By Julia Whitehead
Coming off the heals of our exciting Banned Books Week in September, the Vonnegut Library is ready to turn its attention to the special events that are part of our annual VonnegutFest, November 6th and 7th. In case you are not familiar with the Vonnegut Library, let me share a little background. Located at 340 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, the Vonnegut Library is a museum, art gallery, reading room, education and research facility. Our award-winning tours are free to the public. We feature programs for the general public but also programs for various groups who are part of our base of support. We host teacher workshops and events/programs/scholarships for students in high school as well as college.
Did you know the very first Spirit & Place Festival Public Conversation in 1996 featured Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Wakefield and John Updike?
One of these special events happens to be part of the Spirit & Place Festival… our Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day panel discussion and arts resources fair for veterans and their families. I offer you five reasons why you should attend this event.
Reason #5: Spirit & Place Festival Partners
The Vonnegut Library is honored to be chosen again this year for inclusion in the Spirit & Place Festival. Did you know the very first Spirit & Place Festival Public Conversation in 1996 featured Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Wakefield and John Updike? Like the Spirit & Place Festival, the Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day event relies on key community partners to participate in our arts resource fair, our panel discussion, the creation of our literary magazine, and the special art exhibits we feature at this event. You will see multiple arts and veterans organizations gathered in one place for this special, free event. The arts resource fair will be held in the area just outside of the auditorium at Central Library. Come by to check it all out before joining us in the auditorium for our very special discussion.
Reason #4: So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Veterans will receive free copies of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Our literary journal features the work of veterans and those who have never served covering this year the theme of social justice. We receive praise on the national level for this annual anthology of the best short stories, poetry, photographs, and art work that comes our way.
Reason #3: The Boots Exhibit
In partnership with Veterans for Peace, we are bringing in a very special exhibit: a boots exhibit. There are 61 boots representing those Hoosier 21 and younger who did not come back from their war experiences.
Reason #2: Steve Inskeep
You love him! Now, register to hear him lead our panel discussion of veterans talking about their experiences. Steve Inskeep, a native of Carmel, IN, is one of the hosts of NPR’s Morning Edition. A regular host of our annual veterans’ panel discussion, Steve cares about veterans. He is also the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, and more recently, Jacksonland, a history of President Andrew Jackson’s long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States. (And be sure to go to vonnegutlibrary.org, to get information about other events with Steve Inskeep as part of VonnegutFest.
Reason #1: On the 25th anniversary year of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Vonnegut Library celebrates this important legislation by hearing from veterans and others who have stories to tell. Where else in the festival will you hear New York Times bestselling author Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan with his therapy dog “Tuesday”; a kickass female Army combat veteran, Alfreda Chandler; veteran and writer Kit Andis; and Indy’s very own Dan Wakefield
With a special shout-out to Ken Barger of our local chapter of Veterans for Peace, Keira Amstutz of Indiana Humanities, Juliet King of Herron’s Art Therapy program, and Susan Davis of Central Library, it takes the whole community to help us put together this annual event. Come on out to Central Library on November 7th, and make sure to check out www.vonnegutlibrary.org to see a list of all of the events we have going on that weekend. If you don’t come for the panel discussion, come for the arts resource fair, art show, and your free copy of our literary journal (free to veterans, available for purchase by all others). Panel participants will have their books available for purchase and signing following the event.
Register here for the panel discussion.
About the Author
Julia Whitehead is the CEO and founder of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.