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Ten Minutes With Karen Danvers

The Wilton Library program director



Karen Danvers' official title at the Wilton Library is program director but she should really be called "program wizard." Last year, Danvers organized 225 programs--including authors, musicians, artists, experts, and even llamas--with over 12,000 attendees, arguably making the library our town's cultural mecca. Danvers, a Boston native whose family moved a lot, graduated with a degree in modern languages and is currently working toward completion of a masters in library and information science.

Modern languages huh?
A degree that I never use. Who knew travelling wasn’t a career path? 

How long have you been in Wilton?
I’ve been married to Dave for 20 years and we have three children: Andrew, 18, who is at the University of South Carolina; Erik, 17; and Alison, 15. After a brief stint in Orinda, California, we settled in South Wilton in 2003. 

What’s the biggest challenge of your job?
Anticipating. Everything. A no-show speaker, odd last-minute requests, a technical glitch, not enough seats for the audience, or too many empty seats—so much is unpredictable.

Describe a job highlight.
It’s amazing to connect the person on the book or CD cover to our community. I get compliments on the great speakers we host, and then the speakers compliment me on our great audiences. I have nothing to do with either, except making the connection, which is extremely satisfying. 

Of all the celebrated individuals you’ve booked, who surprised you?
Art Garfunkel. He embraced the library. He had an enthusiastic crowd for four sold-out nights as he was growing comfortable with performing in public again. He calls me his training wheels. Now I’m a groupie. 

What impediments do you face?
Snow. It’s always the snow. Or the rain. Or traffic. If the speaker or performer is a no-show or late. But I’m not going to jinx myself by talking about it anymore.

Name three of the most successful programs you’ve helped organize.
Ann Patchett’s May 2012 visit was my first solo program, and it was wonderful. Also, Cheryl Strayed’s visit and my personal favorite, Nelson DeMille. And Patricia Cornwell. And Mary Higgins Clark. Also working on the Hot & Cool Jazz Series with Chris & Tish Brubeck. So many!

Who’s on your wish list for future programs?
Book Expo in New York is a great place to meet the publishers and authors to get an idea of what new books are coming out in the next year. I’m also still holding out hope for Rob Lowe.

Favorite author? 
Nelson DeMille, Erik Larson, Anita Diamant, Wally Lamb, and Ann Patchett.

When you’re not working, what’s your guilty pleasure?
Sleeping in. And binge watching whatever TV shows I’ve fallen behind on—currently “Breaking Bad” and “The Blacklist.” I also read quite a bit.

What’s your personal philosophy? Plan, plan, plan, and then expect surprises, both good and bad.

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November 2018

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Show More...
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The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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