News Release - February 26, 2008

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2008

Contact: Sherri Eng (415) 557-4282

Library Celebrates Irish-American Culture, African American Poets and Jewish Music in March

March brings an eclectic mix of programs and events to the San Francisco Main Library. Highlights include: Irish musicians, dancers and storytellers celebrating Irish heritage, a panel of experts discussing immigration and social action, a performance by an emerging Jewish singer, and a reading by African American poets.

On March 4, a panel of religion and ethics professors and experts will discuss immigration and social action. The talk will take place 6-7:30 p.m. in the Main Library's Koret Auditorium. Dr. Donald Miller, professor of religion at USC will discuss immigrant religion activities and outreach in Los Angeles; Dr. Lois Lorentzen, professor of religion at USF will discuss what activities and challenges face communities in San Francisco and what results have already been accomplished; Dr. Kevin Chun, associate professor of psychology and director of the Asian American Studies Program at USF will address the importance of religion in health and psychosocial adjustment for Asian American immigrants; and Dr. Joaquin, "Jay" Gonzalez III, professor of public administration at the Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University and visiting professor at the Politics Department and Philippine Studies Program at USF will explore how religion provides needed social capital for migrant communities, as well as a base for social activism and political organizing.

As part of the weeklong Crossroads Irish-American Festival, the Main Library will present two programs on March 8 celebrating Irish-American heritage. The day begins with a special children's program featuring traditional Irish music, storytelling and dance in the Fisher Children's Center from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium, a special panel discussion featuring author Daniel Tobin and others will open the festival with a program dedicated to "Discovering Heritage," a conversation about the often hidden histories of our families and communities and the meaningful value of researching the fascinating and frequently overlooked lives of little known Irish activists, literary figures and family members. For a full schedule of events or more information, go to or call (415) 810-3774.

Emerging Bay Area artist Heather Lauren Klein will kick off the 23rd Jewish Music Festival with a sneak preview performance at 6 p.m. on March 12 in the Koret Auditorium. She will be accompanied by pianist Alla Gladysheva. Klein comes to the festival hot off the release of her first album, Mayn Yiddishe Velt, a compilation of music from the heyday of Yiddish theater. She celebrates the music brought to New York's Lower East Side by immigrants, as well as the innovative work written at that time for theater and concert halls. What started as a novel birthday present for her grandfather who heard this music as a child, has blossomed into a complete repertoire, including folk and art songs, and opera. She will present the rare songs she discovered while doing extensive research at YIVO, the premiere repository of Yiddish culture in New York. This program is produced in association with the 23rd Jewish Music Festival, which will be held at various locations throughout the Bay Area March 22-30. For more information, go to

Local poets devorah major, Camille Dungy, Sean Hill, James Cagney and Douglas Kearney will read their works on March 16, from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium as part of Cave Canem West: The Color of Poetry. Founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996, Cave Canem is a national poetry organization of emerging and established African American poets who create, publish, perform, teach and study poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poetry.

All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.

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