Tag: ncac

ICYMI: Gene Luen Yang, Portugal The Man, and Alex Gino Talk Censorship

We were delighted to host three amazing virtual events this week, with free expression superstars Gene Luen Yang, Cody Miller, Jung Kim, Portugal The Man, Alex Gino, and Peter Coyl! In case you missed it, we have the details and videos below.

Banned Books Week, the National Council for Teachers of English, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund spoke with Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops, Superman Smashes the Klan) and educators Cody Miller and Jung Kim about censorship, the importance of diverse literature, and the use of comics in classrooms.

Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Zach Carothers and Eric Howk of Portugal The Man joined Banned Books Week and the National Coalition Against Censorship to discuss the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

Acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino joined Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Peter Coyl (Director, Montclair Public Library) for a discussion about the censorship of Gino’s award-winning middle grade novel George, which led ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists for 2019 and 2018. We also discussed the importance of access to information for young readers and representation on the shelf.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook page.

In early 2020, Portugal. The Man joined the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal. The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

During this hourlong livestream, we’ll talk with Portugal. The Man about why they took action, the role of communities in fighting censorship, and the importance of access to information. We’ll close with a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Nora Pelizzari (Director of Communications, NCAC) and Betsy Gomez (Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like the National Coalition Against Censorship on Facebook.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCAC’s Facebook page to access the event.

About PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal. The Man took 2017 by the horns after a considerably long gap between records. They spent years working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin before later developing what would become known as their latest studio album WOODSTOCK. Fate struck lead singer John Gourley twice. First, John got some parental tough love from his old man. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad asked. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” The whole thing got John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and more importantly, about how to get off of it. Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival, which ultimately knocked something loose in his head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them.

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and threw it out. The band went back to the studio — working with John Hill, Danger Mouse and longtime collaborator Casey Bates. In this new-found creative territory, the album that became WOODSTOCK rolled out naturally from there. Fast forward to present day and it was impossible to escape the album’s first single, “Feel It Still,” which dominated the charts and radio airwaves in 2017. The 4X Platinum Certified hit reigned at #1 at nearly all radio formats, including Top 40, as well as Alternative, where the song held the chart’s top spot for a mind-blowing 20 weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. Yes, you read that right. Five guys from Wasilla, Alaska, who have played nearly 1,500 shows in their career, broke Alternative radio records and had a #1 song at Pop radio. Billboard Magazine even went as far as to call the song “the unexpected rock crossover hit of 2017,” while Rolling Stone listed it as “one of the best songs of 2017.” AND THEN…the band kicked off 2018 by winning a GRAMMY Award for “Feel It Still.”

About the PTM Foundation

PTM Foundation is focused on building community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity. They aim to convene and organize partnerships and projects informed by community need, then mobilize Portugal. The Man’s listeners and supporters around that shared vision.

While their advocacy, philanthropy, and community engagement work is primarily centered around universal issues related to human rights, community health, and the environment, this organization puts a specific focus on highlighting the stories of Indigenous Peoples, and they are committed to helping bring these sacred voices — often the most informed, yet silenced among us — to the forefront.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) promotes freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and opposes censorship in all its forms. Since 1974, NCAC has engaged in direct advocacy, education, research and analysis to support the principles of the First Amendment. A coalition of over 50 national non-profits, NCAC’s alliance includes literary, artistic, education, and civil liberties groups. NCAC is national in scope, but often local in their approach, engaging with a nationwide network of advocates and supporting local activism. NCAC works with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers AssociationAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of University PressesAuthors GuildComic Book Legal Defense FundFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)Freedom to Read FoundationIndex on CensorshipNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of EnglishPEN AmericaPeople For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook page

In early 2020, Portugal. The Man joined the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal. The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

During this hourlong livestream, we’ll talk with Portugal. The Man about why they took action, the role of communities in fighting censorship, and the importance of access to information. We’ll close with a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Nora Pelizzari (Director of Communications, NCAC) and Betsy Gomez (Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like the National Coalition Against Censorship on Facebook.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCAC’s Facebook page to access the event.

About PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal. The Man took 2017 by the horns after a considerably long gap between records. They spent years working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin before later developing what would become known as their latest studio album WOODSTOCK. Fate struck lead singer John Gourley twice. First, John got some parental tough love from his old man. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad asked. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” The whole thing got John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and more importantly, about how to get off of it. Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival, which ultimately knocked something loose in his head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them.

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and threw it out. The band went back to the studio — working with John Hill, Danger Mouse and longtime collaborator Casey Bates. In this new-found creative territory, the album that became WOODSTOCK rolled out naturally from there. Fast forward to present day and it was impossible to escape the album’s first single, “Feel It Still,” which dominated the charts and radio airwaves in 2017. The 4X Platinum Certified hit reigned at #1 at nearly all radio formats, including Top 40, as well as Alternative, where the song held the chart’s top spot for a mind-blowing 20 weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. Yes, you read that right. Five guys from Wasilla, Alaska, who have played nearly 1,500 shows in their career, broke Alternative radio records and had a #1 song at Pop radio. Billboard Magazine even went as far as to call the song “the unexpected rock crossover hit of 2017,” while Rolling Stone listed it as “one of the best songs of 2017.” AND THEN…the band kicked off 2018 by winning a GRAMMY Award for “Feel It Still.”

