Wood Library offers full schedule of upcoming programs

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Sep. 16, 2011
Actress Judy Bernstein will present 'Dinner at the White House' at the Oct. 26 Wednesday Afternoon Series. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The Wood Memorial Library and Museum has announced its very full line-up of fall and winter events. From children’s programs to art openings, unique exhibits to holiday happenings, the Wood offers an array of interesting and thought-provoking entertainment.

“The Wood offers so much culture for the town,” said Jan Grace, librarian and program manager. The library actually has no budget per se for programs. “We have to raise enough funds through participation fees to cover the cost of the programs,” said Grace. A program committee of eight volunteers selects the events to best suit the needs of the library and to attract audiences with varied interests.

Well-known for quality children’s programming, the Wood hosts the pre-school story hour every other Thursday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Children enjoy the story-reading and related crafts right in the library. Just in time for the holidays, there will be a Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 22, and a wreath-making program on Sunday, Nov. 20. The popular gingerbread house workshop will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27. This year also continues the American Girls series with a holiday event on Saturday, Nov. 12. Many of the children’s programs require pre-registration, and spaces are limited.

The tradition of the Wednesday Afternoon Series continues with “Dinner at the White House” on Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. Actress Judy Bernstein will present nuances about the customs and cuisine at the White House through anecdotes about various presidents, first ladies and their guests. According to Grace, several of the White House recipes will be sampled during the program reception. There is a cost of $10 for this event, and pre-registration is necessary, as the Wednesday Afternoon programs are often sell-outs, said Grace. “These programs come at a great time for those who don’t want to drive at night,” noted Grace.

In the lower-level gallery, a different local artist is featured every month or so. Each exhibit opens with a Gallery Artist Reception, held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., which are free and open to the public. The first exhibit, which showcases art by Dick and Peggy Traskos, starts with an opening reception on Sunday, Oct. 2, followed by the opening reception for 19th Century Americana on Friday, Nov. 18.

Tying into the theme of the 40th anniversary of the Wood Memorial Library and Museum, “Forty Years of Collecting” is the main exhibit for fall, showcasing a variety of items from eight different collections. Although the Wood dates back to the 1920s as the town’s library, the Friends of the Wood Memorial Library was founded in 1971 to continue as a privately-funded library when the town’s new library was built.

This eclectic exhibit will include antique sterling silver items made in Connecticut, antique weather vanes, watercolors by Amelia Watson, South Windsor turn-of-the-century artist samplers, Albertus Jones paintings from a local collector and historic items from the Wood’s archives, just to name a few. An opening reception on Nov. 18 will unveil the exhibit, which will run through Jan. 31, 2012.

“We have some wonderful volunteers,” added Grace. She noted that the volunteers do the baking for the receptions, host during the programs and help with the set-up and clean-up. “Without them, we couldn’t have these programs,” she said.

Several other organizations host events at the Wood, including the Riverwoods Thursday Evening Poetry Series, which is held in the lower gallery on the second Thursday of the month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit the website riverwoodpoetry.org.

The South Windsor Cultural Arts also hosts most of its Sunday Concert Series at the Wood. The 31st season begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, with Tanya Bannister on piano. The Wood provides an opportunity to hear the internationally-renowned musicians in an intimate setting. All concerts are fee and open to the public. For more information about the Sunday Concert Series, call 860-644-5320 or 860-289-1783, or send an e-mail to swculturalarts@gmail.com.

The Wood Memorial Library and Museum is located at 783 Main St., in South Windsor, opposite the intersection with Pleasant Valley Road. It is open on Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and by appointment. Through Oct. 16, the library is also open during the South Windsor Farmers’ Market on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information about the library and its programs, visit the website woodmemoriallibrary.org or call 860-289-1783.

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