Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and Week of Programming

banned-buttonJoin us as we transform the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art, citizenship and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week is September 24-29, and we are thrilled to welcome a host of guests to discuss censorship, book banning, and many other topics. Please RSVP for the celebrations here!

Rai Peterson

This year, Rai Peterson, will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books.

Rai is a faculty member in the Department of English at Ball State University. She and her students participated in an immersive learning project to create a traveling exhibit, oral history interviews, a digital document repository, a business plan, and items for the gift shop at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in 2012.

The following year, students and she took the exhibit to Dresden, Germany where they gave public presentations about Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse-Five. Rai serves on the Advisory Board to the KVML.


2018 Banned Books Week Schedule

Monday, Sept 24
  • Noon Lunch Series: Kurt Vonnegut once said that “wherever you go there is always a Hoosier doing something very important there.” We are excited to invite two important Hoosiers, Mayor Joe Hogsett and IUPUI Professor, Trevor Potts, to discuss two important pieces of history and an important novel. Both will read from Vonnegut’s 1979 novel Jailbird, and discuss the 1st and 2nd amendments with students and guests.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Lonesome at Home: The Vonneguts and Mental Health
Tuesday, Sept 25
  • Noon Lunch Series: Curator Chris Lafave reads excepts from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs followed by a digital recording of Burroughs reading himself.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Naked Lunch Film Screening
Wednesday, Sept 26
Thursday, Sept 27
  • Noon Lunch Series: Ed Dowling of Operation Ingsoc discusses fighting censorship and his research.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Too Much of a Good Thing
    • A program on sex addiction & mental health challenges
      within the sex industry. Featuring; Stefanie Jeffers, Founder & CEO of Grit Into Grace; Tina Horn, Rolling Stones Journalist; Dr. Maria Hanzlik, Sex Therapist; & Justin Lehmiler, Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute.

    • 6-8 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • RSVP and share with your Facebook friends here
    • Tickets available here
Friday, Sept 28
  • Noon Lunch Series: Juan Thompson reads from his father Hunter S. Thompson’s Kentucky Derby and discusses gambling addiction.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Alabama Story
    • Dramatic reading of Alabama Story with talk back after the performance with playwright, Kenneth Jones.
    • In the two-act Alabama Story, a gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message — a black rabbit marries a white rabbit! — stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a white woman, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. (www.bykennethjones.com)
    • 6-8 p.m.
    • Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall at Butler University, 4600 Sunset Ave
    • Free!
    • RSVP and share with your Facebook friends here
    • Reserve your seat here (space is limited)
Saturday, Sept 29
  • Youth Day
    • The week ends with a program for teens and their families. Experts will discuss suicide awareness and mental health challenges that impact Indiana youth. Speakers include Karla Kirby, Director of Nursing at the Behavioral Health Pavilion; Madeline Zielinski, Youth MOVE National; and Katie Kivisto, Associate Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, University of Indianapolis.
    • 12-1:30 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • Free!
    • RSVP and share with your Facebook friends here
    • Tickets available here
  • Literary Madness

Check out our Banned Books Week Silent Auction!

We’re thrilled to be working with local Indianapolis artists to celebrate the freedom to read!

You can register on our Banned Books Week Silent  Auction website to view and bid on pieces that interpret  banned covers and books such George Orwell’s 1984, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and more!  

All pieces are on display in the Frank and Katrina Basile Community Room at KVML.

There will be something new to see and something more to learn every day at the Vonnegut Museum and Library during Banned Books Week. You don’t want to miss this week!

Check out the list of banned or challenged books.

Become a defender of intellectual freedom

The Vonnegut Museum and Library seeks support for its Banned Books Week activities this year. We are looking for donations and volunteers. To learn more about our Banned Books Week activities and donate to the cause, email us.  Please e-mail us at [email protected] if you can help with events.