About the PTM Foundation

PTM Foundation is focused on building community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity. They aim to convene and organize partnerships and projects informed by community need, then mobilize Portugal. The Man’s listeners and supporters around that shared vision.

While their advocacy, philanthropy, and community engagement work is primarily centered around universal issues related to human rights, community health, and the environment, this organization puts a specific focus on highlighting the stories of Indigenous Peoples, and they are committed to helping bring these sacred voices — often the most informed, yet silenced among us — to the forefront.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) promotes freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and opposes censorship in all its forms. Since 1974, NCAC has engaged in direct advocacy, education, research and analysis to support the principles of the First Amendment. A coalition of over 50 national non-profits, NCAC’s alliance includes literary, artistic, education, and civil liberties groups. NCAC is national in scope, but often local in their approach, engaging with a nationwide network of advocates and supporting local activism. NCAC works with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Banned Books Week: Know Your Rights

The First Amendment protects the freedom to read. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions about a book, but they don’t have the right to limit another person’s access to information. This kind of censorship is most effective when people don’t act to stop it. Here are some fundamentals to help protect your rights when it comes to freedom of speech and the right to read!

Educators

Teachers are the foundation of our free society. Their proximity to younger readers also puts them on the front lines in free expression battles. If you’re a teacher, you should understand that your rights can vary by school or school district, so be sure to get acquainted with your institution’s collection development and challenge policies. If your school lacks such policies, volunteer to help craft them. Reach out to NCAC or NCTE for guidance in drafting clear, effective policies. Public and private institutions have different First Amendment obligations. Government entities like public schools are bound by the First Amendment, but private schools can have a narrower set of guidelines.

Generally speaking, parents can object to assignments and request alternatives for their children, but they can’t make you remove content. A single complaint shouldn’t override the professional judgment of educators in shaping curriculum.

Librarians

Public libraries provide resources for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in their community. The American Library Association provides a vast range of resources, policies, and best practices to help support your ability to serve the community. Among the principles articulated in ALA’s Library Bill of Rights:

  • Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  • Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access
    to ideas.

View the full Library Bill of Rights at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Retailers

The First Amendment protects the right to sell all kinds of material, including material for adults and mature readers. Key principles that ensure you and your staff are safe:

  • Establish good policies and follow them. By having some specific guidelines in place and making sure every member of your staff is on the same page, you can help defuse a First Amendment emergency.
  • Thoughtfully display content. Every community is different, so be deliberate in how you display material. It may be helpful to segregate material for younger readers into its own section, rack mature titles on a high shelf, or even keep some more adult material in its own section.
  • Talk to your customers and be involved in your community. It sounds like common sense, but if you’re well-established as part of the community, people are more likely to try to work out a solution one-on-one than to take an adversarial approach.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund recently released Selling Comics, a guide to comics retailing that also includes several chapters on the freedom to sell comics. Get a copy here. CBLDF’s Retailer Rights Workshops provide hands on information. If you are interested in hosting or participating, contact CBLDF at info@cbldf.org

The American Booksellers Association has created a number of tools to help retailers advocate for various causes, including free expression. Find out more at http://www.bookweb.org/abfe

Readers (AKA All of Us!)

Whether you’re age 7 or 107, the First Amendment protects your right to access information. Here are some ways you can help uphold that right:

Stay informed! Keep in touch with your local librarians and educators to find out about book challenges in your community. Subscribe to news publications dedicated to the First Amendment and free expression, such as email newsletters from the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition.

Report censorship! Reporting challenges when they happen helps free expression advocates gather necessary information about what materials are at risk. The members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are ready to help fight challenges in your community, but we need to hear about them first! The best way to fight censorship is to call it out when it occurs. Several members of the Coalition have resources for reporting censorship:

  • Report censorship to the American Library Association using this form. ALA also has a number of challenge support tools here.
  • Report censorship to the National Coalition Against Censorship by completing this form.
  • Report censorship to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund by calling 1-888-88-CBLDF or 971-266-8212 or emailing info@cbldf.org
  • Report censorship to the National Council of Teachers of English using this form or by emailing intellectualfreedom@ncte.org
  • Report censorship at colleges and universities to FIRE at www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/

Speak up! Attempts to ban books rarely succeed when people speak out against them. Whether it is a school board, PTA, or library meeting or a public hearing, be there to speak up for the First Amendment and the right to read. Write letters to your local administrators, politicians, and newspapers supporting the right to read. Remind your fellow citizens and officials that no one has the right to restrict access to books, and be prepared to stand up for all books, even those you may not like. Any successful book ban opens the door to more censorship.

Source: CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2017, http://cbldf.org/librarian-tools/cbldf-banned-books-week-handbook/

It’s Here: Celebrate Banned Books Week with These Coalition Events!

Banned Books Week is here! Events celebrating the right to read are taking place all over the world, and the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are proud to present performances like Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret and Drag Queen Story Hour, talks, webinars, Dear Banned Author, and more to keep the light on!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are celebrating this week…

Weeklong Events

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 22-28), readers are encouraged to write (or tweet) to banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. This webpage includes resources and ideas on participating in the Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign and hosting letter-writing programs.

