Saturday, January 14, 11 a.m., “La Bohème Opera (by Puccini),” will be a free, shortened version by artists from the Knoxville Opera Company under the direction of Maestro Brian Salesky. Themes in this opera were modernized by the 1996 Broadway musical, Rent. The themes include the joy of falling in love, the Bohemian lifestyle, challenges of sustaining a loving relationship and dealing with the illness and death of a loved one. The performance will be at the Reading Rotunda end of the Main Gallery of the library and will feature a simplified set, piano accompaniment and performances by three of the main characters (Mimi, Rodolfo and Musetta).
Monday, January 16, “The Library will be Closed,” for Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Monday, January 23, 4-7 p.m., “Winter Wonderland Snowman Decorating Contest: Entries Due at Blount County Public Library.” Use your creativity and win a cash prize by making a decorated snowman from materials of your choice (cotton, paper, wood, fabric, etc.). No liquid, perishable or flammable items may be used, and no candles, electrical devices or vulgarity of any kind are permitted. Entry size should be no larger than 14x18x24 inches. Each entry must have a title, and the entry form must be filled out completely. Cash prizes, three in each age category (10 years and under, 11 to 16 years and 17 years and up) will be awarded with $50 for first place; $25 for second place; $10 for third place. Contest prizes are offered by the Blount County Friends of the Library.The public will vote for the winners. Winners will be announced Monday, January 30 at 6 p.m. Contestants need not be present to win. Entry forms are available at the Blount County Public Library Reference Desk or on the library website: Snowmen will be exhibited in the Main Gallery of the library from Monday, January 23 through Saturday, February 4.
Tuesday, January 31, 7 p.m., “Southern Appalachian Studies Series: Cherokee People in Southern Appalachia Before Removal.” In her presentation, Dr. Julie Reed will examine what Cherokee life was like at the point of first European contact. She will discuss where and how Cherokee people lived, survived, and adapted to changing conditions, including the arrival of European settlers. She will also briefly touch on how Cherokee people shaped and continue to shape the Appalachia we live in today. Julie L. Reed is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, author of “Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907,” and an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee. This event will be in the Main Gallery of the library.