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Winchester Academy’s mission is to enrich the community by providing free, intellectually stimulating, informative, and engaging programs.

The name "Winchester Academy" implies a building and physical structure, but there is none. The Academy is a voluntary organization with a Board of Trustees comprised of area citizens that fosters lifelong learning based on ideas originating in Scandinavian folk academies. The Academy offers, on average, twenty-five programs annually. There is no membership required for attendance at programs. All are FREE of charge and open to the general public. Programs are usually held at the Waupaca Area Public Library on Monday evenings at 6:30. Other venues and days of the week are occasionally used for special seminars and musical programs (e.g., churches, or other sites that can accommodate larger crowds). Some programs might include controversial subject matter, but the Academy takes no position and seeks to provide balanced and reliable information.

Summer Series Information
Our cookie sponsor for this series is Althea Kortenhof.

June 24, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift

Christopher L. Kolakowski is Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, will discuss the Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949) as well as the resultant Berlin Airlift which was in some ways the first battle of the Cold War. It will set the stage for events to come. It was also one of the great moments for the newly independent US Air Force. Chris’s talk explores the blockade, the airlift, and its importance in history.

Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va, but his mother’s family has very deep roots in the Badger State. Chris received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. He has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, the U.S. Army, and the MacArthur Memorial and has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of military history and leadership from 1775 to the present, and was the inaugural Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Kolakowski has published three books on the Civil War and three on World War II in the Pacific. He is a reviewer and contributor to the Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs and a Senior Fellow at the Consortium of Indo-Pacific Researchers. His latest book, titled Tenth Army Commander, is about General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., who was killed in battle on Okinawa.

July 15, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Histories of Mexican Wisconsin

Sergio M. González is Assistant Professor of History at Marquette University. A historian of twentieth-century U.S. migration, labor, and religion, his scholarship focuses on the development of Latino communities in the U.S. Midwest. For more than a century, Mexican immigrants and migrants have turned their sights northward to Wisconsin in search of a stable and secure future for themselves and their families. Today, more than a half a million people of Mexican descent call the state home. Sergio González, author of Mexicans in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), delves into the stories and challenges of these resilient communities, from the farmworkers who helped make Wisconsin America's breadbasket in the mid twentieth century, to the labor organizers who fought for better living and working conditions in the civil rights era, to the everyday families who continue to make space for themselves all across the state today.


Pat Pfeifer sponsored this program.

July 22, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

The Prosecutor's Art - 

From the Streets to the Suites to the Oval Office

Charlie Schudson is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Wisconsin Law School. For many years, he was a state and federal prosecutor, and a trial and appellate judge. Charlie also served as the “Law and Literature Scholar in Residence” at Lawrence, as an adjunct professor of law at Marquette and Wisconsin, and as a Fulbright Scholar at law schools abroad. He is the author of many published works including Independence Corrupted / How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).

Street crime, white collar crime, presidential crime … whatever the crime, prosecutors must direct investigations and build cases, then present them to judges and juries. How do they do it? Does 

the Constitution restrain them? Do their own constitutions guide them? Do corruption and politics influence them? And what about the special challenges for Robert Mueller and any others who might dare to prosecute a president? Join us for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a world most of us experience vicariously.

Tom and Hope Olson sponsored this program.

July 29, 2024
6:30 pm
Trinity Lutheran Church

Music and the Human Spirit

Dan Cavanagh, Director of the Mead Witter School of Music and Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at UW-Madison, will talk about his experiences as a composer and pianist paired alongside recent advances in neuroscience and aesthetics that illuminate why music is uniquely important to our varied experiences as human beings. He will discuss how composers, performers, and conductors partner with listeners in the moment to create an environment conducive to considering the human spirit, our place in this universe, and our relationships with each other and the world.

Dan Cavanagh is a composer and pianist with numerous awards in both areas. He has performed extensively in North America and Europe, and his music continues to be performed across the globe by classical and jazz artists alike. His music can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, and he has released five recordings as a leader. In addition to composing and performing, he is interested in the way music and the arts serve to shed light on what it means to be human.

Linda and Rex Pope sponsored this program.

August 5, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

the Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside

2024 Waupaca Area Community Read

Nick Offerman is the author of this collection of witty, heartwarming stories with a keen insight into new and exciting ways to see both the past and the future of the country. The actor, writer and woodworker takes a literary journey to America's frontier to celebrate the people and landscape that have made it great.

Join us for a book discussion led by librarian Molly Reinke.

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