Community Events

Unless otherwise noted, community events are free and open to the public. All are welcome, even if you haven’t read the book! Events in green are kid-friendly events.

NEA Big Read Attleboro Launch Celebration
Sat., Sept. 7, 2019; 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Balfour Riverwalk Park, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Join us as we launch the 2019 NEA Big Read: Attleboro! We will be distributing free copies of the title In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, and its Young Reader’s edition, along with copies our NEA Big Read events calendar. Explore inside Nile, the 40 ft. inflatable whale, and meet Cynde, a whale educator, who will teach us all about whales and their environments. Marc Bernier will be performing sea chanteys, the Library will be screening the History Channel documentary The Essex: The True Story of Moby Dick, Marine Modelers Club of New England will be exhibiting their miniatures, and you can sail a remote tug in the pool at the Attleboro YMCA! In the event of inclement weather, the celebration will move inside the Attleboro Public Library and Nile the Whale will be at the Ezekiel Bates Mason’s Lodge across the street at 71 N. Main St. Nile the Whale is funded by the Trustees of the Attleboro Public Library and Marc Bernier is funded by the Friends of Attleboro Public Library.

Family Book Club
Mon., Sept. 9, 2019; 7:15pm – 8:15pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Youth in grades 5-8 and their adult are welcome to join us for the Family Book Club! This month we will be discussing Heart of the Samurai by Margi Preus. Copies of the book will be available in the children’s room at the library in late August. Registration is required. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

*CANCELLED* “Sailing Towards My Father” Performed by Stephen Collins
Rescheduled date TBD
Thurs., Sept. 12, 2019; 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro in the Marble Lobby
Cancelled due to medical emergency – “Sailing Towards My Father” is a one-man play about Herman Melville, the American author best known for his whaling epic Moby Dick. The play chronicles Melville’s life, concentrating on his evolution as a writer and his complex relations with religion, his family, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Funded by the Friends of Attleboro Public Library. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

NEA Big Read Kick-off Event and Enormity Opening Reception
Sat., Sept. 14, 2019; 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park St., Attleboro
(Exhibit continues during normal museum hours through Sat., Sept. 21)
The Attleboro Arts Museum, collaborating with the undergraduate sculpture students from Wheaton’s College Art Department, presents an exhibition of the original 3D forms inspired by Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea. Enormity explores concepts of extreme scale, perilousness, or one’s perception of an issue as foul or fundamentally improper. Emerging sculptors interpret the actions of a vengeful whale, the profound struggles between moral code vs. survival and how- despite being surrounded by the seemingly endless angry seas- one fights to carry on.  Sponsored by the Attleboro Arts Museum and the Attleboro Cultural Council. A reservation is requested, but not required. Call the Attleboro Arts Museum at 508-222-2644 x10 or email office@attleboroartsmuseum.org to reserve your space.

Whale Tales Storytime
Fri., Sept. 20, 2019; 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Children ages 3 through 6, along with a caregiver, are invited to celebrate whales and other sea creatures in story and song as part of this year’s NEA Big Read. We will begin by making a simple whale craft project and end with a cookie. This program will be led by our Library Director, Chris Johnson. Space is limited, so please register each child. We promise you a whale of a good time! Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

A Brief History of New England Whaling with James Russell
Sat., Sept. 21, 2019; 1:00 – 2:30pm
Attleboro Area Industrial Museum, Pelletier Stack Gallery,
42 Union St., Attleboro
Whaling has been a part of our shared maritime history for centuries. Join Executive Director of the Nantucket Historical Association, James Russell, and learn how Nantucket’s unique location provides a key to understanding the whaling industry’s social, economic, and environmental impact. As one of the most lucrative and capitalized anti-bellum industries, whaling in Nantucket grew to such an extent that, at its zenith, Yankee whalers traversed the globe. Nantucket’s whalers created the first energy cartel in the colonies, provided a spark for the American Revolution, and sailed the first vessel up the Thames. To register call 508-222-3918 or email director@industrialmuseum.com

Come Aboard the Big Read: Panel Discussion
Mon., Sept. 23, 2019; 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Journey with a panel of passionate readers into a sea of their favorite books. Go home with a must-read book list for readers of all ages, tastes, and genres! Scheduled panelists are Audrey Craig, retired teacher; Leo Landry, author, illustrator and book buyer for The Unlikely Story book store; and Tricia Svendsen, Bishop Feehan High School Media Specialist.  The panel will be moderated by Kathy Hickman, former Book Club Columnist for the Sun Chronicle. The audience will be encouraged to share their own recommendations at the end. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

“Book Hungry Sock Monkeys” Middle School Book Club
Wed., Sept. 25, 2019; 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Youth in grades 5-8 are welcome to join us for the middle school book club! This month we will be discussing Heart of the Samurai by Margi Preus. Copies of the book will be available in the children’s room at the library in late August. Registration is required. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

