Throughout the month of May, the Charleston Library Society will host a series of Wide Angle Lunches, each with a separate speaker talking on the theme of “making community.” Each speaker is a local leader who applies their creativity to strengthening their community. They tackle life’s issues through the use of inventive outlets such as art, architecture, and music. While listening to the featured speakers, guests will enjoy lunch provided by Ladles.

The lunch series kicks off on May 4 with Charleston musician Leah Suarez’s Sacred Ground: The Call of Humanity and Art of Bearing Witness. After the tragic shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, Suarez began a personal project to honor and remember the lives of the Emanuel Nine. In May of 2016, Suarez traveled to Germany with composer/musician Alex Collier for her concert tour “Sacred Ground,” which is a tribute to the victims of the shooting. The premiere show was held in the outdoor structure of the Schinkel double-church, Charleston Place, which was named in solidarity with Charleston.

On May 11, Marcus Amaker will deliver a lecture titled Poetry and Passion. As Charleston’s first Poet Laureate, Amaker holds a variety of artistically diverse jobs such as writing poetry, composing music, designing websites, writing books, and creating apps. In his Wide Angle debut, Amaker will discuss his hopes for Charleston’s first Poetry Festival, and explore the transformative power of poetry on people and communities.

Ruby Lerner and KJ Kearney partner on May 18 to present Artists Collide With the World: Both Thrive, a conversation about how art intersects with city planning, politics, and social justice. Lerner, the founding Executive Director of Creative Capital, led the arts foundation as they distributed $40 million in financial and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists. Kearney, a former columnist for the Charleston City Paper, recently launched Charleston Sticks Together. His platform aims to remind the public of the often disguised or forgotten heritage of Charleston, and argues that viewing the foundations of a community in an honest light is the only true way to achieve communal unity.

The series ends on May 25 with Barry Svigals’s Re-Membering Community: Inspiring a Process of Creative Participation. Svigals is the founder of Sivigals+Partners, an art and architecture firm whose goal is to build up successful and empathetic communities. Svigal and his firm believe that through awakening creativity, we can create a more unified world. Sivigal has also taught and lectured at the Yale School of Architecture, the Harvard School of Business, and Stanford University, in addition to being awarded the Fellowship to the American Institute of Architects.

The Wide Angle Lunches cost $20 for members of the Charleston Library Society and $25 for nonmembers.


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