Get Involved

  • Write a letter to a banned and challenged author, telling them about a favorite title or how their words have impacted you. Use these Banned & Challenged Author Addresses.
  • Host a letter-writing program at your library or school, bringing writing supplies and a list of author addresses. Use these Tips for Hosting Programs.
  • Reach out to a favorite banned or challenged author by tagging them on Twitter and sharing your story using #DearBannedAuthor. Use these Tips for Tweeting.
  • Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter for a chance to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Learn more about the Dear Banned Author Drawing and read the Official Rules before entering.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

Stand for the Banned Virtual Read-Out

The annual Stand for the Banned Read-out invites readers to film themselves reading banned books or talking about censorship. Videos are highlighted on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Set up a space in your library, school, or store where your patrons can participate in the read-out. Get more details here.

Project Censored

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

#BannedTogether with Penguin Random House

This Banned Books Week, Penguin Random House is thrilled to #BannedTogether.

Read to fight censorship! For every Penguin Random House book you purchase during Banned Books week, PRH will donate $1 to the American Booksellers Association for Freedom of Expression Fund (up to $20,000 donation).

To participate, simply purchase a PRH book during Banned Books Week (9/22-9/28) and log your purchase into your Reader Rewards account. Not a member yet? Join free here.

While the book must be purchased from 9/22-9/28 to count towards a donation, you have until 9/30 to log your purchase. If your purchase is not eligible for Reader Rewards, we will still count it towards the donation. Email readerrewards@penguinrandomhouse.com and we’ll take care of you.

September 22

Books on the Chopping Block

Sulzer Library, Chicago,IL • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic reading by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 23

Webinar: Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship

Webinar • 8:00 am – 9:00 am CDT

What can librarians and educators do to help combat censorship? For public, school, and academic libraries, censorship is never a simple issue to navigate, especially when it involves parents, a board, or a fellow colleague. This year’s Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) theme is “Censorship leaves us in the dark. Keep the light on.” In a webinar hosted by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, Index on Censorship magazine, and SAGE Publishing, three librarians, one from each type of library, will share tips for navigating censorship issues. Find out more »

Walled In

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

Writers consider walls in literature and in our lives. 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, writers consider walls in literature and in our lives. With the resurgence of interest in the boundaries and borders of nations across the world, is the symbol of that wall still potent in 2019? Do walls and censorship go hand-in-hand? And are there places where a wall could mean safety rather than segregation? With David Hare and Ben Okri. Find out more »

Banned Books Week: “Cancel Culture: Can Free Speech in Cultural Institutions Survive the Onslaught of Moral Outrage?”

Harvard Law School • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT

Harvard Law School Library Presents: Banned Books Week Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs at the National Coalition Against Censorship and a literary scholar and public commentator will present a talk on the effects contemporary moral outrage has on the arts and culture. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the ACLU at HLS, the Harvard Law School Rule of Law Society, the Law and Philosophy Society, and the Harvard Federalist Society. A non-pizza lunch will be served. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Historical Voices

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Andre R. Frattino (SIMON SAYS) and Sanford Green (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Dr. Katie Monnin (Author of 8 books on teaching graphic novels, Why so serious? Productions Founder) about banned voices throughout history. Topics covered will also include the use of censorship as a mode of suppression, the erasure of dissenting voices from the historical narrative of our nation and others, and the legacy of those erasures as they affect current events.Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

ALA Headquarters-Chicago, Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Bridgeport Library, Chicago, IL • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Frankfort Public Library, Frankfort, IL • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret + Banned Next? Love v. Death, A New Chamber Opera

The Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, FL • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. Sponsored by the Dramatists Guild and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, performances are taking place across the country during Banned Books Week, September 22-28.This Florida performance is directed by The Studio@620’s Bob Devin Jones and is a 50-minute mix of scenes and songs from plays and musicals producers have objected to, including The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Rent, Fun Home, An Octoroon, Kleptocracy, Chicago, and Cabaret. Find out more »

Banned Together! A Philadelphia Premiere!

Parkway Central Library, PA • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is back for its fourth year in a row and appearing for the first time in Philadelphia! The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (DLDF) created Banned Together as a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. The performances will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), An Octoroon and Calendar Girls, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). Find out more »

BOSTON: Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret

Central Library in Copely Square, Boston, MA • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, presents Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret, a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages; Banned Together was created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. Previous performances have featured selections from CabaretChicagoFun HomeRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with contextual commentary by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins). Find out more »

HOUSTON: Banned Together

Alley Theatre’s Hubbard Stage, Houston, TX • 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm CDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (“DLDF”) in partnership with PEN America is pleased to present the Fourth annual Banned Together as a part of Banned Books Week (September 22nd-28th), the annual celebration of the freedom to read. Our Houston performance is Monday, September 23, 7:30pm at the Alley Theatre, Hubbard Stage. Banned Together is a celebration of scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, and was created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression. Find out more »

CHICAGO: Banned Together

Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL • 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. This is the fourth year that Banned Together will be presented in Chicago. In previous years, Banned Together has been presented in over twenty-five cities across the U.S., and will be presented in multiple cities again this year, as a part of Banned Books Week.The Chicago performance will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, Fun Home, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). Find out more »

September 24

Desert Island Books: Banned Books

Redland Library, Bristol, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST

The theme of the event is Banned Books and this is defined as books that have been banned, censored or challenged. In Desert Island Books, panel members select one or more books on the event theme plus a ‘wild card’, being a book that they have enjoyed and would recommend to others.