APL Parents Book Club
Wed., Sept. 25, 2019; 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
This is a very casual, social environment for parents who love to read. For this year’s NEA Big Read, we’ll be reading In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick and exploring themes of survival. Contact Amy Rhilinger for more information. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

A Conversation on Ocean Conservation with The Nature Conservancy
Wed., Sept. 25, 2019; 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
In honor of Climate Change Preparedness Week join Steve Kirk, Coastal Program Manager of the international organization The Nature Conservancy for a conversation on ocean conservation. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

In the Heart of the Sea Film Screening
Thurs., Sept. 26, 2019; 6:00pm – 8:00pm, doors open at 5:30pm
Route One Cinema Pub, 652 East E Washington St., North Attleborough
Join us for a free screening of the movie In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, at the Route One Cinema Pub in North Attleborough. The film is based on events from our NEA Big Read title In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Doors will open at 5:30 and the movie will begin at 6:00pm. Attendees are responsible for the cost of any food and beverage. In the Heart of the Sea is rate PG13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157. Screening funded by the Trustees of the Attleboro Public Library.

“A Novel Idea” Teen Book Club
Fri., Sept. 27, 2019 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Youth ages 13+ are welcome to join us for the teen book club! This month we will be discussing the young reader’s edition of this year’s NEA Big Read choice, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Copies of the book will be available at the library. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

Sturdy Walkabout Community Fun-raising Event
Sat., Sept. 28, 2019; 10:00am – 2:00pm
Capron Park Zoo, 201 County St, Attleboro, MA 02703
The Attleboro Public Library will present information on the importance of early literacy and the NEA Big Read with calendars of events, and copies of this year’s title, In the Heart of the Sea, to encourage community participation. Visit Sturdy’s community page for more information. Register for this free event using this link! Booth sponsored by An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café. Rain date: Sun., Sept. 29, 2019; 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Learn about Weather & Climate Change
Sat., Sept. 28, 2019; 2:30pm – 3:30pm
For ages 5 & up with an adult
Is the climate of the whole Earth really changing?  Yes! Earth has been getting warmer—and fast!
What is making Earth’s climate warmer?  Scientists have discovered that humans are causing this warming.
But how do they know that? What are we doing that could cause the whole planet to get warmer? And how could warming happen so fast? Join us for this hands-on program where we will explore the affects of climate change and what we can do to stop it.
Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

In the Heart of the Sea Drop-in Book Discussion
Mon., Sept. 30, 2019; 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Join Reader Services Coordinator, Elise LaForge, for a casual conversation on In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Light refreshments will be provided. Register online at attleborolibrary.org or call 508-222-0157.

Wednesday Morning Book Group
Wed., Oct. 2, 2019; 10:00am – 11:00am
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
The Wednesday Morning Book Group will discuss this year’s NEA Big Read, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

Keynote Presentation with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea
Thurs., Oct. 3, 2019; 7:00pm- 9:00pm
Bishop Feehan High School, 70 Holcott Drive, Attleboro
Join us for a presentation by Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea. Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in American Literature from Duke University.  In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. He was the founding director of Nantucket’s Egan Maritime Institute and is still a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea, in 2000 which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. Additionally, his 2006 book Mayflower was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. Philbrick will be discussing In the Heart of the Sea and answering questions from the audience. Event generously co-sponsored by the Bristol County Savings Bank Foundation. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

Art at the Market
Sat., Oct. 5, 2019; 9:00am – 1:00pm
Capron Park – O’Connell Field, Attleboro, MA
The Attleboro Public Library will present the NEA Big Read with calendars of events, and copies of the book, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, to encourage community participation. Art at the Market is an event hosted by the Attleboro Farmers Market.

Whaling Ports of Call Fairy House Exhibit
Sat., Oct. 5, 2019; 9:00am – 12:00pm
Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, 577B Wilmarth St., Attleboro
Bring your own created Fairy House, inspired by the places sailors visited in In the Heart of the Sea, to display.  Or simply enjoy a walk on the beautiful trails and enjoy these special houses. Make and take a fairy garden home with you. Exhibitors will set up your houses between 9:00am and 10:00am. The exhibit itself, open to the public, will run from 10:00am until 12:00 noon. Anyone regardless of age, can make and exhibit a fairy house, google fairy houses to get some ideas! Rain date: Sun., Oct. 6, 2019; 9:00am-10:00am exhibitor set-up; 10:00am – 12:00pm. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157. Event hosted by the Attleboro Land Trust.

Biography Book Group
Mon., Oct. 7, 2019; 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
The Biography Book Group will discuss this year’s NEA Big Read, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. Register online at attleborolibrary.org or call 508-222-0157.

