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Past Events

  • Timothy O'Sullivan is one of America’s most famous war photographers. His image A Harvest of Death, taken at Gettysburg, is an icon of the Civil War.  He also photographed the American West. Now writer Robert Sullivan shows us the artist’s life and work, the history of photography and our country, as he follows O’Sullivan’s path on his own personal exploration of the West.

    O'Sullivan was among the first photographers to elevate the trade of photography to the status of fine art. The images of the American West he made while traveling with the surveys led by Clarence King and George Wheeler display a prescient awareness of what photography would become. At the same time, we know very little about O'Sullivan the man and landscapes he captured.

    Robert Sullivan’s Double Exposure sets off in pursuit of these two enigmas. This book documents the author’s own road trip across the West in search of the places, many long forgotten or paved over, that O'Sullivan pictured. It also shows how changes to our country and its landscape were already under way in the 1860s and '70s, and how these changes were a continuation of the Civil War.
    Partner:
    American Ancestors
  • In celebration of the July 4 holiday, join us for a fascinating presentation and discussion of one phrase from the Declaration of Independence, “the pursuit of happiness.”  With Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center and host of the We the People weekly podcast, we’ll look at what this unalienable right meant to our nation’s Founders, how it defined their lives and became the foundation of our democracy.

    In profiles six of our country’s most influential founders—Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton—this new, thought-filled book shows what pursuing happiness meant in their lives. It was a quest for being good, not feeling good, demonstrating a pursuit of lifelong virtue, not short-term pleasure. Among those virtues were the habits of industry, temperance, moderation, and sincerity. Their views were inspired by readings of the classical Greek and Roman moral philosophers. More than an elucidation of the Declaration’s famous phrase; The Pursuit of Happiness is a revelatory journey into the minds of the Founders. Join us to hear from Jeffrey Rosen and gain a deep, rich, and fresh understanding of the foundation of our democracy.
    Partner:
    Boston Public Library American Ancestors
  • On June 1, 1774, British officials shut down the port of Boston as punishment for the dumping of East India Company tea six months earlier. Overnight, ship traffic stopped and the wharves fell silent.

    In this lecture, Joseph M. Adelman discusses how Bostonians lost access to goods and work that they relied on and explore how working people coped with the economic fallout.
    Partner:
    Paul Revere Memorial Association
  • Disability ReFramed: In Media considers the opportunities, strategies, and challenges facing journalists and filmmakers on both sides of the camera, and imagines what the future could be.

    In this inaugural event, Producer, Director and cinematographer Dan Habib, creator of award-winning, nationally broadcast documentary films Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, and Intelligent Lives, will join panelists Cara Reedy, Founder and Director of the Disabled Journalists Association; Liz Pritchard, creator and CEO of PaperBag Comic, flash mentor for Lights! Camera! Access! and Post-Production Supervisor for ADA Lead On Productions; and Meghan Smith, Senior Producer at GBH News. They will discuss how disability is covered in film and in newsrooms, and speak candidly about how "Nothing About Us Without Us" applies to work behind the camera, on film sets and in newsrooms, and organizations more broadly.

    Disability ReFramed is a new annual event at GBH designed to consider the opportunities, strategies, and challenges we face as a community and to imagine what the future could be. Join us to meet and network prior to the event and learn more from organizations presenting in the GBH Atrium.

    Some of the questions we hope to address:
    What are the common pitfalls in news and film coverage; the impacts on public perception and community self-image; as well as strategies to overcome them?

    Award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib leads an important conversation with media makers for this inaugural event at GBH designed to address topics related to disability, access, and inclusivity.

    An expert panel will consider: Are people with disabilities considered, consulted, and represented accurately as both subjects and producers?

    How are journalists considering disability and the impact on disabled people when covering major news stories ranging from employment, climate change, healthcare, education and more?

    Is your newsroom, film set, or workplace ready to support disabled employees and makers?

    How can organizations meaningfully implement “Nothing about us without us” to benefit storytelling in news and film?

    Please send us your great questions!
    Event registration is FREE but required for the in-person and virtual experience. In-person seating is general admission.


    Important update regarding this event:
    Due to unanticipated travel complications, and to ensure the best possible participant experience, we at GBH and some of our partners have decided to move this event to be fully virtual.  If you have signed up to join in-person, please re-register to join online. We don’t want anyone who has made the commitment to join in-person to come to our studios and be disappointed. Since not everyone checks their email, if you know of someone who had plan to join in-person, please let them know about this important change.


    Tickets are free but we suggest a donation of $5 per ticket.

    This event will be recorded and send to people to RSVP after the event.


    This event will be captioned using CART, and will have American Sign Language interpreters (ASL). Both will be available for live and virtual audiences. If you would like to request an additional accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please email Accessibility@WGBH.orgor call Audience and Member Services at 617-300-3300 (M-F, 9am-5pm) in advance of your visit. Please note that we will make every effort to secure services, but that services are subject to availability.
  • GBH is thrilled to present the Queen of Summer Fiction Elin Hilderbrand in conversation during our Beyond the Page event! Hilderbrand is the New York Times bestselling author of 28 novels, including The Hotel Nantucket (2022), Summer of ‘69 (2019), and The Five-Star Weekend (2023).

