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  1. Combining art with ornithology, John James Audubon inspired generations of artists and photographers to capture images of wildlife. Sharing Audubon’s passion about nature and wildlife, Randall Patterson has traveled across America to photograph birds. A six-time winner of The Best of The Universe of Colour Photography and featured at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Randall will present breath taking images and discuss the mechanics of bird photography at a live virtual program at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 17 at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ Audience can submit questions until 8:30 p.m., Sept. 17 at liveonstage@cityofallen.org Satisfying an earnest desire to capture images of birds while navigating through the air, Randall focuses on copious details of every feather. Acquiring the proper gear is the first step but capturing the wings in extreme motion and photographing them without blur is a daunting challenge. Expending a prodigious number of hours for developing a quick-draw method, this process allows the photographer to catch fantastic shots. While continuously learning, Randall is eager to share his knowledge with others. More about Randall can be found at birdsiviewtexas.com. Call 214-509-4911 for further questions.
  2. Dr. Mark Louden will discuss Amish history at a live virtual program at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 10 at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ Questions can be submitted until 8:30 p.m., Sept. 10 at liveonstage@cityofallen.org Dr. Mark Louden received his graduate training in Germanic linguistics at Cornell University. A fluent speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch, he has written extensively on the history and contemporary situation of the language and its speakers. He is the author of Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. After twelve years at the University of Texas at Austin, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is the Alfred L. Shoemaker, J. William Frey, and Don Yoder Professor of Germanic Linguistics and director of the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies. Dr. Louden is also an affiliate faculty member in the University of Wisconsin Religious Studies Program and the Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  3. With the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 American women secured their inalienable right to vote. Celebrate the centennial anniversary of this momentous historical occasion by hearing Elizabeth Ellis share the stories of the women who fought to achieve this milestone. Presented by an internationally-loved storyteller, this live virtual concert will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 20, at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ . Audience members can submit questions until 8:30 p.m. that evening through liveonstage@cityofallen.org An award-winning storyteller and author, Elizabeth Ellis is best known for her live performances of traditional tales, ghost stories, Appalachian and Texas history and folklore, stories of heroic women, and personal stories. Her aunt was a keeper of the old fairytales that she, in turn, had learned from her Irish immigrant grandmother. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in education, with a specialization in librarianship. She was employed with the Dallas Public Library for ten years as a Children’s Librarian and later as a Community Services Librarian. She is a recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, “given to those recognized nationally by their peers to be master storytellers,” as well as the John Henry Faulk Award, the top recognition for storytelling in Texas. With Loren Niemi, she co-authored the pioneering book Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories in 2001. Elizabeth is also the author of From Plot to Narrative (2012), an award-winning handbook for crafting stories, and Every Day a Holiday: A Storyteller’s Memoir.
  4. Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, will discuss her latest book How Ike Led at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 24, at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ Questions can be submitted to Ms. Eisenhower until 8:30 p.m., Sept. 24, at liveonstage@cityofallen.org. A five-star general and 34th president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was born in nearby Denison, Texas. He was affectionately known as the first Texan to become a president. Few people have made decisions as momentous as Eisenhower, nor has one person had to make such a varied range of them. From D-Day to the integration of Little Rock’s public schools, from the Korean War to Cold War crises, from the Red Scare to the Missile Gap controversies, Ike was able to give America eight years of relative peace and prosperity by relying on a core set of principles. While numerous biographies have been written about Dwight Eisenhower, this book offers an insightful analysis of Ike’s decision-making abilities and leadership skills. An engaging writer, Susan’s presentation is highly recommended for all who are interested in American history and the decision-making process. How Ike Led shows us not just what a great American did, but why—and the lessons that can be garnered from his exemplary leadership. “A well-written reflection on one of the most significant American presidents. The compelling substance of How Ike Led is enhanced by the author’s sensitive style. It brings America’s most remarkable public figures into lasting focus.” —Henry A. Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State 1973–1977 Call 214-509-4911 for further questions.
  5. Presented by Allen Public Library, learn the story about a female spy who worked for the CIA and FBI. Listen to a live virtual program presented by Tracy Walder at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ . Audience can submit questions until 8:30 p.m., July 23 at liveonstage@cityofallen.org. Tracy Walder brings us her thrilling new book, The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists, an audio bestseller. She has been both a counterterrorism Staff Operations Officer with the CIA and an FBI Special Agent specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations. Tracy Walder is a graduate of USC and Chapman University, an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at TCU, and sits on the Board of Girl Security. Call 214-509-4911 for further questions.
