Maplewood Library to hold sixth annual Ideas Festival

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Memorial Library’s Ideas Festival, celebrating the talent and creativity of this commlmmunity, is modeled on the New Yorker Festival, but all events are free and open to everyone. Presenters have ties to the SOMA community, either by living here, having grown up here or having a close connection to someone local. The festival will begin Saturday, March 23, with New Jersey Makers Day at Hilton Branch, 1688 Springfield Ave., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All other events will be held at the Main Library, 51 Baker St. Additional details are available at

Some upcoming events are:

  • New Jersey Makers Day, with high-and low-tech activities for children, teens and adults, will include stereoscopes, CD spinners, spool knitting, vorpal robotics and a project with Maplewoodshop on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Branch.
  • “From Policy to Practice: Stripping Down the Language, Business and Complexity of Women’s Sexual Health,” with Rachel Braun Scherl, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Candice Davenport, will be Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. Braun is a “Vagipreneur” and managing partner of SPARK Solutions for Growth, as well as the author of “Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women’s Sexual Health and Wellness.” Weiss-Wolf is vice president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and author of “Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity.” Davenport is the Maplewood Public Health nursing supervisor and health educator.
  • Hear Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, and Ilena Silverman, the features editor of the New York Times Magazine, on Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m.
  • Attend an art and music reception for photographer Chad Hunt on Saturday, March 30, at 3 p.m. Hunt has a long career documenting people and the world around us through award-winning photography. Live music will be provided by the James White Band and Hunt will speak at 3:45.
  • Alison Stewart, host of WNYC’s “All of It” changes roles and answers the questions, will present “The Art of the Interview” with Nancy Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, on Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. Hear about the secret sauce of great interviewing and what happens when live radio goes badly.
  • Learn how little ideas can turn into big stories with Christopher Healy, best-selling author of “A Dastardly Plot” and “The Hero’s Guide” series on Tuesday, April 2, at 4 p.m. Children ages 8 to 12 will learn how to craft stories from scratch in a create-your-own-adventure experience.
  • Khadijah Costley White will present “What Even Was the Tea Party? Right-Wing Activism, Media, and Politics Pre-Trump” on Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. White is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers, as well as an activist and community organizer.
  • Fred R. Profeta Jr. and Paul Profeta, two brothers who grew up in Maplewood in the 1940s and ’50s, will discuss the evolution of the town over eight decades, and how their experiences in the Maplewood of their youth led to their contributions in local leadership, philanthropy, sustainability and organic agriculture on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m.

• Library Director Sarah Lester will interview journalist, poet and author Tina Kelley on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m., prior to Kelley receiving the 2019 Maplewood Literary Award.