Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

A collage of six photos representing Library Innovation Lab programs.

Exciting Library Innovation Lab Activities Now Underway Across California

Above Images (left to right): Library Innovation Lab programs at Mill Valley Public Library, Sunnyvale Public Library, Santa Cruz Public Library, San Luis Obispo Public Library, Oakland Public Library Golden Gate Branch, Los Angeles Public Library.

Libraries around the state participating in the 2022 Library Innovation Lab: Exploring New Ways of Engaging Immigrant Communities through Public Humanities Programming (LIL) cohort are offering an exciting array of activities this fall, including these coming up in October. Please check our online calendar for more details and stay tuned for information about upcoming events near you. 

Delano Branch Library (Kern County Library) will screen the documentary film, Delano Manongs: The Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers, on October 21, as part of Creating Vines of Hope: A Filipino-Community Celebration. A discussion led by a historian from the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) about the role Filipino Americans played in the founding of the United Farm Workers and the historic Delano Grape Strike of 1976 will follow. The event will provide an opportunity to collect stories from community members about local Filipinx history that will be archived at the library. On October 25, join a celebration of the life and legacy of Larry Itliong, a leader of the multiethnic agricultural workers movement, at the North Kern Cemetery, co-hosted by FANHS. Other events in October include story hours for children, featuring books by Filipinx authors read by community members, traditional craft workshops sessions, and Sungka (Mancala) game nights at the library. For more information, contact Librarian Fabiola Orozco.

Escondido Public Library continues its fall multicultural arts programming series, Around the World in Many Ways, with a performance by Danza Xinatli on October 15. The local Aztec dance group will perform ceremonial dances and hand singing and explain the history and meaning of these ancient but still vibrant traditions. Audience participation is encouraged! Enjoy a cup of atole or champurrado following the performance. For more information, contact Librarian Maureen Hogan.

An orange flyer with green text and an image of an Aztec dancer
Flyer courtesy of Escondido Public Library.

Irvine University Park Branch Library
(Orange County Public Libraries) continues We are OC: Stories. Connection. Sharing. with a series of weekend programs throughout the month. On October 8, renowned storyteller Michael D. McCarty will share stories and folktales from around the world. The following Sunday, October 16, local author and chef Naz Deravian will give a presentation based on her book, Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories. On October 23, learn about the history of Tai Chi and how it is used for exercise, meditation, and relaxation

in Tai Chi Chuan: An Introductory Talk and Demonstration presented by Coach Lonnly Ching. The last weekend of the month will feature “Writing Your Story”: A Workshop with Dorothy Spirus on Saturday, October 29 to help you craft a story about how you or your family came to Orange County followed on Sunday, October 30, with Awa Odori Dance Talk and Demonstration, a performance and discussion that provide insights into this celebratory Japanese traditional dance.  For more information, contact Librarian Marisa Saam.

A flyer featuring a man smiling surrounded by yellow and orange designs
Courtesy of Irvine University Park Branch Library
A flyer with theater props and a red carpet.
Courtesy of Santa Clarity Public Library

Santa Clarita Public Library continues its fall series Connecting through Art, Nature, Healing and Story with a Theater Workshop for 4th-6th Graders and Families on October 15, at Newhall Family Theater. Children will have the opportunity to learn about different theater professions in this interactive program; register at HERE. On October 22, enjoy a family-friendly showcase of multicultural community performers at Newhall Family Theatre and learn how their craft connects performers to their culture and community; register HERE. Both events are also supported by Raising the Curtain Foundation. For more information, contact Librarian Farima Kafai.

Woodland Hills Branch Library (Los Angeles Public Library) will offer a variety of activities in October as part of Khānah, a Place of Belonging, a three-month series aimed at welcoming Afghan refugees to Los Angeles and helping them preserve and share their cultural heritage. During ongoing weekly sessions supported by teen volunteers, community members are invited to record traditional Afghan lullabies at the library.  Other activities during the month of October include biweekly meetings of the International Women’s Club, weekly ELL classes, and a film discussion. Events will be held online and/or at the library, depending on public health guidelines; translation will be provided as needed. For more information contact Librarian Toki Gholami.  

A flyer with various designs covering it
Courtesy of Woodland Hills Branch Library

Library Innovation Lab is an ongoing program of California Humanities that supports responsive and relevant public humanities programming in California’s public libraries by providing a practice-based, capacity-building, professional development experience for library programming specialists. Cash awards to the participating libraries support innovative programming that engages immigrant populations and offers welcoming and inclusive experiences for all community members. Click here for more information.


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