How-To Festival, Quarantine Edition

After a surreal spring, this summer is shaping up to be Not Your Typical Summer. When everything began to shut down in March, we pondered the fate of this year’s How-To Festival: how do you plan an event meant to bring the community together, when most likely you need to keep everyone apart? We decided to take the How-To Festival into the digital realm because, pandemic or no pandemic, Lawrence is home to creativity and skill that should be celebrated and shared. Learning something new from a neighbor is worthwhile no matter the circumstances. So, this year’s festival will be subject less to the whims of weather--last year we were so worried about rain!--and more to the stability of our internet connections. Join us! In addition to demonstrating their know-how, our presenters will also be able to answer your questions. With topics ranging from brewing beer to gardening to origami to yo-yo tricks, there’s something for just about everyone. 

Here are a few of the demonstrations I’m especially looking forward to:

  • Birdwatching has been a source of solace and hope for so many these past few months. Jennifer Delisle, a longtime member of the Jayhawk Audubon Society, will be on hand to offer tips and tricks that will make anyone a better birder.
  • Jacinta Johnson, a conservator working at KU, takes care of invaluable art collections every day. She’ll share practical tips to help you take care of your own irreplaceable family keepsakes, from photographs to historic documents to textiles and more.
  • Any chance you’ve tried your hand at baking bread recently? Laura Marsh, Outreach Manager at The Merc Co+op, will share the budget-friendly no-knead bread recipe that gave her the confidence to dive into breadmaking of all kinds.
  • Fermentation isn’t just for bread! Jake Jeffers, a member of the Lawrence Brewers Guild, has been hooked on brewing beer for over 20 years. He’s excited to show folks how to brew their first batch at home.
  • Are you a new plant parent (or one who’s struggled with plant parenthood in the past)? Rachel Guffey of Jungle House will guide you through all the basics of caring for your indoor plants. Pests? Repotting? Propagation? She’s got ya covered!

With all our hearts, we’re hoping that next year’s How-To Festival will be a celebration in the library and on the lawn. Until we can gather together in real life, we hope you will join us online

-Melissa Fisher Isaacs is the Information Services Coordinator at Lawrence Public Library.