Friday, December 15, 2017

Spring 2018 Speakers

By Frank Boles

This coming spring the Clarke Historical Library speaker series will sponsor several speakers related to the spring exhibit, as well a discussion of one of Michigan’s most influential United States senators and two days with Harry Potter.

The spring exhibit, (dis)ABLED BEAUTY: the evolution of beauty, disability and ability, which is hosted by the Clarke Library, will open on February 8th with a presentation by Heidi McKenzie.  Founder of Alter Ur Ego, McKenzie asks a simple question, “Have you ever tried to put on a pair of pants sitting down without moving your legs? Try it! It's not easy, but it's how I live every day.” In 2007 McKenzie was in a traumatic car accident that left her without the ability to feel from the chest down. After her accident she founded Alter Ur Ego, to design fashionable clothing for herself and her “wheelie” friends. This presentation is made possible by Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Following Ms. McKenzie, on February 19 KT Maviglia will speak. Ms. Maviglia was diagnosed with Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the fourth grade. She has two hearing aids. She is also an accomplished young woman who was chosen Miss Michigan in 2014. She will share her story and speak about her journey with hearing loss.
On February 20 & 21 the library will discuss one of the best-selling books of our times in two days of events discussing “The International Appeal of Harry Potter.” The program includes a panel of CMU professors February 21 discussing why the Potter series resonates with people across generations and cultures as well a marathon reading of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on February 20 with CMU students, faculty, and staff reading the book in over a dozen languages. This presentation is made possible by John and Audrey Cumming Endowment.
March 15 Jane Hash, who is Michigan-based spokesperson and model for Classy Little Fashions will speak. The mission of the Classy Little Fashions Foundation is to support individuals with physical disabilities who have non-standard body types by developing and supporting venues that make age appropriate, fashionable clothing accessible.
The library’s speaker’s series will close on March 19 with Hank Meijer discussing his recently published book: Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century. Longtime NPR correspondent Cokie Roberts writes of Meijer’s work, “every member of Congress should read this book.”  United States Senator Arthur Vandenberg was a pre-World War II Isolationist who, faced with the realities of a changing world, changed his views and played a critical role in shaping America’s post World War II foreign policy. His story is that of a politician who held deep beliefs, but beliefs he would be forced to examine and change as a result of changing circumstances.
All of these presentations will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Park Library Auditorium, with a reception following each. The sole exception will be the Harry Potter marathon book reading, which will be held February 20 in the Library’s Baber Room. All of the events are free and open to the public. We hope you will join us.