Middlebury artist Linda Pieri is returning to EPL for a class in February.
Pieri usually works with acrylics, charcoal and graphite. On top of her own art, Pieri teaches classes to people of all ages, showing them the art of acrylic painting or graphite drawing.
At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the downtown library, children ages 5 and up will learn to paint a cardinal in snow by following along with Pieri’s simple, fun instructions during Magic Moment: Painter’s Palette.
Participants will each have their own canvas and materials provided.
Artists will have a slightly different version of Pieri’s painting in the end, with the ability to really make it their own, as each is supposed to be a piece of artwork that looks similar to the original painting, but not a replica.
Registration is required for each class.
Pieri has offered painting events in the past and continues to do it to keep kids involved with art.
“There isn’t a lot of art in the schools anymore. It’s kind of a dying thing,” she said. “People are choosing sports above the arts. I just want to keep it alive. There’s a lot of joy in showing kids that they can paint and they can draw.”
For Pieri, she wants to build up the confidence in each of these young artists and give them basic skills they can take with them and continue practicing and getting better. She wants to give them a sense of accomplishment, so they know they can do something like this, create pieces of artwork.
“Watching the amazement on their faces when they see their final pieces (is the best part),” Pieri said. “They realize they did that themselves, and they’re proud.”
These events are free. But for Pieri, that makes things a bit more challenging. She wants her students to feel like real artists, so she wants them to have real supplies, like nice canvases and brushes, real paint pallets, all funded by Pieri.
But despite the challenge of costs, Pieri continues to do it to keep the art alive. She wants to continue “bringing art to people and letting them discover it’s a very relaxing feeling.”
“Just having the demand,” she said, “of the public saying we want more and the kids wanting to do it and the parents wanting to bring the kids, that is my goal.”
History and fiction converge during a special program exploring the Underground Railroad and Elkhart County.
At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12 at the Osolo Branch, Patrick McGuire, curator of education at Elkhart County Historical Museum will speak about the Underground Railroad and its connections in Elkhart County, a program tied in with the Osolo Branch Page Turners Book Club’s reading of the fictional novel “Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead.
Reading the novel is not a requirement to attend McGuire’s presentation, however copies are available at Osolo Branch for checkout. The novel follows the journey of Cora as she and another slave make a desperate attempt to escape while a slave catcher is hot on their trail.
While the book is a fictionalized version of what would have happened at that time, McGuire said he will focus on the real Underground Railroad and its ties to the local area, which is tougher to pinpoint than some would think.
“We can’t prove anything and that’s the problem with the Underground Railroad,” he said.
“The question I pose in the whole talk is did the Underground Railroad come through Elkhart County? As a historian the answer is we can’t prove it, because it was illegal and the people that participated could have gone to jail if they were caught so it wasn’t documented.”
Part of his efforts have been spent debunking local lore about homes connected to the Underground Railroad.
“There are houses that have been said were stops on the Underground Railroad but in this case I’ve found that they were built after the Civil War,” he said.
McGuire said he used newspaper articles from the time that the museum has, as well as other recorded items in the collection to put together his talk. A large portion of his presentation will be about the Supreme Court case Graves et. all vs. Indiana, in which Kentucky slave catchers were arrested for causing a riot in Bristol while chasing an escaped slave.
“The program is specific to Elkhart County, we’re going to be exploring if there were people connected to it locally,” he said.
The Wellfield Gardens Lil’ Sprouts program, continues for the winter months inside the warm and cozy EPL.
From November to March the environmentally focused education program for preschool aged children will be held at the downtown branch, according to Jodie Papandrea, manager of volunteer and guest services for Wellfield.
“We’re so grateful for the library to partner with us, otherwise we couldn’t hold it through the winter months,” she said.
The next program will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Papandrea said the hour-long program uses stories, music and activities to teach children about the environment.
“We usually have a story, a craft or activity, hands on learning and a couple different activities,” she said.
The dates for the Lil’ Sprouts programs that will be held at the library, in addition to next week’s are:
Preregistration for the program is requested so that enough materials can be provided she said. Registration is available on the Wellfield’s website or by calling the gardens at 574-266-2006.
Taxes are as certain as, well, you know.
With tax season ramping up, a lot of people are looking for where to go to get assistance and forms for their taxes.
Elkhart Public Library has a limited amount of tax forms from the federal government and Indiana.
The government has limited the number of forms they are distributing, so once the library runs out, they are unlikely to get more.
Forms are available on the first floor of the downtown library, behind the large print books, near the elevator.
The forms available are:
- Indiana state 2017 tax instruction booklet
- Federal government 2017 tax instruction booklet
- Federal 1040A forms
- Federal 1040EZ forms
- Indiana state forms
Links to other IRS tax forms are available through the Public Computer Center at EPL and can be printed for $0.15 per sheet or $0.30 per double-sided sheet.
EPL staff CANNOT give tax advice of any kind OR tell which form someone may or may not need. EPL staff are NOT tax professionals and do not know which form is needed.
EPL reference staff can direct patrons to available books about filing taxes but cannot help fill out forms. That is the sole responsibility of an individual.
For real help filing taxes and filling out forms, please check out these links:
- IRS filing website: https://www.irs.gov/filing
- IRS provides free tax software for incomes below $66,000 – https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free
- IRS phone number: Individuals: 800-829-1040
TTY/TDD for people with hearing impairments: 800-829-4059
- Local IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/jsp/vita.jsp?zip=46516&lat=41.6792072&lng=-85.9406745&radius=10
Salvation Army of Elkhart – call 211 to schedule an appointment
This February, Centier Bank and the Elkhart Public Library are teaming up to help people get financially set.
Top Five Tuesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in February, will offer the Top Five tips for everything to get finances in order: credit score, budgeting, saving and paying down debt.
The easy to follow courses will offer practical, easy advice and worksheets to help people figure out how to manage their money better.
The schedule of the sessions is:
Tuesday, Feb. 6: Credit
Tuesday, Feb. 13: Budgeting
Tuesday, Feb. 20: Paying down debt
Tuesday, Feb. 27: Saving
Centier will be providing a hot chocolate bar at each session and attendees of all four sessions will be entered to win a $50 “cash tree” like the one pictured.