Evenings Upstairs


Lincoln, Race, and Emancipation

February 21, 2019

Led by Dr. James Humphreys, Professor of History, Murray State University.

To many Americans, Abraham Lincoln is the "great emancipator," whose loathing of slavery drove him to employ his power as president to dismantle the institution during the Civil War. Actually, the truth behind the stereotypical image of Lincoln is more complex.

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Front Porches, Kentucky, and Your Hometown

March 28, 2019

Led by Michael Johnathan, creator and host of the worldwide broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, author, and musician.

Co-sponsored by Kentucky Humanities.

Once upon a time, the front porch was the great pulpit, the community stage for families and hometowns.  These days, they don't even build front porches on homes anymore.

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Adolph Rupp and the Rise of College Basketball

April 4, 2019

Led by James Duane Bolin, Professor Emeritus of History, Murray State University.

At the end of his illustrious coaching career University of Kentucky basketball coach, Adolph Rupp retired as the winningest coach in college basketball. He changed sports in America, but the fame and fortune that he found in the Bluegrass also changed him.

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The Man Behind Paducah's City Hall: Edward Durell Stone

May 2, 2019

Led by Melinda Winchester, Historic Preservationist

Join us for an engaging presentation on world renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, his famous works and fascinating career.

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Kentucky Humanities Chautauqua presents: Rachel Lee Rogers as Jean Ritchie, Damsel with a Dulcimer

June 13, 2019

Co-sponsored by Kentucky Humanities.

Jean Ritchie, known as the "Mother of Folk," was a major contributor to the national revival of folk music across America during the second half of the 20th century. 

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Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky

July 11, 2019

With J. D. Wilkes, author and musician.

Co-sponsored by Kentucky Humanities.

Wilkes discusses the history of the traditional "barn dance" and other musical get-togethers of Kentucky's past and present.  The presentation will feature photographs as well as Wilkes' own performances of Kentucky tunes on banjo and harmonica.

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Kentucky Humanities Chautauqua presents: Anne Shelby as Aunt Molly Jackson, "Pistol Packin' Woman"

August 22, 2019

Co-sponsored by Kentucky Humanities.

Feisty, funny, and completely fearless, Aunt Molly Jackson lived for nearly 50 years in the coal camps of southeastern Kentucky, where her father, brothers, husband, and sons were miners. 

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Haunted People and Haunted Places

October 24, 2019

Join us as Kentucky Storyteller Thomas Freese shares true tales from his travels around Kentucky, including stories of a wide range of spirit encounters: children with invisible friends, loved ones come back to visit, Civil War ghosts, Ouija board sessions gone bad, animal ghosts…and more.

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A History of Native Americans in Kentucky

November 21, 2019

Presented by A. Gwynn Henderson, UK archaeologist and member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission.

In celebration of Kentucky Native American Heritage Month, Henderson will discuss the history of the diverse Native American peoples of Western Kentucky as told through objects, places, and documents.

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The interior of the Columbia Theater

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Columbia: Past, Present, and Future

December 5, 2019

Presented by Darlene Mazzone, Chair of the Paducah Art House Alliance, Landee Bryant, Executive Director of Maiden Alley Cinema, and by architect and historian Randy Davis.

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About Evenings Upstairs

Since 1994, the flagship Adult Service program series has entertained and educated the public with performances and lectures each month.

Presenters include authors, professors, entertainers, local musical acts, and more.

Other Programs and Resources

Calendar of Events

For all Library events, including other education series like Evenings Upstairs, click here to see our calendar of events.

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