7 Days of Genius Festival: Find Your Path to Genius at the Free Library

By Autumn M. RSS Thu, March 3, 2016

Information and books and podcasts and programming and computers and Wi-Fi and a great place to hang out: All of this and more make up the Free Library of Philadelphia. But what does the Library mean to you? If you’re not sure, we aim to help you find out. From March 5-12, the Free Library is participating in the 7 Days of Genius Festival, in partnership with the 92nd Street Y. This week-long extravaganza of events and conversations showcases genius in many of its various forms, from cooking for education, to advances in technology, to showcasing the expert minds of young people and how they’ll shape the world. The Festival is a celebration of the mind, yes, but at the Free Library, it’s also a celebration of the ways libraries unlock genius in every community in our city. Check out our fab calendar of events to find your path to genius. Or if you’re looking for something extra-geniusy, may we suggest one of these events and a book to go with them?

Disrupting the Patriarchy: a lively panel discussion to challenge your thinking around women as industry leaders and entrepreneurs. Sign up here.

Try reading:
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
Capitalizing on genius means using your time wisely. In this book, time-management expert Laura Vanderkam, who is also part of the Free Library’s “Disrupting the Patriarchy” event, advises on how to make the most of your time. 

Need some feedback on your creative writing?  Interested in the idea of science fiction as memoir? Check out Soft Targets: Vulnerability and Violence in the New Post-Apocalypse. This day-long series of workshops, readings, and discussions will stretch your genius muscles, for sure.

Try reading:
The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to the US Empire

Try watching:
The Fifth Estate

Are we living in a new post-apocalypse?  Has dystopian fiction become a reality in the age of mass incarceration and mass surveillance? If so, who better to be our protagonist than Julian Assange, genius hacker and founder of WikiLeaks. The Fifth Estate is a thriller film based on his life. The WikiLeaks Files describes our world through the U.S. documents leaked by Assange and his organization. 

Take a journey through American musical history by tracing the styles of music developed by Africans in America by attending The Evolution of the Blues.

Try Reading:
The History of the Blues by Francis Davis
The Ramonita de Rodriguez Library hosts a discussion of the history of blues music. In this study, Francis Davis approaches blues musicians as not just predecessors of jazz and rock, but geniuses in their own right.   

Join two great contemporary minds as they explore racial and cultural identity in America during an Author Event with Darryll Pinkney and Margo Jefferson.

Try Reading:
Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot
In honor of Darryl Pinckney’s new, acclaimed novel about a black expatriate in Berlin, read about Eugene Bullard, an African American World War I flying ace who escaped discrimination by living in Europe for much of his life.

As part of the two fantastic months that make up One Book, One Philadelphia, join us for an event paired with this year’s book, Cold MountainWilliam Bartram's Travels: Behind the Scenes

Try Reading:
The Art and Science of William Bartram by Judith Magee
A genius of his day, William Bartram was born in Philadelphia in 1739 and became a famous naturalist who was the first to discover many plants of the American south. Magee’s book collects his drawings and describes how influential he was in American science of the period.

In the mood to learn a new skill? Feel like getting craftsy? Why not attend Crochet for Beginners?

Try Reading:
Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters by Jean Leinhauser
18 techniques taught by some of the world’s geniuses of this textile art

Getting your children into genius mode?

Let us know if you’re attending an event! 

And don't forget to use the hashtags #thatsgenius and #freelibrary on social media!

Co-authoring credits: Peter Lehu 

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