Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Road Scholar: Adventures in Lifelong Learning

Thursday, June 16, 7:00 pm

If you love to travel, enjoy learning new things, like to explore interesting places and meet people 
who share a love of adventure, come and learn about Road Scholar, the group that offers more than 
5,500 programs each year in 150 countries worldwide. Volunteer Road Scholar Ambassador 
JILL SWAIM will offer an insider's look at its adventures on Thursday June 16th at 7:00 p.m. in 
the Library’s Barth Community Room. Light refreshments will be served. Road Scholar Ambassadors 
are seasoned participants who volunteer their time to give informative and enthusiastic presentations 
about the educational travel adventures available through Road Scholar, formerly called Elderhostel, 
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.

Adventuresome, curious, fun... what else is there to know about Road Scholar participants?  Their learning adventures engage expert instructors, provide extraordinary access, and stimulate discourse and friendship among people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime.  Since its inception, more than five million people have enrolled in its iconic educational adventures offered annually in countries around the world.  The Road Scholar program has made connections with educators and other local "insiders" all around the world, creating learning opportunities that show the world in a way that just can't be done alone or on a "tour." From expert-led lectures and field trips to comfortable lodgings and meals, all the details are handled, taking the worry out of the planning, so Scholars can focus on the learning experience.

Road Scholar is headquartered in Boston, Mass., with offices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Bring all your questions regarding this exciting travel program Thursday June 16 at 7:00 pm to Crowell Library’s Barth Community Room.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Forbidden City USA

Chinese American Nights Clubs 1936-1970
Thursday May 19, 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a fascinating look at San Francisco’s internationally celebrated Chinese American nightclub scene and its performers with filmmaker and writer Arthur Dong on Thursday, May 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the Barth Community Room. A recipient of an Oscar nomination, a Peabody Award and an NEH grant, Dong will discuss his research on Chinese American nightclubs in San Francisco during the years 1936 to 1970, the focus of his book, Forbidden City, USA. In 1985 Author Dong began the research for his award-winning documentary on this little-known chapter of entertainment history, and has since then become arguably the foremost aficionado on the topic. Forbidden City U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 received a 2015 American Book Award and the Independent Publisher’s IPPY Award.

San Francisco native Arthur Dong's film career began with Public, an animated Super-8 film shot on his bedroom floor. The five-minute film earned first prize at the California High School Film Festival and was the young filmmaker's introduction to the power of film as a tool for progressive change. Since then, Dong has continued to combine the art of the visual medium with an investigation of social issues. His documentaries include Hollywood Chinese, Sewing Woman, Forbidden City, USA, Coming Out Under Fire, Family Fundamentals, and Licensed to Kill. His latest production is The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor.

Besides his Oscar nomination and Peabody awards, Mr. Dong has received three Sundance Film Festival awards, the Berlin Film Festival's Teddy Award, Taipei's Golden Horse Award, and five Emmy nominations. He has served on the boards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Film Independent, OutFest, and the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. A two-time Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow as well as a Guggenheim Fellow in Film, Dong is currently Distinguished Professor in Film at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Learn all about this dazzling chapter in entertainment and Chinese American history when Arthur Dong visits Crowell Public Library, Thursday, May 19th at 7:00 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Christian Cruz, Classical Guitar

Thursday, May 12th @ 7:00 p.m.

Patrons of Crowell Public Library will greatly appreciate the generosity of the Friends of Crowell Library and the San Marino Music Center when classical guitarist Christian Cruz presents a free program on Thursday, May 12 in the Library’s Barth Community Room. Christian received his Bachelor's Degree in Music at California State University, Northridge where he received numerous awards. He is now pursuing his Master’s Degree under William Kanengiser at USC’s Thornton School of Music.

A native of Los Angeles, Christian appreciated the cultural diversity of L.A. and grew fond of the rock and hip hop scene while simultaneously being influenced by the Latin American music of his own heritage. This would translate into his career as a guitarist, where he began playing renowned venues in Hollywood such as the Whiskey A Go Go and the Roxy, as well as performing the music of Ástor Piazzolla in concert halls. He has performed a number of chamber pieces at regional symposia held by the Guitar Foundation of America and has been featured on KUSCs Sundays Live broadcast at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts.

The Crowell Library concert program will include Sonata Romantica by Manuel Ponce who is regarded as one of the most influential classical composers of Mexico. This sonata is an homage to Robert Shubert and borrows thematic material from the keyboard works of Shubert. Cinco Piezas is written by composer and performer Astor Piazzolla and these are the only pieces he wrote for solo guitar. Balkan Miniatures is by Serbian born Dusan Bogdanovic, one of the most prolific guitar composers in modern day. He has written music for guitar in virtually every variation, from solo to concerto. In 1991, he wrote this set of short pieces for William Kanengiser. The set is dedicated to world peace, as it was created during the separation of the former Yugoslavia.

