Tag Archives: East Side Freedom Library

July 18: Neighbors Meet Neighbors

Click to download flyer

The East Side Freedom Library is organizing a series of public forums centered around the stories and experiences of recent immigrants to the east side communities.

The series will feature a different community each month where attendees will hear about the community’s history, culture, stories, and challenges.


  • 7 p.m, June 20 – Hear from members of the Hmong community
  • 7 p.m, July 18 – Indigenous Roots
  • 7 p.m, August 15 – Hear from members of the Somali community

All events will be at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, Saint Paul. These events are free and open to the public. 

Contact: info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org
Phone: 651.230.3294

Events at East Side Freedom Library

The East Side Freedom Library hosts many events throughout the year. The following is a list of events through October 2017.

Legacies of the Arlington Hills/east Side Freedom Library:
Recalling, Reflecting On, and Celebrating 100 Years of Community Presence. 7-8:30 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month.

• April 11: East Siders’ Contributions to our Political Life. A discussion of the roles played by Joe Karth, Bruce Vento, Karl Neid, Tim Mahoney, Dan Bostrom, Kathy Lantry, Mee Moua, Foung Hawj, Sheldon Johnson, Jane Prince.

• May 9: Immigration Then and Now: The Making and Remaking of the East Side Freedom Library. Co-executive director Peter Rachleff
presents an overview of the immigrants who have made their homes
here on the East Side and made use of the library, from the Swedes
to the Karen. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library as part of the annual “Untold Stories” program.

• June 13: A celebration of the writers who developed their stories on the East Side and in the Arlington Hills Public Library.

• July 18: A celebration of the labor leaders in the East Side and who helped shape the living standards and workplace conditions of their neighbors.

• Aug. 8: A celebration of librarians. A reunion of the women and men who maintained East Side Freedom Library and served its patrons.

• Sept. 12: A celebration of teachers who worked in neighborhood

• Oct. 10: Reflection on the history of East Side Freedom Library and its place in the community. Historian Greg Gaut, who has been commissioned to research and write a history of the library, will present his work to date.

March 27: Let Freedom Ring

The East Side Freedom Library invites community members to Let Freedom Sing, a film series shown in conjunction with performances of the play, Down in Mississippi.

Let Freedom Sing: How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement will be screened 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, March 27, and Freedom On My Mind. will be screened 7 to 9 p.m., April 3 at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul.

These two films add to the conversation about the history of civil rights and music in the American south. Let Freedom Sing is a documentary about the singers and musicians who stood up against inequality and racism, and gave the civil rights movement its anthems and its soul.

Nov. 4-5: Swede Hollow Opera

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the burning of Swede Hollow, the Saint Paul Public Library — East Side Freedom Branch, is presenting the Swede Hollow Opera.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5, at 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul.

The opera tells the story about the events on Dec. 11, 1956 when the City of Saint Paul evicted the residents of Swede Hollow and burned their homes to the ground. Their stories, and those of earlier Swede Hollow residents, became the subject of Ann Millikan’s opera, Swede Hollow.

The libretto is a poignant story that weaves back and forth through time following the lives of Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their home in Swede Hollow during its 100-year history. The fictionalized characters are based on historical research and interviews with former Swede Hollow residents.

The opera’s final chorus, Dakota Land, celebrates the original inhabitants of the region with a text by Anishinabe poet Marcie R. Rendon. Centering on the theme of home — leaving home, finding home, losing home —Swede Hollow comes alive through powerful music on the land that holds its memories.

Tickets are a $10–$20 suggested donation or pay-as-able.
No one will be turned away for ability to pay. Reserve your tickets here.

Also, if for those who haven’t yet taken a stroll through Swede Hollow, it’s strongly recommended. All seasons are equally enjoyable and winter is especially picturesque for those who dabble in black and white photography.


Oct. 17: “Beyond Orientalism” roundtable discussion

Join a roundtable discussion on “Beyond Orientalism” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 at  East Side Freedom Library  East Side Freedom Library is located at 1105 Greenbriar Street, Saint Paul, 55106.

The event, sponsored by Theater Mu and Pangea World Theater,  is free and open to the public.