The panel comprises:

  • Philip Kent (Director of Library Services & University Librarian, University of Bristol)
  • Professor Madhu Krishnan (Professor of African, World & Comparative Literatures, University of Bristol)
  • Jari Moate (Writer & Founder of Bristol Festival of Literature)

The event starts at 7pm, with doors opening at 6:45pm. Find out more »

John Osborne’s Under Plain Cover

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

A reading and discussion of the 1962 play by John Osborne at the British Library in London, which miraculously avoided a ban at a time when attitudes towards sexual behaviour were just turning. How differently would the play’s themes of privacy and public morality be received today?This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, Booksellers Association, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and The Royal Society of Literature. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics.Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Back of the Yards Library, Chicago, IL  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

The Power to Inspire: Comics, Community & The Future of Intellectual Freedom

Robert S. Swanson Library & Learning Center, Menomonie, WI • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

In the intellectual freedom community, our job is to change the world one mind at a time. With identity censorship rampant and an increasingly polarized social climate, the core value of free speech is now being called into question. During Banned Books Week, CBLDF Executive Director and Banned Books Week Coalition Chair Charles Brownstein draws on his experiences defending comics and graphic novels to reflect on the role of free expression in creating a culture of empathy, respect, curiosity, and intellectual freedom. Find out more »

Webinar: Ask Me Anything About Censorship

Webinar • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

This Banned Books Week, join the conversation about access to information. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. During this presentation, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will explore the history of Banned Books Week and why it’s important today; current censorship trends (it’s not just books that are targeted!); and specific ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the program. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: SALMAN RUSHDIE AND LAILA LALAMI

All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

Salman Rushdie returns to Tulsa for a celebration of his new novel, Quichotte, a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family. PEN America, alongside Magic City Books, is thrilled to commemorate this release right in time for Banned Books Week!

Rushdie, a former president of PEN America, will be joined in conversation by Pulitzer Prize finalist and PEN America Member Laila Lalami whose most recent and timely novel, The Other Americans, is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Join us to discuss a literary interpretation of a classic and the accompanying satirical commentary on our modern age of alternative facts. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: LITERATURE LOCKED UP BANNED BOOK READING AND PUBLIC DISCUSSION

Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Join Scuppernong Books on Tuesday, September 24 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 , the event will feature readings of banned books and involve the Scuppernong’s Young Adult Book Club, as well as the general public, with an educational component around PEN America’s Literature Locked Up campaign and provide an opportunity for participants to sign a petition calling for the right to read in American prisons. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Mount Prospect Library, Mount Prospect, IL • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 25

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned Books & Civil Rights

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Ronald Wimberly (BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS) and Nate Powell (MARCH) in conversation with Scott Bonner (IFRT, Ferguson Municipal Public Library Director) about banned and challenged books, the role of censorship in civil rights movements, and how their work in comics has addressed legacies of erasure. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books 101

Webinar • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Did you know that hundreds of books are banned and challenged every year? In fact, you probably have some banned books on your own bookshelf! In this Banned Books Week webinar: discover why some popular titles have been banned; learn about the different ways a book can be censored; hear stories about students who stood up for the freedom to read; and find out how YOU can celebrate Banned Books Week. At the end of the program, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Interim Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll can answer your questions about banned books, censorship, and libraries. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Hall Branch – Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Budlong Woods Branch, Chicago, IL • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Banned Books Bash

Spider House Ballroom, Austin, TX • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

A slightly raucous variety show celebrating the right to read whatever we please! In conjunction with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, and presented with PEN America, the Banned Books Bash is a fun, nerdy reminder that books need champions, and libraries feed democracy. Hosted by the marvelous Evan Narcisse, writer for Marvel’s Black Panther series. Also featuring an homage to Toni Morrison with Dr. Jennifer Wilks,Drag Queen Storytime with Ms. Anne Thrope,
Comics Code & Teen Delinquency with Michael Conrad, and
a toast to rabble rouser Molly Ivins with The Texas Observer. Find out more »

GEORGIA: Banned Together

Merely Players Presents, Doraville, GA • 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm EDT

A celebration of songs and scenes from censored plays in honor of Banned Books Week! Performed by Atlanta artists in association with the Atlanta Regional Dramatists Guild, Dramatists Guild Legal Fund and PEN America and brought to you by Merely Players Presents and Kalliope Studios, Doraville. Find out more »

September 26

Write & Shine: Radical & Rebellious Writing Workshop

The Cafe at Waterstones, London, United Kingdom • 9:00 am – 10:45 am BST

Write & Shine runs a programme of morning writing events in peaceful London locations. As part of Banned Books Week, we’ll host a session about writing that takes a stand. We’ll create subversive stories, consider rebellious writers & think about books that have changed the way we look at the world. RADICAL & REBELLIOUS Workshop, £19 – part of Banned Books Week. Find out more »

CAMPUS AT A CROSSROADS: FREE SPEECH, TRUTH, AND DEMOCRACY IN AN ELECTION YEAR

NYU Cantor Film Center, New York, NY • 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

With the 2020 election season picking up steam, debates over free speech, truth, and the university are of increasing relevance to the health of American democracy. But in an era of deepening polarization, many see these issues through partisan eyes, shouting into fractured echo chambers. Campuses seem to be at a cross-roads—can they restore a common understanding of facts, and of the rules of engagement and disagreement? Or are they in danger of buckling under the weight of our current culture war? Find out more »

