September 27 – October 3

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library hosts our Banned Books Week celebration September 27 through October 32020!  Banned Books Week is the annual national celebration of the freedom to read, sponsored by the  American Library AssociationThe week-long celebration raises awareness about censorship and freedom of expression. One highlight of our annual programming is inviting an artist, educator, or other passionate visitor to become our Activist in Residence and “live” in the museum for the entire week behind a wall of banned books. This act protests the infringement of the right to free expression. This year, we are honored to host Indianapolis resident and poet Manon Voice, who will take up the torch to educate and enthrall our visitors during this special week.

In addition to Manon, other headliners include Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novelist Ryan North, IUPUI Professor of Education Dr. Lasana Kazembe, and many more.

Event Lineup

Check out this list for a full lineup of events planned for Banned Books Week!


• Sunday, September 27, 2 pmSecuring the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Indiana exhibit and virtual presentation by Indianapolis Business Journal Managing Editor Leslie Weidenbener (option of virtual or on-site exhibit). Tickets: $12-$15 (or virtual week pass).

• Monday, September 28, 6 pmFree Speech in Cancel Culture – Participants share their thoughts on communicating in society these days and share a passage from their favorite banned book. Look forward to hearing from poet Manon Voice, James Madison, Mayor Joe Hogsett, and others. Tickets: $12-$15 (or virtual week pass).

• Tuesday, September 29, 6 pmA History of Protesting for Change – Reading and discussion with biographer Dan Simon, poet Manon Voice, and IUPUI Professor of Education Dr. Lasana Kazembe. Tickets: $12-$15 (or virtual week pass).

• Wednesday, September 30, 6 pmRadical Reads Reading Circle with IUPUI Professor of Education Dr. Lasana Kazembe, featuring the work of James Baldwin to introduce this ongoing program. Tickets: $12-$15 (or virtual week pass).


• Thursday, October 1, 6 pmKVML FUNDRAISER SPECIAL EVENT with PHOENIX THEATRE! Tickets for members start at $100 and includes a week pass for the rest of Banned Books Week virtual events. Readings from Kurt Vonnegut: WordPlay, a new original play by David Hoppe featuring local actors led by producer Constance Macy and in partnership with the Phoenix Theatre. The Phoenix and KVML will be making a special announcement that night! Click here for tickets.


Friday, October 2, 6 pmVirtual reading and interview with Ryan North, adaptor of Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel. Additionally, “Art in Politics” has its First Friday Gallery Opening (option of virtual or on-site) Tickets: $12-$15 (or virtual week pass).

• Saturday, October 3, 11 am to 12 pm: Free virtual events! Release of KVML’s annual literary journal So It Goes with contributors and artists reading and showing their work. 12 pm – 3 pm. Youth Writing Program Open House with workshops including Writing for Graphic Novels with Ryan North; Writing for Change with Dr. Lasana Kazembe; and Writing for Fun with John David Anderson. Click here for tickets.


This year will be special and unique for so many reasons as this is our first Banned Books Week in our new home all while we’re trying to survive and navigate through a global pandemic,” says KVML Founder and CEO Julia Whitehead. “We know our events will be accessible virtually and our hope is to integrate in-person events and opportunities in a safe, meaningful way. In the midst of all this, the real goal is to bring awareness to literary censorship and celebrate important works that resonate with us personally and culturally.

Weekly passes are available starting at $30 for members ($45 for non-members) for virtual access to programming all week long. Many of the events will offer limited in-person tickets. Week passes are not applicable to the Thursday, Oct. 1 event. To purchase weekly passes click here. For more information on these events, visit

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Julia Whitehead. 

About Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library

Renowned author Kurt Vonnegut took an unflinching look at the world, tempered with a satirical eye and sardonic sense of humor. In honor of his wit and wisdom, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, teacher, and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut. The library and museum serve as a cultural and educational resource unique to the nation. In November 2019, KVML moved to its “forever home” located on the historic Indiana Avenue in a 10,000 square foot building built in 1882.

About ALA’s Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (September 27 – October 3, 2020) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. For additional information about American Library Association’s Banned Books week visit

About Manon Voice

Manon Voice is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and is a poet and writer, spoken word artist, hip-hop emcee, educator, social justice advocate and practicing contemplative. She has performed on diverse stages across the country in the power of word and song and has taught and facilitated art and poetry workshops widely, working with organizations such as Women Writing for (a) Change, Arts for Learning Indiana, Notre Dame Americorps, Regeneration Indy, Indiana’s WomIN’s Festival, Indiana Writers Center and Purdue University. She has been a featured poet and performer in noteworthy Indianapolis productions such as “The Wake”, “Village Voices Notes from a Griot” and “Nina High Priestess of Soul” with the Phoenix Rising Dance Company. Manon Voice has performed alongside Broadway singer and actress, Jennifer Holliday for Brothers United World AIDS Day, Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka, Artist and Songstress, Opal Staples, International Poet, and Philosopher, David Whyte, and has opened for acts such as WNBA Championship basketball player Tamika Catchings and Judge Joe Mathis.