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Saturday April 17, 2021 - Saturday May 29, 2021
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery

“Our National Parks”

Cooped up at home due to the pandemic?

April 17th through May 29th

Take this opportunity to experience the breathtaking scenery and natural beauty of our national parks.  Photographer Janet Hill goes beyond their usual points of interest to capture less documented though spectacular scenes from our most popular national parks as well as seldom seen views from other not so well-known parks such as Great Basin, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canyonlands, and Great Sand Dunes.  Enjoy panoramic landscapes, seasonal vistas, and close-ups of the colors and intricate patterns in nature. Janet’s exhibit will be on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery in Washington from April 17 through May 29, 2021.  A socially distanced Meet the Artist will be held on Saturday, April 17th from 12:30-2:30pm. All proceeds from sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation and the Gunn Memorial Library.

Janet Hill is an award-winning amateur photographer from Washington, Ct.  Her color photographs of historic barns have been featured in exhibits in Farmington, Middlebury, Naugatuck, and Woodbury.  She and her husband, Newell, have visited or camped at twenty-eight of the US national parks. 

Gunn Memorial Library is located at 5 Wykeham Road at the juncture of Route 47 opposite the Green in Washington, CT. Library hours may be found at For more information call (860)868-7586 or email the library circulation desk,

CONTACT:  Abigail  860-868-7586
Thursday April 22, 2021
Poetry & Climate Change: A Conversation with Connecticut Poets
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Like the first signs of spring after a long winter, poetry can be a welcome salve to the soul: a reminder that we are not alone in our anguish. This April, we celebrate not only the arrival of spring but also Poetry Month. Join us as we welcome Connecticut State Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson and local Poet Laureate Emerita, Davyne Verstandig. The two will discuss a recently-published anthology, Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, just in time for Earth Day! This poetry anthology includes work by Connecticut poets who write of their relationships with the earth in a time of climate crisis. The scope of the poems goes far beyond Connecticut to the whole ecosystem we humans share.  Both poets will offer readings from their recent publication and will discuss how poetry and climate change tie together themes of grief, loss, hope, and connection to the natural world surrounding us. 

Also joining us will be Karen Silk, Washington, CT's Poet Laureate to do a selection of readings!

Margaret Gibson, current State of Connecticut Poet Laureate, is the author of 12 books of poems, all from LSU Press, most recently Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, 2018. A new book, The Glass Globe, is forthcoming in 2021. AWARDS include the Lamont Selection for Long Walks in the Afternoon, her second book, 1982; the Melville Kane Award (co-winner) for Memories of the Future, (1986), and the Connecticut Book Award for One Body, 2008. The Vigil was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 1993. Broken Cup was a Finalist for 2016 Poets’ Prize, and the title poem from the book won a Pushcart Prize for that year. “Passage,” from Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, was included in The Best American Poetry, 2017. She has written a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter, University of Missouri Press, 2008. Gibson is Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut. She lives in Preston, CT. For more information, visit her website:

Davyne Verstandig was a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Connecticut. (retired June 2020 after 25 years.) Her books include two books of poetry, Pieces of the Whole and Provisions and her work appears in Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World, Songs of the Marrow Bone, Where Beach Meets Ocean, This One Has No Name, The Monday Poets, and the forth coming anthology with an introduction by Margaret Gibson, CT Poet Laureate, Waking Up to the Earth, Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis. She has also performed improvisational work “composing on the tongue” painting and poetry at The Knitting Factory and Housing Works Café in New York City and given readings throughout New England. She gives writing workshops at Wisdom House Retreat Center in Litchfield and at Camp Washington Episcopal Retreat Center in Morris. She is Poet Laureate Emerita of Washington and is a Justice of the Peace .

CONTACT:  Jessica Zaccagnini  8608687586
There are 60 spaces available.
Saturday April 24, 2021
Saturday Virtual Program- Fairy Houses
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Bring some magic into your Earth Day celebration by making your very own fairy house.  Join Miss Linda over zoom to make this unique and whimsical little house using pebbles, pinecones, twigs, flowers and recycled materials.  Wooden houses and all other materials will be available at our curbside table.  In addition to the materials in the kit you will need a hot glue gun and a helper to complete this craft.