Truly Uncensored? LGBTQ+ Young Adult Literature

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

The UK has no official censorship – but does that fact make us too complacent? As part of Banned Book Week 2019, we explore the challenges facing LGBTQ+ Young Adult literature with Dean Atta, Fen Coles and Robin Stevens, chaired by Erica Gillingham. What are the invisible barriers to expression and publication? And how do editors, publishers, teachers, librarians, parents or even authors contribute to unofficial censorship around LGBTQ+ issues? Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — LGBTQ Challenges

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Michelle Perez (THE PERVERT) and Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK) in conversation with Moni Barrette (GNCRT Board, Chula Vista Public Library Principal Librarian) about the disproportionately high incidence of bans and challenges levied against LGBTQ+ books in libraries and schools. This discussion will also touch on the recent increase in challenges and cancellations of Drag Storytimes in libraries across the nation. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Edgewater Branch, Chicago, IL • 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Lincoln-Belmont Branch, Chicago, IL • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 27

Webinar: Addressing Identity Censorship

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

Identity censorship is the most frequent form of intellectual freedom challenge in today’s environment.  From moral panic about Drag Queen Story Hour to frequent challenges to LGBTQ+ comics, books, and authors, this disturbing trend is gaining traction. CBLDF engages a panel of experts to help you identify and intelligently address this growing problem.  In the past year, CBLDF has participated in defending challenges and bans of books solely because they contain LGBTQ+ characters, curriculum rejected because it focused on LGBTQ+ titles, and community programs canceled solely because program participants identify as LGBTQ+.  In this webinar, we will speak with individuals who’ve been on the front lines of this issue to identify the contours of the problem and discuss strategies for managing it.  In addition to receiving CBLDF’s “Fighting Identity Censorship Toolkit,” all webinar participants are invited to share their own stories and receive face-to-face expert advice on managing identity censorship issues. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Access Issues: Privatization & Gatekeeping

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Ray James (IFRT Coalition Building Committee) about how privatization impacts access, particularly as it relates to prison libraries, as (most) US prisons are privatized and how this impacts inmate access to information. This discussion will also touch on how gatekeeping and biases (of librarians, prison staff, the public) affect access for this vulnerable population. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

DePaul University Library, Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

First Amendment Trivial Pursuit

Kurt Vonnegut Museum, Indianapolis, IN • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Win prizes by showing your freedom of speech and banned book knowledge at Trivia Night with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)! Find out more »

DALLAS: Banned Together

Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas, TX • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm CDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. The Dallas regional production will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts).

Banned Together, which takes place annually during PEN America’s Banned Books Week, is open to the public and free to attend. Reservations are encouraged, as we have limited capacity and this helps us anticipate audience size and plan accordingly. However, we may be able to accommodate those without an Eventbrite reservation on a first come, first served basis, pending remaining capacity and availability on the day. Find out more »

September 28

1984 at 70: How Has Orwell’s Vision Aged?

Wigtown Book Festival, Wigtown, Scotland, United Kingdom • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm BST

It is 70 years since George Orwell published 1984. So how do our political and personal landscapes today compare to Orwell’s dystopia? And can the book shed light on today’s data-driven security and surveillance society? Our panel: Dorian Lynskey, author of The Ministry of Truth, an acclaimed new biography of 1984; award-winning foreign affairs writer David Pratt; and Julia Farrington of Index on Censorship. Chaired by Magnus Linklater.This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, Booksellers Association, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and The Royal Society of Literature. Find out more »

Banned Books Story Hour 2019

Bookmans Mesa, Messa, AZ • 10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Something banned this way comes! Join Drag Story Hour- Arizona at Bookmans Mesa for a story hour hosted by Felicia Minor and Freddy Prinze Charming. Let’s love all banned books and celebrate the growth of Drag Queen Story Hours in the face of challenge. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Bezazian Branch, Chicago, IL • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Forbidden Tales: Censorship and Society

Asia Society, New York, NY • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Through Fire (Books that Survived the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance at Tsinghua University No.2), 2017. Oil on canvas. H. 48 x W. 74 in. (122 x 188 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art. Photograph courtesy of the artist

Xiaoze Xie will discuss his research into the history of censorship in China that inspired the current exhibition Xiaoze Xie: Objects of Evidence. The artist will be joined by noted experts on the subject of censorship Martin Heijdra, Princeton University, and James Tager, PEN America in a panel led by Michelle Yun, Asia Society Museum Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

The program is organized in conjunction with Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2019.

The program is free and registration is required. Register here. Find out more »

CRNI and the Current Free-Speech Situation Facing the World

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library (Auditorium), Columbus, OH • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Over the years CRNI has become a fixture at the annual conventions of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC), which this year takes place as part of the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Festival (CXC). We are enormously grateful to the organizers from both events for an opportunity to highlight issues facing cartoonists around the world with a panel discussion open to the public. Our panelists are:

  • Terry Anderson (UK), Deputy Executive Director, CRNI
  • Charles Brownstein (USA), Executive Director, CBLDF
  • Ritu Gairola Khanduri (India/USA), Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Texas and Board of Directors, CRNI
  • PX Molina (Nicaragua), cartoonist, CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award-winner 2018
  • Ann Telnaes (Norway/USA), cartoonist, former AAEC President, CRNI advisor
  • Zunar (Malaysia), cartoonist, CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award-winner 2011

Find out more »

Drag Queen Story Hour Celebrates Banned Books Week

St John’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real. Find out more »

Banned Books Week x Drag Queen Story Hour in San Francisco!

