Renaissance Free Community Lectures

  • October 12, 2020
  • 7:00 PM
  • December 01, 2020
  • 8:30 PM
  • Online via Zoom

Renaissance Community Series-Open to the Public 

Various Evenings at 7 pm from October 12-December 1, 2020

Everyone is welcome to all events, but spots are limited to first come-first served.  Send an email to: asking to register for the specific talk you would like to attend.

Talk Talk Talk is a series open to the community, free of charge. Although it can’t replace the many wonderful programs the Renaissance Society of Sacramento offered throughout the Sacramento Public Library system each month, they hope it will provide a taste of what Renaissance has to offer. 

Talk Talk Talk is brought to you in partnership with  The Sacramento Public Library, Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Book Collectors Club, Sacramento Art Deco Society, Sacramento River Delta Historical Society, Sacramento Historical Society, Les Dames D’Escoffier Sacramento and others who will join us this fall season to provide fascinating conversations about the world around us. 

The First California Cuisine with Richard Foss

Monday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

The First California Cuisine: None of the cooking techniques or popular items of either the first people of California or the Mission period are common today.  Why? How did the native people survive, and how did the introduction of agriculture change their lives? What delicacies did the pleasure-loving Californian Dons enjoy in their haciendas, and why did their cuisine die out so quickly after the U.S. annexed the territory?

A Walk through the Past – Sacramento’s Historic Burial Practices with Dr. Bob LePerriere

Thursday Oct 15, 7 pm

This presentation touches on the history of interesting modes of burials in the past and covers different contemporary burial practices.  It is followed by a virtual tour of highlights in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (Old City Cemetery). Time permitting, I will do a virtual tour of Sacramento County Cemeteries. Dr. Bob LePerriere has been involved in Sacramento Area history for over 30 years. He started the committee to restore our Historic City Cemetery and currently chairs or co-chairs five historical groups and is on the board of five other organizations.  He also curates the Museum of Medical History of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, which opened in November of 2001.

Sacramento’s Art Deco Hidden Treasures with Bruce Marwick

Thursday Oct. 22, 7 pm

The Preservation Chair of the Sacramento Art Deco Society, Bruce Marwick, will be sharing images and stories about our City’s “Moderne” hidden treasures. The presentation will include Art Deco buildings, murals, paintings, and sculptures. Many of the treasures are rarely seen items from Sacramento’s libraries and archive collections.  Bruce Marwick is a board member of the Sacramento History Alliance. He also has written many articles about early 20th Century Sacramento artists and architects, including Alfred Eichler, designer of the Tower Bridge and Carlo Taliabue, a noted Gladding McBean sculptor.

From Jennies to JATO: World War I, Sacramento, and the Ascent of an "Air-Minded" California Community with James Scott

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7 pm 

The First World War was seminal to the development of military aeronautics and aircraft/aerospace manufacturing in California. An intimate look at both Liberty Iron Works and Mather Field reveals how World War I made Sacramento a martial city, strongly committed to a century of pursuing, and playing host to, military aeronautics and aircraft/aerospace production, as manifested by today’s Mather Airport (until 1993, Mather Air Force Base) and aerospace giant Aerojet-General, an early innovator of Jet-Assisted Take-Off (JATO) and the indirect progeny of Liberty Iron Works. Several factors relating to the advent of World War I – most notably, the promise of economic growth, the allure and mystery of flight, and the local prestige that comes with contributing to national defense – inculcated Sacramentans (and Californians) with an adoration for the military, a sense of regional independence, a reverence for the economic promise of the aircraft and aerospace industry, and an aviation-centered mentality that would endure through the twenty-first century.  Sacramento Public Library Archivist James Scott began conducting interviews with local Vietnam veterans back in 2012. He has since written two books on World War history in Sacramento, and any others. 

Under the Covers – Sacramento’s Historic Independent Bookstores with Scott Burns and William Burg

Tuesday, Nov .10, 7 pm 

In the early seventies Sacramento was home to more than 30 independent bookstores, more if you count the antiquarian booksellers that sold exclusively at book fairs. The really memorable ones were not only a place to find books new, used, rare or otherwise, but also an important gathering place where you could get recommendations from a knowledgeable employee, enjoy a visiting author or a local poet, connect with friends for a spirited discussion or simply curl up in a chair with the bookstore cat and indulge your passion for reading. Bibliophile Scott Burns, historian William Burg and a bookstore owner or two will ruminate about the iconic bookstores and booksellers long gone, the surprising rebirth of local independents in the last few years, and suddenly the real possibility of their extinction. 

The History of Tea with Anne Rewell

Wednesday Nov. 18, 7 pm 

The simple brew of plant leaves and water has a long, thriving cultural and religious history. Next to water, it is also the worlds most consumed beverage. From its beginnings in China, we will discover how tea spread world- wide and how it is prepared from England to Turkey and places in between. While visiting a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, Anne Rewell learned the fascinating history of tea in India. Anne is also the moderator for the Friday Speakers Series. 

Dickens, Queen Victoria and Christmas in 19th Century California with Richard Foss

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

The Christmas feast seems like an ancient tradition, but it isn’t. It was illegal to celebrate Christmas in Puritan New England, and where it was celebrated in England and America, they did things differently than we do today. In California, Spanish traditions held on long after the American conquest. Richard Foss explains Christmas feast traditions from the days of the conquistadors and the pilgrims, and how a German prince influenced the way we celebrate in California today.  Richard Foss is a journalist, author, culinary historian and lecturer based in Manhattan Beach, California. He has  written two books, Rum: A Global History and Food In The Air and Space: The Surprising History of Food and Drink in the Skies, and  Guest Curator at the Autry Museum of the American West for an exhibition called “Cooking Up a New West” that will open in May of 2022.

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