATINEE MELODRAMA is about action serials of the 1930s and 1940s.
The series is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Reader’s Theater - The Consultant

Thursday, October 20, 7:00 pm
Hubbard Room

Reader’s Theater is live drama enacted by local professional actors, directed by Richard B. Kamins. The first play of this season is The Consultant by Heidi Schreck. The plot centers around a pharmaceutical advertising agency which is suffering from the economic collapse of 2008. Employees know their heads are on the chopping block. Schreck gives us a jolt of workplace humor taking place among an unlikely group of workers.
This presentation is funded by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Alice’s Ordinary People Film Screening

Saturday, October 22, 12:00 noon
Hubbard Room

This film by Craig Dudnick profiles Alice Tregay, an unsung heroine of the civil rights movement in Chicago. Alice’s life story reads like a history of the movement. In 1966, Dr. King came to Chicago. Alice and her husband James Tregay, marched with him, often at great personal risk. It was at this time that Dr. King joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the Reverend James Bevel to form Operation Breadbasket. Breadbasket fought racism on many fronts, but its main task was jobs for African Americans, particularly from those businesses drawing profits from the African American community. Under the leadership of Reverend Jackson, the months that Alice and her “ordinary people” spent picketing led to real change. But it was through her Political Education class, that Alice’s had her most significant impact.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

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