The Bindery, San Francisco, CA • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm PDT

What better way to celebrate Banned Books Week than with Drag Queen Story Hour! The Banned Books Week Coalition presents this special event on September 28 at The Bindery (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco), The Booksmith’s multi-purpose events space. Join some of San Francisco’s most glamorous drag queens as they read challenged and banned picture books to entertain children of all ages! Doors will open at 2:00 p.m., with the reading to start at 2:30 p.m.The event is free and open to the public, but priority will be given to parents with their children. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: BANNED BOOKS WEEK(END) AT DEEP VELLUM

Deep Vellum Books, Dallas, TX • 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm CDT

Join Deep Vellum Publishing and Books on Saturday, September 28 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. This event will feature literary karaoke of banned titles, including The Poetry Project’s BREAK OUT reading by an incarcerated writer, a screening of Phoneme Media’s short film Kilómetro Cero about the persecuted Equitorial Guinean writer Marcelo Ensemo Nsang, literary crafts, and a giveaway featuring challenged books from Deep Vellum and Phoneme’s catalog. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: BANNED BOOKS WEEK OPEN MIC

BookBar, Denver, CO • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm MDT

Join BookBar on Saturday, September 28 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. In honor of Banned Books Week 2019, the event will feature an open mic for readings of banned books. Bring your favorite banned book or pick one up and read a 2-3 minute passage! This event is free and open to the public. Find out more »

September 29

TENNESSEE: Banned Together

Darkhorse Theater, Nashville, TN • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, is proud to present the Tennessee production of “Banned Together.” Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre.The Nashville regional production will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). This performance will be produced byActors Bridge Ensemble, performed by Lipscomb theatre students, and directed by Abby Charles. Find out more »

October 1

More Speech Panel Discussion

Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL • 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

For more than 200 years, the First Amendment has impacted art and civic life through freedom of expression. Political cartoons, controversial speech, the culture wars, and images posted on social media platforms are just some of the kinds of expression that have challenged—or been challenged by—First Amendment freedoms. But what speech gets protected in the United States, and who gets to speak? Why do we restrict speech in some places more than others?What challenges do libraries face in being the custodians for a variety of speech acts? How does art shape our First Amendment freedoms? Find out more »

Drag Queen Story Hour: A Great Way to Celebrate Banned Books Week!

Banned Books Week 2019 kicks off this Sunday, and what better way to celebrate the freedom to read than with drag queens and kids books?!

The Banned Books Week Coalition and its members are co-sponsoring Drag Queen Story Hour events in San Francisco and New York City, but DQSH fun can be had coast-to-coast!

Celebrate with the Banned Books Week Coalition and DQSH in San Francisco!

September 28, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PDT, The Bindery (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco)

Join some of San Francisco’s most glamorous drag queens as they read challenged and banned picture books to entertain children of all ages! The Banned Books Week Coalition presents this special event on September 28 at The Bindery (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco), The Booksmith’s multi-purpose events space. Doors will open at 2:00 p.m. PDT, with the reading to start at 2:30 p.m. PDT. The event is free and open to the public, but priority will be given to parents with their children. The event also features facepainting for kids and a cash bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails for anyone 21+.

Featured performers:
Beatrice Thomas (Black Benatar) is an arts & equity consultant, creative producer, multi-disciplinary artist and social justice drag queen — one of the core Drag Queen Story Hour storytellers. Their regenerative social practice lies at the intersection of performing arts and activism. Mx. Thomas comes from a family lineage of pastors, performers, doctors and healers. Beatrice has been making art and pondering the meaning of it all from the moment they came into consciousness. From absurdist cabarets to vampire/witch love triangles,Thomas weaves the experiences of queers and people of color into magical realities foster empathy and entertainment. Thomas nationally advances the work of marginalized \ artists, and for nearly a decade has worked in the public, creative, and non-profit sectors in the San Francisco Bay area. More recently, Thomas has dedicated her career to building community and providing professional development for individual artists and arts administrators. Previously they held senior positions at San Francisco Arts Commission, foolsFURY Theatre, and SAFEhouse Arts. They are an inaugural APAP Leadership Fellow and received their MFA from the University of Texas.

With a pedigree from performances at the late, iconic Esta Noche, Per Sia‘s trajectory has gone on to include art curation, stand-up, television, modeling, and maybe a quinceañera or two, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and México. Currently, she is a regular performer in the nationally acclaimed “Drag Queen Story Hour” as well as an educator in residence at the Children’s After School Arts (CASA) program in the San Francisco Unified School District recently profiled on KQED Arts and National Public Radio.

RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1093204637543051/

DQSH and NCAC Celebrate Banned Books Week in New York City!

September 28, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT, St John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real. Join DQSH and the National Coalition Against Censorship on September 28, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT at St John’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn (155 Milton St., Greenpoint).

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2361382427508398/

Check out these official DQSH events throughout Banned Books Week!

OCO Drag Queen Story Hour

September 22, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT, The SPOT (75 E. 1st St., Oswego, New York)

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like – Drag Queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.

Come join Xandra Dee & Mimi Mosa for stories, a song, craft & snack at the OCO Midtown plaza location!

Event open to the public, families and children strongly welcomed!

