Lyceum Committee

Restored white columns flank a rain-washed Middle Street entrance


         The mission of the Lyceum is ambitious and can be named as enriching the lives of the people of Cape Ann. Since the 19th Century, and the days of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Lyceum has sought to do this and we continue in this proud tradition up to this present day.
         The Committee meets on the first Monday of every month. At present members are Barbara Braver, Jill Carter, Carol Gray, Susan Oleksiw, Bob Quinn, John Ronan, Mary Weissblum, chair.
          In order to appeal to a variety of audiences we attempt for a diverse programmatic offering each year. We are fortunate to have a great variety of talent upon which to draw as we conceive and produce prgrams. Listed below are examples of the programs the Lyceum presented this year.  
  • Magnolia was the subject of a program presented by the author of a book on this Gloucester neighborhood, Lisa Ramos.
  • Chris Leahy of the Massachusetts Audubon Society presented a program on winter birds in this area.
  • A dramatic poetry reading with musical accompaniment was presented, based on a book of the recollections of pioneer women entitled “Oh how can I keep on singing?”
  • Maggie Rosa presented a well documented and entertaining look at the life and work of Gloucester native, Clarence Birdseye.
  • The unlikely subject of Greenhead flies proved to provide for a fascinating, and amusing, evening when painter Sam Holdsworth teamed up with film maker Gordon Baird to present a film based on Holdsworth’s paintings of the life cycle of the greenhead.
  • We were pleased to have local poet, Rufus Collinson, read from her collection of poems, Traveling to You
  • Gloucester Poet Laureate, John Ronan, gave a reading from his latest book, Marrowbone Lane.
  • We are also grateful to John Ronan for his work in guiding the Poetry without Paper project, which once again proved to be a way to encourage young poets.
  • An opportunity to learn to color our homes was given us by interior designer, Jonathan Pope, in an evening program on Color by Design.
  • An insight in the ways and nature of Monarch butterflies was given to us by Kim Smith, through her stunning photographs and commentary.
  • We were honored to be able to present Senator George McGovern for a talk and signing of his book Lincoln.  Given that he was with us on his 87th birthday, this was a particularly festive occasion, including a birthday cake and singing by those who gathered to hear and to meet Senator McGovern.

    Respectfully submitted,  

    Mary Weissblum
    Chair of the Lyceum Committee