For more info, view the flyer, call 651-774-8687 or email info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org


Oct. 5: Union activist to introduce new book

Former flight attendant and union activist at United Airlines, Ryan Murphy, will introduce his new book, Deregulating Desire: Flight Attendant Activism, Family Politics, and Workplace Justice, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7pm at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul.

The event is free and open to all.

For more information click here.


Aug. 16: Islamophobia: Challenging a false fear

Join Minnesotans Against Islamophobia and other organizations for a discussion about the dangers of Islamophobia and more, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16 at First Lutheran Church, 463 Maria Avenue St. Paul.

For more information contact: mn.against.islamophobia@gmail.com or call 612-564-3733.

East Side Freedom Library celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month and the East Side Freedom Library is celebrating with a film series and other related events through out the month. Each Monday in February features a film related to black history. Events are free and open to all.

Film Series

7 p.m., Feb. 1: Rize
This is a lively documentary about new popular dance forms, called clowning, created by young African Americans in South Central Los Angeles in the aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King riots. After the film, Alessandra Williams, a member of the Ananya Dance Theater and a PhD student in World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, leads a discussion.

7 p.m., Feb. 8: The Watermelon Woman
The protagonist in this 1996 feature film is a young African American woman who works in a video store to pay the bills. She becomes fascinated by the life and career of an African American actress who was cast in stereotypical “mammy” roles in 1930s films and seeks to make a film about her. Freda Fair, a PhD student in women’s studies and African American studies at UCLA, leads a discussion of this film.

7 p.m., Feb. 15: Brother John
Sidney Poitier helped shape and starred in this 1971 dramatic film about a mysterious man who returns to his Alabama hometown for his sister’s funeral. He arrives in the midst of a labor strike and the local authorities suspect he is an outside agitator. Dr. John Wright, professor of African American studies and English at the University of Minnesota, leads a discussion.

Feb. 22: Ghosts of Amistad
This new, award-winning documentary follows historian Marcus Rediker on a trip to Sierra Leone in search of local memories of the slave ship rebellion which gripped the United States, first in 1839 when it happened, and again in the late 1990s when Stephen Spielberg’s movie was enthusiastically received. Ghosts of Amistad revolves around interviews with fishermen, truck drivers and village residents in the West African country from which the Amistad slaves were captured and sold. The post-film discussion is led by Dwayne Williams, a PhD student in African history at the University of Minnesota.

7 p.m., Feb. 29: Their Eyes Were Watching God
This film and discussion are part of “The Big Read,” a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and led locally by Metropolitan State University’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship. More than 1,000 community residents are reading and discussing Zora Neale Hurston’s classic 1937 novel and engaging the text through performances by the Black Storytellers Alliance and screenings of this 2005 film, based on a script adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and starring Halle Berry.

Additional Black History Month Events

Continue reading East Side Freedom Library celebrates Black History Month

Jan. 18: “At the River I Stand” at East Side Freedom Library

Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation and the East Side Freedom Library invite you to watch and discuss the award-winning documentary film At the River I Stand in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The showing is 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18 at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul.

This powerful, hour-long film tells the story of the Memphis sanitation workers who organized with a union in 1968 to demand a living wage, respect and their rights to bargain collectively. It was during this struggle Dr. King was murdered.

This event is free and open to all. For more information, email info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org or call 651-774-8687.

Jan. 17: “Sock Hop” at East Side Freedom Library

The Class and the Arts Network and East Side Freedom Library invite you to a “sock hop” social party, 4­­–6 p.m., Jan. 17 at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul. For nine months, the Class and the Arts Network sponsored conversations among performing arts professionals and others about the role of class and economics in the shaping of work in the arts industry. These conversations have been eye-opening and inspiring as well as informative, and now participants are looking for ways to act together to build solidarity and community.

Inspired by the Woolgathering Project, this event requires attendees to bring a pair (or more) of new socks to be donated to local homeless children, men and women. This is a great opportunity at the outset of the New Year to build relationships across the many crafts and trades that are involved in creating dramatic work and putting it in front of the public.

For more information contact the East Side Freedom Library at 651-774-8687 or info@eastsidefreedomlibrary.org.

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