Canned food donations greatly appreciated but not required.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2180292942080653/

Drag Queen Story Hour with The Conjure Shop

September 22, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CDT, The Conjure Shop (809 S. 75th St., Omaha, Nebraska)

Adding a little pizzazz and sparkle to afternoon’s favorite past time…STORY TIME!

Join Mrs. Yuka Layme for Drag Queen Story Time, the children’s storytelling event that has been sweeping the nation! The event is brought to you in partnership with The Conjure Shop

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2535208213167355/

Drag Queen Story Hour With Sharon ShareAlike & Ava ShareAlike

September 27, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CDT, Bobzbay (419 N Main St, Bloomington, Illinois)

Bobzbay is proud to host Sharon ShareAlike and Ava J ShareAlike for Drag Queen Story Hour (also known as DQSH). The Bistro has generously offered to partner with us to help this event happen and we can’t be more grateful! This will be a fun, family friendly event for all ages! Sit down with some of our favorite drag queens for a couple of kid-friendly story books.

Please feel free to ask any questions before the event and check out https://www.dragqueenstoryhour.org/ for more information.

We have a limited number of chairs so if you’d like, bring something soft to sit on. This event is free and open to the public. Parking is free in the Market St. parking garage just a couple blocks away from the shop or there is street parking.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2958348084239805/

Drag Queen Story Hour — Vermont

September 28, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. EDT, Milton Public Library (39 Bombardier Rd,, Milton, Vermont)

Emoji Nightmare and Nikki Champagne, two of Vermont’s favorite drag queens, are bringing Drag Queen Story Hour to Milton! The queens will be sure to delight and captivate audience members of all ages as they share stories focused on individuality, activism, gender, creativity, expression, and social responsibility.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/468250954010163/

Drag Queen Story Hour — Los Angeles

September 28, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. PDT, Eagle Rock Branch – Los Angeles Public Library (5027 Caspar Ave., Los Angeles, California)

Presented in Partnership with Home Sweet Huddy and Compass, a real estate team!

DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR is exactly what it sounds like! Drag Queens reading stories to kids in Libraries, Schools and Bookstores the like! Bring your kids to a magical hour dedicated to literacy, love, acceptance and joy! All the magic of drag with the fun of storytime! Come early to make some crafts!!!

With PICKLE!

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1362065963956135/

Drag Queen Story Hour — Connecticut

September 28, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT, Hartford Public Library (500 Main St, Hartford, Connecticut)

Hartford Public Library presents our very first Drag Queen Story Hour! Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. Its goal? To inspire a love of reading, while teaching deeper lessons on diversity, self-love and an appreciation of others. This fun all-ages event features local drag queens Giganta Smalls and Robin Fierce reading children’s stories and a crown-making craft at our very own library.

We will host two story hour sessions. Guests are welcome to come to either story hour, or stay for both!

Storytime Schedule:
1:00 p.m. — Story Hour with Giganta Smalls, followed by a craft
2:30 p.m. — Story Hour with Robin Fierce, followed by a craft in the Center for Contemporary Culture

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/432897020655800/

Banned Books Drag Story Hour 2019!

September 28, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. MST, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange (1056 South Country Club Drive, Mesa, Arizona)

Something banned this way comes! Join Drag Story Hour- Arizona at Bookmans Mesa for story hour hosted by Felicia Minor and Freddy Prinze Charming.

Let’s love all banned books and celebrate the growth of Drag Queen Story Hours in the face of challenge.

RSVP in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/500952000478623/

Drag Queen Story Hour with Kearney Pride 2019

September 28, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CDT, Harmon Park (3100 5th Ave., Kearney, Nebraska)

Adding a little pizzazz and sparkle to afternoon’s favorite past time…STORY TIME!

Join Mrs. Yuka Layme for Drag Queen Story Time, the children’s storytelling event that has been sweeping the nation! The event is brought to you in partnership with Kearney Pride Walk/Festival 2019 & PFLAG Kearney. Our FIRST is Kearney Nebraska!

Readings of your favorite (and maybe some new) stories by: Lucy Roxia

Keep your eye on an update to our exact location at Pride.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/388278792092101/

Drag Queen Story Hour is hosting events before and after Banned Books Week. Visit their page on Facebook for a full schedule!

Drag Queen Story Hour/SF (DQSH/SF) contracts with professional drag queens who are experienced youth performers and educators. They capture the imagination and gender play of childhood and give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models, all while promoting early childhood education and inclusive family programming. In spaces we create, kids are able to see beyond gender restrictions and imagine a world where everybody is safe and welcome and dress up is real. DQSH Queens are ambassadors for equity diversity and inclusion in family programming. Created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco, DQSH now happens regularly in L.A., New York, and San Francisco, and events are popping up all over the country and the world!

https://www.dragqueenstoryhour.org/

https://www.facebook.com/dragqueenstoryhour/

https://www.instagram.com/dragqueenstoryhour/?hl=en

Project Censored: The Freedom to Read and Learn

 

In observance of Banned-Books Week (September 22 – 28, 2019), the latest Project Censored Show covers some of the obstacles placed in the way of Americans’ freedom to read and learn, notably efforts to keep unfavored books out of school libraries — or even to cancel authors’ speaking engagements.

