First Friday ArtWalk Big Band Concert, USO-style Dance @ your library

A dance and concert evoking a 1940s-era USO event will be held at the library during the First Friday ArtWalk Dec. 2. The event is inspired by Call of Duty, an exhibit dedicated to the men and women who answered the call to serve during World War II, now showing in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery.

“This exhibit provides a perfect opportunity to understand what your parents, or more likely grandparents, went through during the war years,” said Zan Popp, exhibit curator. “Learn about Kansas’ contributions to the war effort, both at home and on the front lines.”

The family friendly USO Swing Dance will start at 6pm Dec. 2, and the Topeka Big Band will play popular swing tunes from the time. Expect a feast for the eyes and ears as local dance groups light up the floor of the rotunda.

This exhibit is part of the commemoration of Kansas’ 150th and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Up by the Topeka Room (second floor) get a glimpse of Red Cross nurses’ uniforms and a sense of their duties, and then step over to a glass case of ‘40s-era Christmas cards and sheet music. Enter the Topeka Room to gather your family around our fireplace and find a family relative in our Kansas archives & yearbooks. Check out the holiday decorations throughout the building.

Feeling the giving spirit? The library is a collection point for Red Cross “Comfort Kits.” See bins in the rotunda for a list of what to donate or learn more by clicking on this link.

The Call of Duty exhibit features various items from military uniforms and artillery shells to advertisements and art by local artists Jim Brothers and Roger Shimomura. Inside the exhibit, you can sit and listen to a radio broadcast of Franklin Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Day speech. Leave your remembrances and take the time to write to troops currently stationed overseas.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, the Millennium Café, Chandler Booktique, meeting rooms, and free computer and Internet access and training.

Library hours are Mon. through Fri. 9 am to 9 pm, Sat. 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 9 pm.                                         

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.