House Concerts: A New Twist on a Centuries-Old Tradition

House concerts are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists are looking to find creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences, and ways to make a living doing what they love.

Throughout history, from the early consorts of the European Renaissance (fourteenth through seventeenth centuries) to the rent parties of the Harlem Renaissance (1920s and 1930s), having “house concerts” has been a way to introduce an audience to new chamber music compositions and play for an appreciative audience in an intimate space. The rent parties that flourished in New York, Chicago, and Detroit (among other places) in the early to mid-twentieth century were just that: a way to help pay the rent! And let’s not forget the tradition of folk music house performances and sing-alongs that are also part of the house concert’s long and varied history.

Today house concerts—albeit in a more refined form than the rent parties—are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists in the current generation are looking to find not only creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences but also ways to make a living doing what they love.

The Oakland Public Library is delighted to present a program—“

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November Is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

 

Maybe you've seen it: NaNoWriMo?  Maybe you've thought to yourself: What does NaNoWriMo mean?  Why do I keep reading about it all over Facebook and the internet?  What does NaNoWriMo have to do with ME?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month!  It is an international event that happens each November. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought seriously, or even fleetingly, about writing a novel. NaNoWriMo works to encourage writing and vibrant creativity around the world.  While you create your novel you earn badges at the website!  Last year 310,095 participants started the month of November as pastry chefs,

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Throwback Thursday: An Old Fashioned Hallowe'en Party Circa 1905

A 1905 issue of the San Francisco Call offers some tips for a "Old Fashioned Hallowe'en Party"

Thinking of having an old fashioned Halloween Party, but find you "must sigh vainly for farmstead kitchen and big new barn"?  Marion Harland published a few suggestions on how to "retain the spirit of the time-honored festival" in the San Francisco Call in 1905. When planning your costume remember that "a fine chance is offered here for the display of jaunty aprons and short-sleeved blouses." And for diversions, you can simply bob for apples or have your fortune told through a cabbage stalk, a goblet of vinegar, or a flaming raisin!

Read all of her suggestions in the newspaper images below.

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Quake!

It's been 25 years since the last "big one."

Where were you 25 years ago at 5:04? At work? At school? Candlestick Park?

Today, October 17, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. 

Loma Prieta wasn't the first big earthquake to rock the East Bay and it won't be the last. Whether you want to prepare yourself for earthquakes to come or to learn more about Loma Prieta, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, or the October, 1868 earthquake -- the last "big one" on the Hayward Fault, the Main Library can answer your questions. 

With the media reminding us that we're overdue for another big earthquake, what can you learn at the library to help you prepare yourself, your family, and your home? We have lots to read on the science of earthquakes if you're looking for general information. Want to know how to retrofit your house? We've got that, too. Don't want a book? There are DVDs in our collection on earthquakes and on emergency

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East Bay Home Front at OPL

The Oakland History Room is hosting an exhibit and a program on the East Bay Home Front during World War II.

With the recent week-long broadcast of Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts: an intimate history” and a number of key anniversaries passing this year, the study of World War II is as popular as ever.  

The Oakland Public Library is following the trend with its current exhibit, “East Bay Home Front during World War II.” This display tells the story of how Oaklanders and other East Bay residents mobilized to assist in the war effort. Men and women not only volunteered for military service, they worked in shipyards, canneries, the aircraft industry, and the burgeoning construction trades. They grew victory gardens at home, observed curfews and blackouts, and reduced their meat and milk consumption to abide by rationing rules. They became blood donors and civil defense officers. They even volunteered their dogs for

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Dust Off Your Instrument and Play!

Resources from the music collection at the Oakland Public Library to get back into playing your instrument, or learn a new one.

Dust Off Your Instrument and Play!

Resources from the music collection at the Oakland Public Library to help you get back into playing your instrument, or learn a new one.

 

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New DVDs for October 2014 @ Oakland Public Library

New DVDs for October 2014 at Oakland Public Library

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URBAN LIT, NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD @ OAKLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

Urban Lit, Now Available on DVD at Oakland Public Library

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The Roosevelts: an Intimate History

Use the Main Library to learn more about the Roosevelts.

On Sunday night PBS broadcast the first episode of Ken Burns’s latest documentary series, The Roosevelts: an Intimate History, documenting the lives and careers of Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, and Eleanor Roosevelt

Did you catch it? If you did, keep watching. The series is sure to whet your interest in all things Roosevelt. Your Main Library is a great place to learn more about this iconic American family. 

What can you find here? Plenty of books, of course, from the current bestseller, The Bully Pulpit  to Eleanor Roosevelt's 1938

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New DVDs for September 2014 @ Oakland Public Library

New DVDs for September 2014 @ Oakland Public Library

Xingu DVD coverNo One Knows About Persian Cats DVD cover

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