The Hadley Memorial Fund

Charles C. Hadley specified in his 1916 will that his great wealth was to be used to fund lectures and lighter attractions –

“The lighter attractions are to be used as an inducement to get people to attend those of a more intellectual nature.”

Augmented by his sister Irene – this fund is still going strong with free events. and is a great resource for people looking for something to do on limited budgets and home schoolers. All of the events happen in and around Kennett Square. A lot of retirement communities bus to these events so the audience is very silver haired – but the entertainment is always wonderful and well worth free. Former speakers include Martin Luther King JR, Alex Haley, Art Buchwald, T.H. White and Ogden Nash.  Here is the 45th season for 2007-2008


Christopher Densmore
The Underground Railroad in Chester County and Beyond:
Across Race, Across Region, and Across Religion

Friday, February 29, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

In the decades before the Civil War, Chester County was on the borderland between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North. The area was home to a relatively large population of anti-slavery Quakers and, in the same neighborhoods as those Quakers, a large African American population. This talk will examine the bi-racial networks that supported the efforts of “fugitive slaves” to achieve their own liberation. It will also show how local anti-slavery and Underground Railroad workers participated in networks to freedom extending from Virginia to Canada. Christopher Densmore has a B.A. degree in history from Oberlin College and an M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently Curator at Friends Historical Library, at Swarthmore College.

PDK BMX Bike Stunt Show
Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13
Patton Middle School, Unionville Community Fair (Driving Directions)

The DK BMX Stunt Team is one of the most high flying acts to be seen by human eyes! High Energy shows! Insane air! Imagine riders 20 feet off of the ground. That’s what the DK BMX Stunt Team is all about.

Be sure not to miss any of the shows. You’ll see tricks like 360’s, superman, and even a backflip! Giveaways at every show! There will be a meet and greet with the athletes after the shows with free autographed posters.

BMX started in the 1970’s and came from the initial letters of bicycle motocross, with X standing for cross. The riders are on bicycles specifically designed to be used for stunts such as you will see.

Charles Adams
Ghost Stories of Chester County
Tuesday, October 23, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

In addition to authoring more than 20 books, Charles Adams has also appeared on The History Channel’s “Haunted America: New York” and “Haunted America: Philadelphia” programs and has served as consultant and on-air “expert” for programs on hauntings and ghosts on The Learning Channel, MTV, and The Travel Channel. He has produced, written, and conducted “ghost tours” in Lancaster County, Reading, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cape May, New Jersey, and Greenwich Village, New York City. A gifted storyteller, Adams also enjoys singing (he’s been in a rock band since high school), and he is active in civic affairs in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Charles J. Adams III was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and resides there today.

David M. Lampton
What’s Going On In China And What It Means To The Rest Of The World
Friday, November 9, 8 p.m., Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church (Driving Directions)

David M. Lampton is Director of Chinese Studies at The Nixon Center and is George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Before joining SAIS and The Nixon Center, he was president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations in New York City.The National Committee is the nation’s oldest non-profit, educational organization devoted to enhancing mutual understanding among the peoples of the United States and China’s mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Lampton explores the reasons why the Sino-American relationship is so difficult for both nations to manage and suggests ways it can be more effectively conducted in the future.


Ship’s Company Chanteymen
Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

Ship’s Company is a non-profit living history organization dedicated to the preservation of the American maritime heritage. The Ship’s Company Chanteymen are dedicated to preserving and performing maritime music and perform professionally in addition to donating time and energy in support of Ship’s Company living history initiatives. The seamen of the early nineteenth century were fond of singing and Ship’s Company is no different. They show many aspects of maritime life between 1775 and 1865 and include both Sailors (Navy and civilian) and Marines.

The wars that defined what the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were to become in the future were from 1775 to1865 and include the American Revolution up to and including the American Civil War. Both Sailors and Marines within this period defined the spirit for the future generations of our proud Navy and Marine Corps. Ship’s Company demonstrates these traditions to the public, for both audience enjoyment and education.