Project Censored host Mickey Huff is joined in the conversation by Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Fund; Jackie Farmer, Outreach Officer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Abena Hutchful, Youth Free Expression Program Coordinator for the National Coalition Against Censorship; and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Interim Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Listen to the full broadcast below, download it at the Project Censored website, or listen on iTunes and Spotify

The Project Censored Show airs on 40 stations and is available on iTunes and Patreon. The show was started in 2010 by Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips and the program is an extension of the work Project Censored began in 1976 celebrating independent journalism while fighting media censorship.

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle Style With the Forbidden Books Bundle

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle style with the new Forbidden Books Bundle, a collection of banned and challenged books by some of the world’s most influential authors!

From The Color Purple to Saga, Lauren Myracle to Neil Gaiman, even kids classics from And Tango Makes Three to Bone, some of the most popular books in the world are targets for censorship. Humble’s Forbidden Books Bundle fights censorship and helps you celebrate the freedom to read by providing an incredible library of banned and challenged books to benefit the Banned Books Week efforts of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF).

The Humble Book Bundle: Forbidden Books supporting Banned Books Week 2018 will run from September 19 through September 24 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Customers can pay just $1 or more for:

  • Kramer Vs Kramer by Avery Corman
  • Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Zone of the Interior by Clancy Sigal
  • Essays in Humanism by Albert Einstein
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • BONUS Read Banned Books: A Guide to Banned, Challenged, and Controversial Comics and Graphic Novels
  • BONUS Censorship Toolkit

Customers who pay $8 or more will also get:

  • Free Speeches by Neil Gaiman
  • Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
  • Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaugh, Fiona Staples
  • Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
  • The Bastard by John Jakes
  • Intensely Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • ttyl: 10th Anniversary Edition by Lauren Myracle

Those who pay $15 or more will receive all of that plus:

  • Bone Vol. 1 by Jeff Smith
  • A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  • Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
  • Gods & Tulips by Neil Gaiman

Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) and Executive Director of CBLDF says, “Sharing the stories others want to repress is one of the best ways to fight censorship. We’re grateful to Humble Bundle and all the authors and publishers who participated in the Forbidden Books Bundle for helping all of us share these powerful stories and to empower readers everywhere to add their own voice to the celebration of the freedom to read!”

Abena Hutchful, coordinator of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program and Kids’ Right to Read Project says, “Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story and to see the world through the eyes of other people. We encourage everyone to use this bundle as a starting point in their Banned Books Week celebration, and to get get more involved by participating in community Banned Books events, posting online about the freedom to read, and talking about the banned books they read!”

Kelley L. Allen, Director of Books at Humble Bundle says, “We hope that our customers enjoy this curated selection of superb books that were either banned, challenged, sued, censored, or even burned. I have been working with our dedicated and hardworking friends over at NCAC and CBLDF on this promotion for the better part of a year, along with some of my personal favorite book and comic publishers including Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Cartoon Books, Open Road Media, Fantagraphics, Last Gasp, and Image Comics.”

Proceeds from this bundle benefit the work of the National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, partners in the Banned Books Week Coalition and Kids’ Right to Read Project. Together, the NCAC and CBLDF help respond to bans and challenges of books with expert advice, letters of support, and legal expertise. They also collaborate to produce valuable resources to protect Free Expression, such as Be Heard!, a free comic book to protect student rights released earlier this year.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
NCAC’s mission is to promote freedom of thought, inquiry and expression and oppose censorship in all its forms. The Coalition formed in response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. California, which narrowed First Amendment protections for sexual expression and opened the door to obscenity prosecutions.

Over 40 years, as an alliance of more than 50 national non-profits, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups, we have engaged in direct advocacy and education to support First Amendment principles. NCAC is unique in that we are national in scope, but often local in our approach. We work with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation. For more info, check out ncac.org.

About the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available to respond to First Amendment emergencies at a moment’s notice. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights on which our community depends. For more information, visit www.cbldf.org.

About Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle sells games, ebooks, software, and other digital content through pay-what-you-want bundle promotions, the Humble Store, and the Humble Monthly curated subscription service. When buying a bundle, customers not only choose how much to pay, but also how their payment is divided between the content creators, charity, and Humble Bundle. Purchases from the Humble Store and subscriptions to Humble Monthly also help support charity. In 2017, Humble Bundle announced the launch of a multi-platform funding and creative initiative to publish games “Presented by Humble Bundle.” Since the company’s launch in 2010, Humble Bundle and its community have raised more than $132 million for a wide range of charities across the world. To see more, visit https://www.humblebundle.com.

Local Pastors Attempt to Ban Books from Banned Books Display at Maine Public Library

Banned books display at Rumford Public Library (via Twitter user Katje Fae @katjefae)

A group of pastors in Rumford, Maine are attempting to have LGBTQ books banned from the Rumford Public Library’s display of banned books. The library is holding a board meeting today, where the controversy will be discussed. The National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund support Rumford Public Library’s display and freedom to choose how best to serve their community. NCAC and CBLDF oppose efforts to limit a whole community’s access to books based on the personal viewpoints or religious beliefs of some groups or individuals in that community. As public institutions, libraries are obligated not to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint or sexual orientation.

The display coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, highlighting books that often draw challenges in schools and libraries. Half of the books on this year’s American Library Association Top 10 Banned Books list tell stories of LGBTQ characters. Books representing a wide variety of experiences and voices allow readers, particularly children, to find connection, safely explore unfamiliar ideas, and broaden their understanding of the world.

This article was originally posted by the National Coalition Against Censorship. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has posted additional information and a statement from Executive Director Charles Brownstein here.