Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Anyone interested in starting a 'Kuna Aethenaeum'?

The concept of a Kuna Aethenaeum has been rattling around in my brain for the past couple of years. I guess I’ll just put it out there and see if there’s an interest in starting a Kuna Aethenaeum.
Generally speaking, an aethenaeum is “a building or room in which books, periodicals, and newspapers are kept for use” or “a literary or scientific association,” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Basically, my definition is that it’s where a bunch of adults come together to learn something just for the sake of learning it.
Here’s my idea for the program, anyway. The Kuna Aethenaeum would meet once a month, say, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month, something like that. Each month, there would be a different topic of interest to its members. We might have a couple of members interested in Japanese pottery or the history of the New York Canal or how to read Shakespeare. (The members would have to have a planning meeting to come up with the topics in advance, based on interest.)
Then, each month, a speaker is invited to come “teach” the class. I think we might have success with a one-hour lecture, then maybe a half-hour of questions and answers, then a half-hour of informal social time where we could talk about what we’ve learned and ask more pointed questions of the speaker. We could set a nominal fee to join, say $5 per meeting, or $60 for the entire year. If we signed up 20 people, we’d have $100 per meeting to buy refreshments and pay the speaker a small fee for his or her time. We would even be able to pay a couple of teenagers to watch children for the two hours.
The Kuna Library Community Room would be a natural location for the aethenaeum, and the program probably could be tied in with the library’s adult education program.
It seems like the program would require a minimal amount of planning and would mostly just require showing up and listening and learning.
Let me know what you think of the idea. Would you have an interest in starting a Kuna Aethenaeum? If so, send me an email,, or just give me a call, 922-3008.

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