Avon Free Public Library, Avon Historical Society, and Avon Senior Center receive two grants for history and humanities programming

The Avon Free Public Library, the Avon Historical Society and Avon Senior Center, have been selected to receive the Revisiting the Founding Era programming grant to explore the social & political impact of the freedom of the press and its influence in American culture. The $1,000 grant was awarded by the American Library Association, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

This grant will allow the Avon Free Public Library, Avon Historical Society and Avon Senior Center to offer a series of  public programming events titled “Revisiting the Founding Era: Examining Freedom of the Press,” that will begin this June and continue through September, 2018.   Book talks, historical re-enactors, lectures, discussions, and a film series will examine the role of media & the press from the Founding Era to post-modern America.   Avon High School is a supportive partner of this project, and students will be invited to attend and participate in the series.

Revisiting the Founding Era is a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presented in partnership with the American Library Association, and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  This initiative is designed to bring libraries and their communities together to explore the continuing relevance of the Founding Era by reading, discussing, and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. Click here to view the reading material.

In addition, the Avon Free Public Library and Avon Historical Society were awarded a $1250 grant from CT Humanities entitled “From Congregation to Constitution: The Separation of Church and State in Connecticut.”

This CT Humanities funding will support a series of five programs from June through December 2018 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of our state’s Constitution of 1818.  The states’ new constitution dramatically changed the political structure of Connecticut, shifting it from ‘church rule’ to ‘citizen rule.’ This free public program series will include community discussions, presentations, selected readings, and music from the period performed by State Historian Emeritus Walter Woodward’s “Band of Steady Habits.” For context, two of the programs will be hosted at the Avon Congregational and West Avon Congregational churches.  Dates and times of these events will be forthcoming. The Avon Senior Center is a supportive partner of this grant, as well.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.  Their “1818 Commemoration Grants” funding supports a wide range of community-oriented programs that explore and commemorate the 200th anniversary of Connecticut’s Constitutional Convention of 1818.

A kickoff program to launch both grant projects will be held Saturday, June 9, 2018, at 2:00 pm, titled “Meet John Adams,” presented by nationally acclaimed actor George Baker. His program will explore John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and their historic relationship from the American Revolution (1776) to the 50th Anniversary (1826) of the United States.  The event will be held at the Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, CT 06001.  Program is free, all ages welcome, no registration required.

Any questions, please contact:

Tina Panik, Avon Free Public Library, tpanik@avonctlibrary.info, 860-673-9712 ext. 235

Terri Wilson, Avon Historical Society, president@avonhistoricalsociety.org, 860-798-0918

Jennifer Bennett, Avon Senior Center, jbennett@avonct.gov, 860-675-4355


The Avon Newsletter, a World War II collection, is now available online!

The Avon Newsletter- WWII newsletter headlineExplore 14 pieces of WWII history.

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Avon Library, Katie Kukiolczynski, CCSU MA History graduate, was hired to process, scan, and summarize the World War II newsletter collection with the Marion Hunter History Room of the Avon Library.

This collection consists of 14 resident-created newsletters spanning the years 1943-1946. The newsletters were intended for Avon soldiers, and were sent to them wherever they were stationed, either at home or abroad, as well as to their families in Avon.

In addition to uploading the actual newsletters, Katie detailed military commendations and created highlights of each issue. Some of these highlights include personal accounts from soldiers experiences in battle, their military training, details of what it was like where they were stationed, and even their experiences to how drastically things changed after the war ended in places like Germany.

The newsletters also included some local town gossip and news for soldiers to stay up to date on current happenings around town, so Avon was always a part of them wherever they were.

View the collection here!