    Swan Song, the finale of Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series, follows Chief of Police Ed Kapenash as he solves one last mystery involving the newest couple in town, the Richardsons. After the 22-million dollar house purchased by the Richardsons burns down and their personal assistant is deemed missing, Kapenash is forced to delay his retirement and look into these flashy newcomers who have stirred up the tranquil island community. Swan Song delivers a compelling blend of sun-soaked drama, glittering gatherings, and intriguing mystery, while celebrating the allure of Nantucket itself.

    GBH News' Callie Crossley moderates this conversation. Callie Crossley hosts the radio show and podcast Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and shares radio essays each Monday on GBH’s Morning Edition. She also co- hosts The Culture Show radio program which focuses on local and national cultural trends and perspectives. And she also offers commentary about cultural issues on the evening news program Greater Boston and on Boston Public Radio, GBH’s midday talk show. She is also a fill in host for the national podcast “Our Body Politic” and a frequent commentator on local and national television and radio programs.
    20240308_culture_show_nierman-4561.jpg
    Callie Crossley, co-host of The Culture Show, photographed at GBH’s Studio at the Boston Public Library on March 8, 2024.
    Meredith Nierman/Meredith Nierman GBH
    Partner:
    GBH Events
  • President Biden has often said, “The world is at an inflection point.” Indeed, the United States faces urgent international and transnational challenges. In these dangerous times, how important can diplomacy be? Military intervention has always remained an alternative, and its use has grown in frequency since the nation’s founding.

    If the State Department is, “at the end of the day, a national security agency” as Deputy Secretary Verma has said, how well is the department handling our current global inflection point? What are the State Department’s priorities, and how well is it equipped to address them?

    Join us for WorldBoston’s annual State of the State Department special event, an opportunity to consider the U.S. State Department and American diplomacy within the context of U.S. national interests. This year’s program will focus on “The State of the State Department & National Security.”

    For this discussion, we are honored to host Deputy Secretary Richard Verma, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. Deputy Secretary Verma will be joined in conversation by Dr. Monica Duffy Toft, Academic Dean and Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School and Co-Author of Dying by the Sword: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy

    Partner:
    WorldBoston
  • Drawn from never-before-published records and letters, this heralded work of history offers an intimate account of the horrors witnessed and endured during the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. Join us to hear more from the award-winning author Matthew Davenport about his research, see rare photographs, and listen to tragic tales of loss and survivors’ experiences on the morning of April 18, 1906. 

    More than 118 years ago, San Francisco, the largest city in the Western U.S. shook, crumbled, burned, and was completely devastated in an incomprehensible show of force by nature. In less than a minute, shockwaves shook the city, buckled its streets, shattered water mains, collapsed buildings on slumbering residents, and crushed hundreds. Then came the devastating fires, a second round of destruction that lasted weeks. From archival sources and hundreds of previously unpublished letters, many from private family collections; Matthew J. Davenport weaves a harrowing tale of the fateful day. Meticulously researched and gracefully written, The Longest Minute is both a harrowing chronicle of devastation, and a portrait of a city’s resilience in the burning aftermath of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.
    Partner:
    American Ancestors
  • GBH is proud to be the exclusive public media partner of Open Streets Boston! Join us and grab your bike, rollerblades, skateboard, or walk through the car-free streets of Roxbury. On Saturday, June 22, Warren St. to West Cottage St. will be filled with live art, music, kid's activities, food trucks, resource tables and the opportunity to connect with neighbors and support local businesses!

    The event is free and open to everyone! Over 200 community partners, local businesses, and organizations are excited to connect with you.
  • Join Biodiversity For A Livable Climate to learn how one furry critter can help us restore wetlands, protect biodiversity and deal with both floods and fires.

    The February 26th fire in Texas was the largest in their history. In Canada, the fire season never really ended, as zombie fires smoldered under cover over winter and started up again come spring. Policy makers seem to be at a loss with some efforts at burning the forest on purpose, or logging huge swaths to create fire breaks. Is our only option for preventing forest fires to destroy the forests? Maybe not.

    Ten percent of North America was once covered in wetlands, most of which were created and maintained by beavers! About 200 million beavers. What would it take to shift our relationship with beavers from considering them pests to partnering with them to restore the vast swaths of aquatic habitat that once kept the continent wet, cool and full of biodiversity?

    For 20 years, Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist, WATER Institute Co-Directors from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) have been working to provide education and advocacy for a healthy watershed. It turns out that beavers can play a big role in that. Dolman & Lundquist will share with us how they moved from community action to recently supporting the creation of a state-led Beaver Restoration Program in California, and the joy of seeing beavers released in the wild in CA for the first time in nearly 75 years in collaboration with tribal partners from the Maidu Summit Consortium.
    Moderated by Beck Mordini, Biodiversity For A Livable Climate Executive Director.
    Partner:
    Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
  • Bring your smartest friends to the GBH Studios at the Boston Public Library for a nerdy night of NOVA science trivia! Get ready for creative categories and exciting prizes as we test your knowledge of the natural world, space, the history of science, and more!

    Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the Newsfeed Café.

    The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP in advance.