Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Read Any Banned Books Lately?

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read (September 24 to October 1, 2011) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. [read more at the American Library Association site].

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and National Association of College Stores; and in 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center also joined as sponsors. In addition, it is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Note: The World War II poster shown here features a quotation by Franklin Roosevelt and was illustrated by S. Broder. Published in 1942 by the U.S. Government Printing Office, it was distributed by the Division of Public Inquiry within the Office of War Information.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

As Seen on TV . . .

"Growing It Here, Growing It Now," the new Common Curator documentary on community gardens, continues to be aired on local television. In addition to Channels 4 (Carrboro) and 8 (Chapel Hill), the film is also now being shown on Channel 18 (Durham); the schedules for the coming week are listed below:

Channels 4 (Carrboro) and 8 (Chapel Hill)

Mon., Sept. 26 – 11:30 am

Tues., Sept. 27 – 1:00 am (late Mon. night) + 8:30 am + 6:30 pm
Wed., Sept. 28 – 2 pm + 6:30 pm
Thurs., Sept. 29 – 7:30 am
Fri., Sept. 30 – 6:30 pm
Sun., Oct. 2 – 10:30 pm

Channel 18 (Durham)

Mon., Sept. 26 – 12:30 pm
Wed., Sept. 28 – 1:30 pm
Sat., Oct. 1 – 12 noon
Sun., Oct. 2 – 12 noon
Daily and weekly schedules for all programming are accessible at The Peoples Channel.

The documentary was directed and produced by Daniel Smith; for a description, check out the announcement in a previous Common Curator post. The film is available on DVD, and can be ordered by emailing the Common Curator.

Friday, September 23, 2011

National Book Festival 2011

The 11th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, has been expanded to two days, and will be held on Saturday & Sunday, September 24-25, 2011, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The festival is free and open to the public, with last year's festival drawing over 150,000 visitors.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event. More than 100 authors, illustrators, and poets will be making presentations throughout the day in the theme-based pavilions for Children, Teens & Children, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Contemporary Life and Poetry & Prose. A full program with schedules is available as PDF download.

The Festival website features numerous video webcasts and audio podcasts. The 2011 poster, shown here, was designed by Jon J. Muth.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kickstarting "To Catch a Dollar"

The Common Curator only just heard about this Kickstarter project, but consider supporting filmmaker Gayle Ferraro as she works to complete the documentary, "To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America." Professor Yunus is a pioneer of microcredit, and in 2006 was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Grameen Bank, which he founded in Bangladesh.

Ferraro describes her project as follows:
The film follows Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Yunus as he brings his unique and revolutionary microfinance program to the US. We witness the birth of Grameen America and the compelling stories of the first women borrowers; from the challenges they face to the successes they achieve, as they learn to sustainably lift themselves and their families out of poverty by starting and growing their own businesses with the education, support, and non-collateral microloans they receive.
As of early afternoon September 19, 2011--the last day for funding--the project has garnered over 100 backers but is still short of its $20,000 goal. To learn more, visit Kickstarter.

Update: With a final burst of support, "To Catch a Dollar" surpassed its goal, netting $20,909 from 118 backers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Growing It Here, Growing It Now: A Documentary

"Growing It Here, Growing It Now" is about real food and the people who make it happen in community gardens. It explores the knowledge, passion, and collaboration of gardeners, both young and old, who nurture and raise their own crops in an urban environment. Of interest to anyone who needs to eat well.

The documentary features interviews and footage of gardeners at the Carrboro Community Garden and the neighboring Growing Healthy Kids Garden sponsored by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children. It was produced with equipment and facilities at The Peoples Channel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and will be airing locally on Channel 4 (Carrboro) and Channel 8 (Chapel Hill) beginning September 19, 2011:

– Mon., Sept. 19 – 3 pm + 9 pm
– Tues., Sept. 20 – 8:30 am
– Wed., Sept. 21 – 1:30 am (i.e., late Tue. night) + 6:30 pm
– Thurs., Sept. 22 – 7:30 am + 5 pm
– Fri., Sept. 23 – 7 am + 6:30 pm
– Sat., Sept. 24 – 8 am
– Sun., Sept. 25 – 1:30 pm + 10:30 pm
To determine air times after September 25, 2011, consult The Peoples Channel daily schedule.

"Growing It Here, Growing It Now" is a Common Curator production directed and produced by Daniel Smith. The 28-1/2 minute documentary is currently available on DVD for $10 postpaid. Email the Common Curator for ordering details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If You Can't Find It Anywhere Else . . .

Go to
Balster's! For 137 years, Balster's has been a multi-generational family concern with a massive inventory of equipment, tools, hardware, etc. Located in Scotch Grove, Iowa, its holdings, including buildings and real estate, will soon be auctioned off by Grafe Auction.

The preview is Wednesday, September 14, 2011, with the auction taking place over three days, September 15-17. Online bidding will also be available. The Grafe web site provides full details, as well as photo galleries, for prospective bidders. The history of Balster's is also featured in an article by the Des Moines Register.

Monday, September 5, 2011

There Is Power in a Union

To commemorate Labor Day 2011, here is musician Billy Bragg's version of "There Is Power in a Union," a song written in 1913 by Joe Hill [1879-1915], a Swedish-American labor activist and member of the Wobblies, or Industrial Workers of the World.