  Register here:

CONTACT:  Linda  860-868-2310
There are 88 spaces available.
Sunday April 25, 2021
Region 12 Schools: A Comprehensive Approach to Education
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
John Millington Community Conversation Series Sponsored by the Washington Democratic Town Committee. 
Region 12 Schools has been rapidly growing and changing. We are proud of the development of the Agriscience Academy at Shepaug, but that is not only change occurring in our schools. The hour-long conversation with the Superintendent of Region 12 Schools, Megan Bennett, will showcase the changes, successes, and evolution of the Region 12 School system. The community conversation will allow audience members to hear the vision of the Region 12 Schools, share their concerns, and express the community’s vision for our students and our schools.
Megan Bennett has supported students as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, principal and now superintendent. Her work has allowed her the opportunities to serve communities in urban, suburban and rural areas. Her personalized approach to working with students and families has been highlighted in articles, blogs and interviews.
Megan’s math curriculum experience included work in both the Connecticut and Massachusetts State Departments of Education. Her focus during her career has been to close the achievement gap in education; successfully meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for Taunton Schools during her time in the math department. Megan presented at national and state level conferences including National Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM), ATOMIC, Common Core Implementation at Connecticut State Department of Education.  Additionally, Megan served on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) Advisory Council for the General Assembly. She now brings her efforts and love for teaching and learning to the staff and students in Region 12.
CONTACT:  Mary Weber
There are 65 spaces available.
Saturday May 1, 2021
May the 4th Be With You
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Visit Miss Abigail at the library to celebrate all things Star Wars! We will have both outdoor and indoor activities, a photobooth, and a goodie bag for participants. Registration is required and each participant will need to register on our website to attend the program. We will have 30 minute sessions for registration with limited numbers to maintain safety and social distancing guidelines. There will be a fifteen minute interval between each session for cleaning.  Masks and social distancing are necessary. Children and parents are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters! 

CONTACT:  Linda   860-868-2310
There are 100 spaces available.
Saturday May 8, 2021
Mother's Day Craft
1:00 PM

The best way to tell mom she's the best is by giving her a homemade gift! Children of all ages are welcome to make something special for mom this Mother's Day. Younger children may need an adult’s help with craft. Pick up a curbside kit with the materials for our project. 

CONTACT:  Linda   860-868-2310
There are 100 spaces available.
Thursday May 13, 2021
Book Discussion on Martha Hall Kelly's Sunflower Sisters
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Gunn Memorial Library and The Hickory Stick Bookshop will host Martha Hall Kelly in a virtual  conversation with Joseph Montebello to discuss Kelly's latest novel, Sunflower Sisters.

New York Times bestselling author Martha Hall Kelly tells the stunning story of Georgeanna Woolsey, a union nurse during the Civil War and ancestor to Lilac Girl’s Caroline Ferriday, in her final novel about the remarkable Ferriday and Woolsey women and how her calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army. Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It’s a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.

A native New Englander, Martha Hall Kelly is the NYT Bestselling author of Lilac Girls and Lost Roses. Her historical fiction stories of loss and love are remarkably relevant to today’s world of turmoil. 

Joseph Montebello Joseph Montebello is a freelance writer. He is a longtime contributor to Litchfield Magazine and has written for The Litchfield County Times, Berkshire Style, Bedford Magazine, Rural Intelligence, Main Street, and AARP Magazine.. He has also written many profiles on people in the arts, including Dani Shapiro, Frank Delaney, Roxanna Robinson, Agnes Gund, Ann Leary, and Christine Baranski. He is the former Vice-President & Creative Director at HarperCollins Publishers, where he also had an imprint called HarperStyle. 

Signed copies of Sunflower Sisters are available from The Hickory Stick Bookshop or call 860-868-0525

CONTACT:  Jessica Zaccagnini  8608687586
There are 100 spaces available.
Monday May 17, 2021
Ellen Shipman and the American Garden
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Please join the Gunn Museum on Zoom with art historian Judith B. Tankard for an illustrated presentation about the history of American gardens. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this free virtual program. Click here to register. The presentation is being co-sponsored by the Gunn Historical Museum and the Washington Garden Club.

From the 1910s through the 1940s, Ellen Shipman (1869-1950) designed over 600 gardens, from New England and Long Island to the Midwest and the South. Her secluded, lush formal gardens attracted a clientele that included the Fords, Edisons, duPonts, and other prominent names. She trained in the famed Cornish Art Colony in New Hampshire and ran a thriving office in New York City, exclusively employing women. Most of her early gardens have vanished, but several important gardens, such as Longue Vue in New Orleans and the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, have recently been restored. Her garden “style” continues to influence designers today. This lecture will identify her unique style and her renown as a significant landscape architect.

CONTACT:  Kate  860-868-7756
Monday June 14, 2021
Tories, Spies, and Traitors: Divided Loyalty in Revolutionary Connecticut
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Please join the Gunn Museum on Zoom where Taylor McClure, Connecticut Historical Society Museum Educator, will present on Connecticut during the American Revolution. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this free virtual program. Click here to register.

Which side are you on? That’s the question that every single person in Connecticut, including here in Washington, had to answer in 1775 as the thirteen colonies began a rebellion against British rule. Loyalty was not only a matter of words or opinion. For soldiers and civilians alike, loyalty could mean loss of fortune, friends, and even of life. This presentation reveals stories – some well known, some obscure – of Nutmeggers, including one from Washington, CT, who risked and sacrificed to support their chosen side during this “tumultuous jarring time of civil war.”

CONTACT:  Kate  860-868-7756

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