Opus & Olives: A Benefit with Friends

O&O Color Logo

Save the Date for this year's virtual event featuring Mo Rocca as Emcee!

Opus & Olives
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Where: Online in the location of your choosing

Opus & Olives is not your average virtual gala. This celebration includes five national bestselling authors coming directly to your home - and hundreds of fellow supporters watching from theirs - all in support of your Saint Paul Public Library. When you join us for Opus & Olives, you support early literacy, workforce development, and other lifelong learning opportunities for individuals of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. And you just might have some fun, too.

The 2020 lineup will be announced later this year.

2019 Author Lineup

How to Forget
KTMA8P A holographic 3d illustration of a lie detector with a metallic stylus writing a red curvy line on a paper with boxes. The lines have various paramete
Resistance Women
The Shadow King
The Paris Diversion

Kate Mulgrew, emcee

Kate Mulgrew, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, is an actress and author with an extensive career on stage and screen. From her start as Mary Ryan, the lead role on the popular soap opera Ryan's Hope to the groundbreaking first female starship captain on Star Trek: Voyager to her acclaimed performance as Galina "Red" Reznikov on Netflix's smash hit Orange Is The New BlackKate brings a formidable presence and deep passion to all her projects. Her 2016 book, Born With Teeth, allowed her to add "New York Times bestselling author" to her resume.

About her latest work: How to Forget

They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer’s, New York-based actress Kate Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left. The months Kate spends with her parents in Dubuque - by turns turbulent, tragic, and joyful - lead her to reflect on each of their lives and how they shaped her own. Those ruminations are transformed when, in the wake of their deaths, Kate uncovers long-kept secrets that challenge her understanding of the unconventional Irish Catholic household in which she was raised.

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden is the author of 13 books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, and the 2017 bestseller Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. He reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years and now writes for the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and other magazines. He is also the writer in residence at the University of Delaware. His most recent book is The Last Stone.

About his latest work: The Last Stone

For forty years the mystery of what happened to the Lyon sisters, ages 10 and 12, who disappeared in 1975 from the Wheaton Plaza shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C., haunted an entire community, including journalist Mark Bowden, who covered the story as a cub reporter. With The Last Stone, he now returns to the crime to cover the extraordinary effort by authorities to bring their kidnapper to justice and to try to answer the question he could never shake, “Who would commit such a crime? And why?” The Last Stone delivers a visceral, chilling, and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.

Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and several other acclaimed historical novels, as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, “In addition to simply being fascinating stories, these novels go a long way in capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years.” A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

About her latest work: Resistance Women

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where the newlyweds create a rich new life in the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin. But as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences. Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.


Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Creative Capital. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion's Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science MonitorBoston Globe and other publications. Her work can be found in The New YorkerNew York Review of BooksGranta, the Guardian, the New York TimesRolling Stone, and BBC, among other places. She is a professor at Queens College and lives in New York City.

About her latest work: The Shadow King

In 1935, orphaned servant Hirut struggles to adapt to her new household as Ethiopia faces Mussolini’s looming invasion. As the battles begin in earnest, Hirut and other women must care for the wounded. But when Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia is about to lose hope, Hirut helps to disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor to keep the fight alive. She becomes his guard, inspiring women to join the war against fascism. Set against the first real conflict of World War II, The Shadow King is a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.

Chris Pavone

Chris Pavone is the New York Times bestselling author of The ExpatsThe Accident, and The Travelers. He is the winner of the Edgar and Anthony awards for best first novel. He was a book editor for nearly two decades and lives in New York City with his family.

About his latest work: The Paris Diversion

People have big plans for the day. Dexter Moore is going to make a small fortune, finally digging himself out of a deep financial hole, via an extremely risky investment. Hunter Forsyth is going to make a huge fortune, with a major corporate acquisition that will send his company’s stock soaring. Kate Moore’s plans are more modest: preparations for tonight’s dinner party and an uneventful workday at the Paris Substation, the clandestine cadre of operatives that she has been running. And Mahmoud Khalid? He is planning to die today. And he won’t be the only one.

Ticket Opportunities

Library Champion:

$300/individual ticket

Guests receive premier seating tickets (tables seat ten), a three-course plated dinner, wine at each table, complimentary valet parking, and recognition for table host(s).

Reading Ambassador:

$150/individual ticket

Guests receive tickets (tables seat ten), a three-course plated dinner, wine at each table, complimentary valet parking, and recognition for table host(s).

Because The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all but $75 of each ticket is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.


Support Learning for a Lifetime

By sponsoring Opus & Olives, our biggest, most visible fundraising event, you are helping us make an impact in your community and beyond. Your partnership supports early literacy, workforce development, and lifelong learning, for individuals of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Entertain and Enjoy

This lively and elegant evening features more than just fabulous dinner, drinks, and conversation. Opus & Olives is a celebration of the power of libraries to help communities thrive. Each year we host five best-selling authors that deliver engaging presentations with personal stories about their work, their inspiration, and the importance of libraries on their journey.

Now in its sixteenth year, Opus & Olives is recognized nationally as one of the premier literary and social events of the year. Whether you’re entertaining clients or mingling with Twin Cities leaders, you’ll find an audience of smart, savvy, influential Minnesotans.

Get Involved

If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, you can download our sponsorship kit or contact Greg Giles, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement, at 651-366-6499 or [email protected]