Human Rights Film Series: “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America”

About the event:

When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the journey across the desert in search of the American dream. Twenty-three years later, as an undocumented gay man in rural North Carolina, Serrano is forbidden to live and love in the country he calls home. This award-winning documentary chronicles his personal journey as an activist fighting for equality, all while trying to forge a path for his own future.

Presented in partnership with the Advocates for Human Rights. A moderated discussion follows the film.

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Women’s History Lecture Series: Pauli Murray and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Pauli Murray and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Blazing the Trail to Legal Equality

As lawyers, Pauli Murray and Ruth Bader Ginsburg both broke new ground by successfully arguing landmark gender equality cases. The openly gay Murray reinvented herself several times, while Ginsburg married young and doggedly trod the path that would lead her to the Supreme Court and 21st century fame as “the notorious RBG.” Discover how these two contrasting personalities forged new and enduring directions for all American women.

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Women’s History Lecture Series: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart: Charting a Course Toward Fame, Feminism, and Fulfillment

When former St. Paul resident Amelia Earhart accepted the challenge of becoming the first woman to fly the Atlantic, she also took on the burden and opportunities of her celebrity. Learn about Earhart’s forgotten feminist advocacy, the ups and downs of her stardom, and how she navigated the hazards of the skies and the earth below.

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Rose Ensemble Lecture & Demonstration: “Welcome the People: The Musical Legacy of the Reformation”

About the Event

Lecture and Demonstration: “Welcome the People: The Musical Legacy of the Reformation”

Five hundred years ago, a monk named Martin Luther set in motion a spiritual movement that would transform church music for his followers. In this exciting collaboration with one of the world’s finest consort of Renaissance wind instruments, the Rose Ensemble presents works by first-generation Reformation composers Johann Walther, Leonhard Lechner, and Michael Praetorius, as well as their ground-breaking reconstruction of a 1616 royal baptismal mass. Join Artistic Director Jordan Sramek for a fascinating look at this history behind the music and enjoy samples performed by members of The Rose Ensemble.

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Behind the Curtain with Park Square Theatre: “William Shakespeare’s Hamlet”

Join The Friends and Park Square Theatre for an evening with cast members from the upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Go behind the curtain with director/scenic designer Joel Sass and actors Kathryn Fumie (Horatio) and Kory LaQuess Pullam (Hamlet). 

Adapted and Directed by Joel Sass

Devastated by his father’s death and disgusted by his mother’s hasty marriage to his hated uncle, Denmark’s Prince Hamlet has hit the rock bottom of despair. Now the ghost of his father appears, claiming the uncle murdered him – driving Hamlet to avenge a crime that may or may not be a product of his own imagining. Grand in scope, rich in language, this classic story of haunting, both literal and metaphorical, ranks among Shakespeare’s finest masterpieces.


Attendees of the library program are invited to purchase up to four (4) half-priced, standard tickets to see a performance of the show at Park Square Theatre (October 26 – November 11). All tickets must be purchased in advance of the October 25 discussion program at Hamline Midway Library and can be picked up that evening. Please register below to receive the special discount code via email.

Human Rights Film Series: “The Blood is at the Doorstep”

The Blood is at the Doorstep

“The Blood is at the Doorstep”

While not as publicized as cases of police brutality and police shootings in cities like New York, Oakland, Ferguson, and Baltimore, the 2014 killing of Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee is as shocking and tragic as any. In broad daylight in the middle of downtown, an officer responding to a complaint from a Starbucks employee approached Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed black man coping with paranoid schizophrenia resting in a public park. Minutes later, the officer shot Dontre 14 times.

The absolutely riveting and often angering documentary “The Blood Is at the Doorstep” digs deep into this case and its aftermath, following Dontre’s family and surrounding community for three years. We get incredible access to Dontre’s mourning mother Maria and determined older brother Nate, both of whom become committed activists in the wake of Dontre’s killing. We also spend time with Milwaukee Police chief Ed Flynn, examining his response to Dontre’s case and the still-unfolding legacy of that response.

Director Erik Ljung has meticulously crafted a piece of essential viewing, one that has much to contribute to our understanding of the ongoing epidemic of police violence. We get to know the victim, and watch his family’s transformation into activists. We see the complex layers of engagement when a mourning family’s desires diverge from those of fellow activists, and feel their frustration and anger with institutional responses. Importantly, we also see the often-ugly role police unions and “blue lives matter” rallies can play in preserving an oppressive status quo. The setting may be Milwaukee, but it could just as well be anywhere—and it’s a film every concerned citizen here should see. (Eric Allen Hatch, Maryland Film Festival)




The Friends and The Advocates for Human Rights return for a thirteenth season of thought-provoking and enlightening films followed by moderated discussions throughout the fall and spring. Films in the series cover a broad range of human rights issues that affect people all around the globe.

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Club Book: Vidar Sundstøl

Vidar Sundstøl

Scandinavian readers who have never visited the United States have come to know northern Minnesota intimately through the inspired work of Norwegian crime novelist Vidar Sundstøl. He is best known, both in his native country and abroad, for the Minnesota Trilogy: The Land of Dreams, Only the Dead, and The Ravens. The series, translated to English by Tiina Nunnally, centers around a U.S. Forest Service officer whose happy, unassuming life on Lake Superior is turned upside down by the grisly murder of a Norwegian tourist. The Land of Dreams won Sundstøl the Riverton Prize for Best Norwegian Crime Story in 2008; popular newspaper Dagbladet recently praised it as one of the twenty-five best Norwegian mystery novels of all time. Sundstøl’s newest novel, The Devil’s Wedding Ring, picks up with the mysterious death of an occult folklore researcher on Midsummer Eve. It is a story American fans have been craving: not only “taut with suspense, but steeped in Norwegian culture past and present” (University of Minnesota Press). Its English translation debuts in September.

This program is free and open to the public. Doors open 45 minutes in advance the program and books will be available for sale/signing. Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Services Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. This event is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

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Books & Bars: “Frankenstein”

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:00 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion

Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering “the cause of generation and life” and “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter,” Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but, upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator.

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Eating, Reading, & Living Well: “Local Choices, Global Impact: Understanding Your Role in the Food System”

About the Event

Presentation: “Local Choices, Global Impact: Understanding Your Role in the Food System”

Kristine Igo has served as the Assistant, and now Associate Director for the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute at the University of Minnesota since 2009. Highlights of her involvement with the Institute to-date include: facilitation and drafting of the MN Food Charter; participating in writing the USDA sponsored ESCOP Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture; convening a multi-disciplinary Foodshed conference; working as a task force member with the Grains for Health Foundation; coordinating the University’s four annual Food Day activities; and developing both undergraduate and University staff cooking and wellness courses. Kris is a member of the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council and school garden coordinator for Seward Montessori. Prior to completing her Masters of Public Policy from the University of California-Berkeley, Kris worked in Twin Cities restaurants and wine shops as a buyer and wine educator.

About the Series

Eating, Reading and Living Well is an annual series of films, readings, and presentations for youth and adults focusing on learning to live a healthier life. Presented by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market. Back to the Series >>.