  6. Do you recall when friends and neighbors sat on the porch and entertained themselves and each other by playing tunes on their own instruments and as well as household objects such as jugs and washboards? Long to relive those days or experience music without batteries or earbuds? Treat yourself to a live virtual concert presented by the E-Flat Porch Band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 10, at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ —it’s sure to boost your spirits and energize the start of your weekend. Rudy Littrell and Duane Brown’s “porch music” is played on acoustic instruments and pays homage to our varied Texas musical roots. Their style is influenced by country blues, Texas folk music, jazz and swing standards, and Depression Era country songwriters. Guitar playing styles include finger picking and slide guitar. Other instruments include the acoustic bass, harmonica, cymbal, and a drum-like instrument of their own design made out of a wooden soda pop box. This is a small band with a big sound--up to eight instruments will be heard simultaneously, along with harmonizing vocals. This concert is free. Call 214-509-4911 for information.
  7. A doctor, financial counselor and a psychologist discuss what it means to live with intent at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 25 at Facebook (@allenpubliclibrary) or AllenCityTV’s https://allentx.swagit.com/live/. Presented by Dr. Shahan Chowdhury, Board Certified Physician, Heena Khan, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Shahmeen Khan, Certified Financial Coach. Recommended for ages 18 and up. No registration required to participate. Recommended for ages 18 and up. Call 214-509-4905 for additional information.
  8. Blackland Prairie Raptor Join us for a live virtual up-close experience with the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 17. This program will be broadcast on the Allen Public Library’s Facebook page (@allenpubliclibrary) and AllenCityTV’s https://allentx.swagit.com/live/. Learn more about birds of prey, including owls, hawks and falcons. This delightful raptor show is especially for families with elementary age children. Submit your questions to be answered by the presenters to us via email at liveonstage@cityofallen.org or through our the Library’s Facebook page. No registration is required to participate. Call 214-509-4906 for additional information
  9. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Mayflower's sailing to America and the resulting founding of Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrims. Many of the stories of this great adventure stay with us today. One of the best-known passengers on the Mayflower was Miles Standish, commander of the colony’s militia immortalized in the fictional The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Another popular tale recounts the Pilgrims’ shock when an Indian sachem fearlessly strolled into their fledgling campsite and declared the now famous words, “Welcome, Englishmen.” Listen to a live virtual program presented by Judie Allen and Captain James Battles USN at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ Audience can submit questions until 8:30 p.m., June 25 ay 21 at liveonstage@cityofallen.org. A direct descendant of Mayflower passengers William, Alice and Pricilla Mullins, John Alden and Richard Warren, Ms. Allen is the Governor for the Texas Society of Mayflower Descendant and has served the Society as Assistant General to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. In 2020, Judie co-edited the book Gone to Texas – How Mayflower Descendants Got to Texas published by the Texas Society for the 400th Commemoration of the Mayflower voyage. She explains, “The Texas Society of Mayflower Descendants’ goal is to educate and promote an accurate, historical, and sometimes, unromantic account of our amazing Pilgrim ancestors.” Captain Battles, retired Unites States Navy, earned a Ph.D. in Educational Communications and Medical Education. He has served the on faculty of Ohio State University, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and the Uniformed Services University of the Heath Sciences in Bethesda, MD as a medical educator. While researching family history, Captain Battles discovered that he was a descendant of Mayflower passenger James Chilton. Using his expertise in educational communications, he wrote and produced a video entitled Chilton’s Challenge that tells the story of Chilton and his daughter Mary, which is available on YouTube. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  10. Live but virtual program presented by former Associated Press reporter Rusty Williams at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/ Audience can submit questions until 8:30 p.m., May 21 at liveonstage@cityofallen.org. Fifty years ago the world held its breath as three American astronauts drifted through space in a crippled command module. With depleted oxygen tanks and only a trickle of electric power, only gravity, precise navigation, and a miracle of engineering could save them from a dark and lingering death in deep space. The dramatic story of Apollo 13 has been told in books, documentaries, and a movie, but writer-historian Rusty Williams witnessed events first-hand from the Mission Operations Control Room at the Manned Spacecraft Center. As a junior reporter for the Associated Press, Williams observed ─ and wrote about ─ the backstage magic eventually brought the astronauts home safely. Williams will tell his exciting story through a virtual presentation for the first time at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at https://allentx.swagit.com/live/. Former KERA-FM news editor and CBS Radio broadcaster B. J. Austin will interview Williams on-stage at the Allen Public Library, asking for details and stories not generally known to the public. Questions from the audience will be accepted until 8:30 p.m. May 21. Please submit your questions to liveonstage@cityofallen.org. Rusty Williams is an award-winning writer and speaker, the author of four history books. His Red River Bridge War: A Texas-Oklahoma Border Battle (Texas A&M University Press, 2016) was named “Best Book of Oklahoma History, 2016” by the Oklahoma Historical Society. My Old Confederate Home—A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans (University Press of Kentucky, 2010) won the 2011 Douglas S. Freeman Award for Southern History. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  11. POSTPONED Daily Life in the Scottish Highlands Colorful kilts. Skirling bagpipes. Brooding castles in the mist. Learn much more about the Scottish Highlands with Sharon Hudgins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26 at the Allen Public Library! This illustrated lecture by Sharon Hudgins looks beyond the stereotypes about Scotland to show how people have lived in the Highlands from the Stone Age to the present. She also shares her own personal stories about daily life in an old stone cottage on the remote and rugged north coast of Scotland. Sharon Hudgins is an award-winning author and journalist who has lived in 10 countries, including Scotland. A former university professor, she has also been a lecturer on numerous tours for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Viking Cruises, and other companies, including a recent cruise around the British Isles to the Scottish Highlands and the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Her next book will be about the changes that have occurred in village life on the north coast of Scotland during the past 50 years. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, this event is free. Refreshments will be served. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. For additional information, phone 214-509-4911.