Encore Presentation of Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers, on display in the Marble Lobby
Mon., Oct. 7, 2019 – Fri., Oct. 25, 2019
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
This traveling exhibit will again visit the APL in honor of the NEA Big Read. The exhibition celebrates the interwoven Luso-American stories of the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian communities to the United States from early immigration in the 18th century to through the latter half of the century. These distinct cultures are linked historically through heritage, language, and the pursuit of opportunity afforded by the international network of Yankee whaling. Traveling exhibit provided by the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Navigation by the Stars
Presented by Brian Koehler, Supervisor, Treworgy Planetarium, Mystic Seaport

Wed., Oct. 9, 2019; 4:30pm & 6:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Families are invited to learn the ancient skill of navigation by the stars using sextants. Ages 8 and up with accompanying adults. Program is offered at either 4:30 or 6 p.m. Click here to register for the 4:30 sesson. Click here to register for the 6:00pm session. Register over the phone by calling 508-222-0157.

The Arrival of New Immigrants from Whaling Ports of Call with Akeia Benard
Wed., Oct. 16, 2019; 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Join Dr. Akeia Benard, Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, for a presentation on how the whaling industry of New England brought people from all around the world to New Bedford. The whaling industry was certainly a driving force in globalization by the nineteenth century. The industry gave the United States a global presence from the beginning and indirectly expanded American presence into the Pacific while, at the same time, providing labor for men around the world who sought to escape colonial oppression, famine, drought, conscription and encroachment on traditional lands. As whaling captains anchored for fresh water, food, and leisure time and as American crew men died or deserted, men from countries with strong maritime cultures around the world were willing to sign on to whaling voyages for lower pay than their American counterparts. The whaling industry brought people from the Azores, Cape Verde, Brazil, and the Pacific Islands to the United States throughout this period—a legacy that is still visible on our diverse landscape. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157. Lecture funded by the Trustees of the Attleboro Public Library.

The APL Writers Present “An Ancient Seafaring Tradition: A Storytelling Event” 
Thurs., Oct. 17, 2019; 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The Pub Room at Christopher Heights Assisted Living, 45 South Main St, Attleboro
Inspired by the NEA Big Read title, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, the Attleboro Public Library Writers embarked on a literary adventure exploring the ancient seafaring tradition of swapping stories known as “yarning”. Nathaniel Philbrick writes in his book that in the forecastle of the Essex the sailors often indulged in this ancient tradition of storytelling.  The APL Writers collaborated with the residents of Christopher Heights in the writing of their extraordinary tales so they could present them to you. The storytelling event will be followed by entertaining musical performances and specially prepared refreshments. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157.

African Americans in the Maritime Trades with Dr. Mary Malloy
Mon., Oct. 21, 2019; 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
From Colonial times to the twentieth century, men of African ancestry worked aboard Yankee ships, in every capacity from greenhand to Captain. The maritime trades depended on the Black workforce, and offered opportunities for merit-based advancement that were not available in other industries. In this illustrated lecture, Mary Malloy will trace the history of Black whalemen through documents and photographs. Click here to register or call 508-222-0157. Lecture funded by the Trustees of the Attleboro Public Library.

Parent/Child Book Group
Mon., Oct. 21, 2019; 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Attleboro Public Library, 74 North Main St., Attleboro
Great books, fun discussion and snacks! In keeping with the theme of the NEA Big Read, this month we’ll be reading Shipwreck by Gordon Korman. The Parent/Child Book Group is open to children grades 2-4 with an adult. Register online at attleborolibrary.org or call 508-222-0157.

Finale Dinner at Attleboro High School
Thurs., Oct. 24, 2019; 6:00pm – 8:00pm
100 Rathbun Willard Dr., Attleboro
Crews on whaling ships out of Nantucket, like those in the NEA Big Read: Attleboro book, “In the Heart of the Sea,” left port with enough food to get them, hopefully, to their next port. While hardtack was a seaman’s staple, their ships put into many island and continental ports in the whale-rich Pacific Ocean to refresh their stores. It was not unusual to find chickens and goats on a whaler’s decks, and tropical fruits stored below. With that in mind, the culinary arts department at Attleboro High School has prepared a menu for the Big Read dinner in the school’s Blue Pride Cafe, the finale of the two-month celebration of Nathaniel Philbrick’s book. The dinner is 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24.

The meal was financed by a $600 grant from the Attleboro Rotary Club, and all ticket revenue goes to the culinary department to support its programs. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Attleboro Public Library. Seating is limited.

Access to the AHS Blue Pride Cafe is from the doors off the parking lot just past the main entrance.

Here is the menu for dinner, in their own words, created by Michaela Lynch and her culinary crew at AHS:

Mock Tortoise Soup

Tender, not tortoise, with savory spices (stolen from the captain’s quarters), local island vegetables, river or rainwater, citrus, cured tomato and what could be salvaged of the potatoes, and hardtack to soak it all up.

Captains Quarters Only

Cured hams, pickles, cheeses, fresh fruits and the finest nuts (not the crew).

Polynesian Chicken

After a long journey to the Hawaiian Islands, enjoy a feast of fresh chicken with curry, coconut and lime, with mashed plantains and grilled pineapple and papaya.

Duff

A fruitcake of sorts: dried fruits, lard (or blubber), rum, of course, and molasses.