Don’t miss this special night of free classical guitar music at Crowell Public Library. Seating is limited.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Film Screening: To Climb a Gold Mountain

Wednesday, May 11, 6:30 pm

Crowell Public Library is very fortunate to present a special screening of To Climb a Gold Mountain, a new cultural and educational film that tells the stories of four women of Asian descent who lived in America from the 1850s to the present day. The women came from different backgrounds and lived dramatically different lives. Some of the women featured in the film, such as Anna May Wong, have reached success and fame. Still others, like Sing Ye, a prostitute who lived in the 1800s and fought for freedom, are all but forgotten. Each woman’s story represents a distinct theme of struggle and triumph, and ushers in the succeeding story leading up to the present time. Through these stories, the film tracks the progression, evolution and legacy of the immigrants in America as they integrate into the fabric of America.
In the 1800s, the Chinese called America Gam Saan. It meant “Gold Mountain” and bespoke a myth of treasures waiting for any poor immigrant willing to sweat blood and tears. But for the poor women and men arriving on these shores, it was anything but. To Climb a Gold Mountain relates this 160-year narrative through the stories and voices of a set of particularly iconic women, representing distinct stages and themes in a compelling and dramatic tale. The film’s producers have received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition related to the film, a Golden Award from The World Film Festival, and Best Feature Documentary from the LA Film Festival of Hollywood. In addition PBS has picked the TV version of the film for broadcasting.
The film has a running time of 73 minutes and will be presented by the executive producer and director, Alex Azmi who will discuss the making of the film and answer questions. Dr. Azmi is a filmmaker who is interested in documentaries that deal with social and cultural issues. His most current project is called “Man and Machine,” and is about the impact of technologies on the lives of ordinary people.

Come to Crowell Public Library on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:30 p.m. for a fascinating look into Asian cultural history.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Importance of Planning Ahead - What To Do When a Loved One Passes

Thursday May 5th 7:00 p.m.

Life is a cycle with a beginning and an end. Most people prepare for many months when anticipating a birth, but not the same care is given to the other end of the spectrum, death. In this one hour program, attendees will learn about the responsibilities of the survivor when a passing occurs. These are pertinent responsibilities dealing directly with the passing and the necessary, immediate actions. SOPHIA CHAN will walk through a helpful check list for a part of life that is not easy for anyone, but real. In a passing there are some one hundred decisions to be made, and pertinent ones will be specifically addressed in this program. Just like preparing for the beginning of life, there are responsibilities and tasks that can be taken care of ahead of time, reducing the stress and sense of being overwhelmed at an emotional time. The attendees will learn how to eliminate the hassles of paperwork and finding missing information, how to make sure the deceased’s wishes will be carried out, how to lessen the financial burden, minimize disputes between well-meaning relatives, and win the family’s appreciation. There will be an open forum for the audience to ask questions.

A certified Chinese-English translator, Sophia Chan has been helping families to properly plan for the final life event for nearly a decade. As the Regional Manager for the non-profit organization Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Sophia helps families understand advance planning at various speaking engagements, in-house seminars, and family consultations. Sophia has an added perspective as a minister, and helps families to cope with life after a loved one has passed. Her passion is helping people, and she is happiest when educating families about the “61 Responsibilities of the Survivor.”

Come to Crowell Public Library on Thursday, May 5th at 7:00 p.m. and learn how to prepare for the inevitable.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Don Westenhaver: Alexander’s Lighthouse

Wednesday May 4th 7:00 p.m.

In 92 AD, Alexandria, Egypt was the height of civilization at that time. It included the famous Library, Museum, and Lighthouse. While lesser known than Rome, it was the unchallenged pinnacle of Western intellectual achievement. A melting pot of Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, and Romans, it frequently boiled over into violence. Alexander’s Lighthouse is the story of a team of young engineers who invent the most powerful weapon in the world for the Romans who rule Egypt. When rebels steal the weapon, the team is caught between the Romans and the rebel forces who threaten to overthrow the hated Roman occupiers. The Friends of Crowell Public Library’s popular Meet the Authors series continues with the appearance of Don Westenhaver, author of this captivating historical novel on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Midway through the writing of Alexander’s Lighthouse, Westenhaver and his wife decided to visit Egypt to gather research, with a few days scheduled in Alexandria. They were due to leave on February 11, but the Arab Spring erupted at the end of January. They were glued to their TV watching demonstrators filling Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the streets of Alexandria. The Egyptian revolution Don was writing about in 92 AD was actually happening before his eyes.

Don Westenhaver lives in Southern California and is halfway through a fifth novel, another story that makes history come alive. He combines well-known historical people, fictional characters, an intense plot, and vivid sensory descriptions to insert readers into a different time and place and make them feel at home there. He has found people display the same faults and virtues no matter what part of the earth and which century they inhabit. Don is a member of the Southern California Writers Association and the Military Writers Society of America.
Come to Crowell Library and learn more about this author on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community. Thanks to the Friends of the Library, the authors keep coming to Crowell Public Library!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Meet the Author: Steven G. Jackson

Wednesday April 20th 7:00 p.m.

The Friends of Crowell Public Library’s Meet the Authors series continues with Steven G. Jackson and his debut novel, a gritty thriller entitled The Zeus Payload. Young tech genius Nick King is approached by CIA agents to create a cyber weapon that can infiltrate any computer system without being detected. He quickly learns that his creation, which he names the Zeus Payload, is being actively sought by undesirable groups that want to use the program to destroy the United States: rogue CIA agents, neo-Nazis, Al Qaeda, and Mexican drug lords. The chase is on. The Zeus Payload is the first of a trilogy, so stay tuned for more thrills by this author.

Steven Jackson spent his first career as an engineering and technology director in the defense business at Hughes Aircraft Company and Raytheon. The Zeus Payload, blends both sides of Jackson’s brain, leveraging a broad understanding of software, engineering, national defense, and the intelligence services, presenting a geo-political story of covert operations and conspiracies. Jackson’s book provides just enough technology to be accurate and feasible without overpowering good storytelling. Currently at work on several thrillers, he also writes comedy in shorter formats and had his stage play, "Fade to Crazy," performed in 2015. He holds a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California, and lives in Southern California. He currently serves as Vice President of the Southern California Writers Association.

Come to Crowell Library and learn more about this versatile author on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community. Thanks to the Friends of the Library, the authors keep coming to Crowell Public Library!