  12. Celebrate Celtic Night at the Allen Public Library with Skeleton McKee at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Bringing the best of rock and rollicking Celtic roots/folk/rock, pub songs, and a wee bit of traditional blues and country, this band keeps your toes tapping and your hands clapping with a dose of comic relief on the side. Skeleton McKee is a popular band in the DFW music scene, with Celtic infused entertainment featuring outstanding vocal harmonies, precision instrumentation and intricate rhythms. Skeleton McKee comprises jovial, experienced musicians who combine impressively diverse backgrounds to deliver the cream of the Celtic tradition. Once you experience a live show, you’ll know why their slogan is “All for fun and fun for all!” The Dallas Observer declares, “Skeleton McKee’s influences range from Irish fo bluegrass to country to swing—Skeleton has an original, smoky, bluesy quality to them that makes their music addictive, but satisfyingly traditional .” Band members include: Marj Troyer (mandolin, banjo, electric guitar, vocals); Betsy Cummings (piano accordion, bodhran, vocals); Garren Bagley (acoustic guitar, vocals); Patrick McGuire (electric bass, vocals); Trae Hamilton (drums, percussion). Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.
  13. Enjoy a program that is written and presented by Mexican poet Jorge de la Parra del Valle at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13 at the Allen Public Library. Adapting his poetry book When The Stars Are Aligned into theatrical monologues in the style of Alfred Tennyson and TS Elliot, he will be accompanied by Cuban born pianist Denny Robinson. An intimate and emotional connection with the audience is created with this dramatic style. Music and poetry are the lengua internácional (international language). Mr. de la Paara del Valle performed for the Mexican Ministry of Arts in Mexico City and throughout Mexico. In addition, the Cervantes Institute of Madrid Spain, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the University of Texas at El Paso hosted this event. In October 2018, he appeared at Harvard & Duke Universities. Mr. Guido Arochi, the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas declares, “Mr. Jorge de la Parra is a Mexican poet, graduated from Enriqueta Ochoa’s poetry workshop -one of the most important Mexican poetry writers of twentieth century-. sponsored by Mexico's National Institute of Fine Arts, INBA”. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  14. Award-winning author John Balaban discusses his books Empires, Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems and more at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at the Allen Public Library. John Balaban is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets' Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award. His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems garnered the prestigious 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. His latest book of poetry, Empires, from Copper Canyon Press was published in 2019. In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, John Balaban is the most prominent translator of Vietnamese in the United States. During and after years as a relief worker in Vietnam, he has focused on the nearly extinct ideographic script, Nôm, His book Spring Essence, was the first translation of Nôm ever printed as type. In the past twenty-five years, John has saved that script from extinction. Ancient Nôm writing has now been digitized and stored in the national museum in Hanoi. Dr. Eileen Tollett declares, “His poem "For the Missing in Action" makes me cry every time I read it, though I have probably read it a hundred times. His poetry is not flowery or sentimental; it is to the point, which makes it more touching than any other I encounter.” Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  15. The Allen Philharmonic welcomes you to the spring Concerts for Young Audiences performance at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Allen Public Library. This free concert is designed to welcome children and their families to enjoy a fun musical program designed solely for them. Special guest soloist will be Derek He, the gold medal winner of our very own Roger & Ella Jo Adams Concerto, performing the first movement of the Dvorak Cello Concerto. This will offer an opportunity for kids in the audience to view a performance by someone not much older than they are, and it’s sure to jumpstart their excitement about learning music! Featured programming will include a new work entitled A Family for Baby Grand, the story of a Baby Grand piano who leaves home to join an orchestra. The Allen Philharmonic is excited to partner with the Allen High School Theater program for this performance. Arranged by Brad Ross, the story is written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. Pre-Concert activities will feature the Instrument Petting Zoo in the Meeting Room. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
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