The Iliad
Curio Theatre
Saturday, January 19, 8 p.m., Kennett High School (Driving Directions)

Homer’s epic poem is brought to the stage in this remarkable adaptation by Jared Reed, loosely based on a translation by Ian Johnston. Two actors share the swift-paced narration, playing gods, goddesses, men and women, to bring the spirit of the Trojan War to life. Accompanying their words with traditional hand drums and stringed instruments, this presentation is designed to recreate the original bardic performances of old. This unforgettable production is a tale of Greek and Trojan love and hate, jealousy and forgiveness, tears and laughter.

Dan George
Japanese Art, A Historical Perspective
Monday, January 28, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

This illustrated lecture on Japanese art will discuss various styles of Japanese painting in the context of their historical origins. These include Buddhist-inspired religious art, scroll paintings that tell a story, ink painting, gold-background screens, and woodblock prints. Prehistoric pottery is the earliest Japanese art. Dan George is retired from the DuPont Company and resides locally. For several years he lectured on “Japanese History and Culture” at the University of Delaware’s Academy of Life Long Learning.

Curtis Institute of Music Concert
Sunday, February 17, 3 p.m., Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church (Driving Directions)

Considered one of the finest music conservatories in the world, for over 75 years The Curtis Institute of Music has trained exceptionally gifted young musicians for performing careers on the highest professional level. It provides merit-based full-tuition scholarships to all its students, attracting today’s best young musicians. Proportionately, The Curtis Institute of Music has produced the largest body of notable musicians of any conservatory in the world. Countless Curtis graduates have made musical history as solo performers, composers and conductors. Curtis alumni can be found in virtually every major orchestra and opera company around the world. In fact, 25% of the principal chairs in America’s leading orchestras are held by Curtis-trained musicians, and over 40 of the Institute’s alumni have gone on to sing with the Metropolitan Opera.

The Best of Bob and Ray
Radio Show
Wheatfield Theater
Friday, March 28, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

Bob and Ray first teamed up on Boston radio in 1946 and kept going as a team until 1987 – forty one years! Bob was a disc jockey and Ray a newscaster before they became a comic team.They appeared on radio, television, broadway, in the movies, and Carnegie Hall.They are best remembered for their spoofs of popular radio and television shows and popular personalities such as Julia Child and Arthur Godfrey. They parodied soap operas, children’s shows, science fiction, game and quiz shows, detective stories, and more. Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding are played by Gerald Riley and Chuck Palenik who are with the Wheatfield Theatre Company.

Friday, April 11, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

Libana, a women’s world music ensemble, takes its name from a 10th century Moorish woman who was a poet, philosopher, and musician. The group was founded in 1979, with the idea of exploring and performing music and dance which reflect women’s often undocumented creative contributions to their cultures. For the past 27 years, they have taken audiences throughout North America and Europe on inspiring and celebratory musical journeys, weaving together the songs, dances and instrumental music of the world’s cultures, especially as handed down through the artistic traditions of women. Their repertoire of ancient melodies and contemporary tunes is performed a cappella and with a vast array of instruments including guitar, dumbek, accordion, oud, naqqara, clarinet and double bass. Their music is drawn from the divergent cultural expressions of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Libana’s music and dance go directly to the heart, inspiring audiences with wonder in the commonality of the global community.

Charlie Zahm
Celtic and Maritime Music
Friday, May 2, 8 p.m., Unionville High School (Driving Directions)

Since he’s been old enough to sing, Charlie has been entertaining audiences with the beautiful Celtic songs and melodies he first heard in Ontario, Canada, the largely Scottish province of his mother’s birth. Keenly aware of his own heritage, which includes healthy doses of Scottish and Irish blood on both sides of his family, Charlie has collected several hundred popular (as well as beautiful and obscure) selections and performs them for thousands of fans up and down the Eastern Seaboard and across America. A master of the guitar as well, he brings an authentic love and respect for the music he sings. Today, as one of the most sought-after Celtic singers on the East Coast, Charlie performs regularly everywhere from concerts and festivals to television shows and Celtic-themed Caribbean cruises.


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