Wednesday afternoons from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Curtis Memorial Library and Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick


All events are in-person. Seating is limited; reservations are not accepted. You may arrive up to 15″ before the program begins to get your seat. If all seats are taken, we will close the room. A recording of the lecture will be made available within 48 hours of the lecture on this website. Please call 725-4900 or email: with any questions.

Winter Wisdom is sponsored by The Highlands in Topsham, Maine – Thank you!

January 4: Bravi Tutti—A Career with the Metropolitan Opera NO RECORDING IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Ross Crolius will present a talk about his 25-year busy career with the Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing and most prestigious arts organization in the country. He will provide background information about the Met Opera and sing an aria or two. Before retiring, Ross Crolius was a full-time Met chorister where he sang an annual average of 200 performances at the Lincoln Center theater as well as on tour. His prior musical background includes two seasons performing with the Gregg Smith Singers, a three-year enlistment in the Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, and degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music. At Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick

January 11: The Transforming Maine Economy CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING
A new economic model is emerging in Maine. Previously built on a foundation of fisheries, wood products, and tourism, new initiatives are gradually but inexorably reshaping Maine’s economy. This presentation will highlight the significant developments that are the Maine economy of our future. The new Maine economic model includes biotechnology, aquaculture, renewable energy, revival of agriculture and food processing, brewing and distilling. John Dorrer has served in government as Acting Commissioner, Chief Economist and Research Director of the Maine Department of Labor, the National Center on Education and the Economy, and the Training and Development Corporation. He has also been an Adjunct Faculty member in the Departments of Economics and Public Administration at the University of Maine. At Morrell Meeting Room, Brunswick

January 18: The Wondrous Winter Skies of Midcoast Maine CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING
Take those binoculars off the shelf, bundle up, go outside, look up, and be awestruck by our marvelous universe. The crisp, cool nights of winter offer stargazers living in midcoast Maine, a plethora of wondrous sights. In this talk you will be introduced to stars, constellations, planets, asteroids, nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies that don’t need a telescope to be observed. You will learn how to use the Big Dipper and the Great Winter Hexagon to navigate this magical tour of the heavens. Russ Pinizzotto teaches astronomy at Simmons University in Boston when he isn’t diligently working as Simmons’ provost. He has taught introductory astronomy at Merrimack College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Simmons College. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Caltech, a Ph.D. in Materials Science from UCLA, and an M.S. in Astronomy from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. At Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

January 25: Bygone Songs of Maine CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING
Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee of the folk duo Castlebay have recently published a book, Bygone Ballads of Maine Vol 1 – Songs of Ships & Sailors, a compilation of 165 folk songs gathered from collections gathered from Maine’s international archives, museums and libraries. They will present their findings in an entertaining lecture with musical examples, exploring the social history of Maine through music. They will tell the stories not only of the songs, but also of the intrepid collectors who preserved them and the singers who carried on the tradition.  Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have deep family roots in New England and the Anglo-Celtic lands. They performed with their personable performance style to audiences nationwide and across the Atlantic. Supporting their vocal expertise with Celtic Harp, 12-string guitar, viola & flute, the duo “Castlebay” has toured the U.S., Ireland, England and Scotland performing folklore and music programs for concert halls, schools, and museums. At Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

February 1: The history and people of Maine’s Malaga Island CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING
This illustrated presentation and discussion will explore the true history of the community who lived on Malaga Island, off the coast of Phippsburg, Maine, in the late 1800s. The program examines the individuals who were part of this community and the state’s actions to evict them from their homes through the complex history of racism and eugenics in Maine. Kate McBrien currently serves as Maine State Archivist, overseeing Maine State Government’s archives and records management programs. As curator of the award-winning exhibition “Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives,” Kate is also an historian for the Malaga Island community. She previously held positions as Chief Curator and Director of Public Engagement at the Maine Historical Society and as the Curator of Historic Collections for the Maine State Museum. At Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

February 8: Ice Harvesting on the Kennebec River CLICK HERE TO WATCH RECORDING
This illustrated lecture will explore the harvesting and export of natural ice—an industry that was a staple of Maine’s (once) frigid winters. Maine ice had a reputation as the thickest, purest ice money could buy, and clean Kennebec ice was advertised up and down the East Coast as the premier product. In addition to giving a brief explanation of ice harvesting, this talk, accompanied by old black and white photos from the 1800s, will explore how Maine ice-built riches and political controversy, and how natural ice stayed competitive in the face of technological advances. Christopher Timm is Executive Director of Maine Maritime Museum, which works to preserve and share Maine’s vibrant maritime culture. Chris previously served as Chief Curator and Director of External Affairs.His curatorial work focused on expanding the museum’s mission to consider globalization, cultural idetnity, and environmental themes; as Executive Director he now continues this work to expand the museum’s audience and civic mission. Prior to joining the museum in 2016, he taught at Florida State University. At Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

February 15: Longfellow Days—Poetry and Travel: Longfellow in Europe
As a Professor of Modern Languages poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow traveled in Europe, and these experiences informed both his own poetry and the poems of others whose poems he chose to translate. Speaker Gary Lawless has also traveled in Europe, and those travels have enhanced both his understanding of poetry and his own poems. He will speak about Longfellow, poetry, and the value of travel in strengthening the creative arts. At Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

February 22: Snow make-up day

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