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Have a question, comment, suggestion...drop us a line via the email form here or by calling Trent Miller at 608-266-5975.

201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI


Night Light

Night Light is our monthly after-hours series at Central Library that rotates between music, theater, dance, storytelling, performance art, and other live happenings.  Night Light will usually be on the first Friday of the month, but we will occasionally shift the night, so keep your eyes peeled. We're also partnering with our friends at Forequarter to offer amazing drinks at our Night Light events.  

Upcoming Night Light Events:

Friday december 4

Don’t shave those early-winter beards, Ladies and Gentlemen! Madison Central Library is proud to join with the Wisconsin Book Festival on Friday December 4th to celebrate all things facial-hair. Come with mustaches coiffed for our Beard and Mustache contest judged by local barbers. 

Unable to grow a chin sweater? No worries, make one with the Bubbler craft team and pose with your new creation in our photo booth. 

Just a few days after the end of Movember, we will celebrate with a book talk by Of Beards and Men author Christopher Oldstone Moore, music, crafts, drinks and art. No stranger to the intricacies of well-crafted hair, the work of local artist Romano Johnson will be on display in the Third Floor Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery for his “Blue Earth Angels” exhibition and video art display of “Hair Apparent”. 

In his latest book, author Christopher Oldstone Moore makes the case that today’s bearded renaissance is part of a centuries-long cycle in which facial hairstyles have varied in response to changing ideals of masculinity. Oldstone-Moore explains that the clean-shaven face has been the default style throughout Western history—see Alexander the Great’s beardless face, for example, as the Greek heroic ideal. But the primacy of razors has been challenged over the years by four great bearded movements, beginning with Hadrian in the second century and stretching to today’s bristled resurgence. The clean-shaven face today, Oldstone-Moore says, has come to signify a virtuous and sociable man, whereas the beard marks someone as self-reliant and unconventional. History, then, has established specific meanings for facial hair, which both inspire and constrain a man’s choices in how he presents himself to the world. This fascinating and erudite history of facial hair cracks the masculine hair code, shedding light on the choices men make as they shape the hair on their faces. Oldstone-Moore adeptly lays to rest common misperceptions about beards and vividly illustrates the connection between grooming, identity, culture, and masculinity. To a surprising degree, we find, the history of men is written on their faces. 

Moore’s talk will begin at 8:30 pm, with bearded festivities taking place on the Third Floor of Central Library until 11:00 pm.

Previous Night Light Events

NOVEMBER: Milwaukee artist Romano Johnson opens, Pynk Phoenix Awards are announced and Madison StoryTellers rise from the ashes.

OCTOBER: Gallery Night - TetraPAKMAN, PynkPoenix shows open and Moving Portraits by Carli Ihde 


JULY: Gravity and Ghost Stories from Camp BubblerAll is not right at Camp Bubbler… legend has it after the incident with a top heavy card catalog and tragic death of the Librarian all those years ago, mysterious things have started happening on the anniversary of the gruesome event each July. Campers take heed Night Light is about to go Dark…. Joined by horror movie mogul Adam Rockoff with his new book The Horror of it All and awing new art opening with Gravity Shifts by Jeremy Wineberg. 

JUNE: An evening with the Madison Storytellers. Stories from the Madison community on the theme of "The last time I ever..."on a beautiful summer night. Including a rousing poem about socks, told in bare feet no less. Button making, community art from Artist in Residence Private/Public, and summer cocktails by forequarter. Night Light at its best. 

MAY: Gallery Night featuring artists Suzanne Torres, Caroline Hoffman, Juliette Walker, and Artists in Residence from 100 Arts: Ady Stahl, Kailey Barthel, and Mike L'Roy. Sculpture, collage, and multimedia art pieces on display through out the building. Drinks by Forequarter and a beautiful view of Gallery Night festivities around downtown from the 3rd floor gallery windows. 

APRIL: Madison Community Discourse and The Bubbler at Madison Public Library bring you: SPRING FLING an evening of dancing, drinking and delight. A 1920’s themed speakeasy soiree. 

MARCH: Attend an art opening throughout the Central Library featuring artists Jim Escalante, Lewis Koch, Shannon Troxler, and Aaron Laux. Bring your creative self to learn, share, create…. and plant. Beat off the winter blues and welcome spring with a variety of green projects to create and take home. With crafts and supplies by Anthology, arts and crafts supply store owned by crafty sisters Sachi and Laura Komai.  Spring Prints with previous Bubbler Artist in Residence Craig Grabhorn. Also, The Dream Collectors, our new March Artist in Residence kick off event! Refreshing Spring Spritzers and Cocktails from Forequarter. 

FEBRUARY: The Owls Are Not What They Seem presenting Brad Dukes, author of Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks. Also featuring artist in residence Craig Grabhorn and other local artists for a screen printing party. Patrons were invited to bring their own t-shirts, canvas bags, etc to be printed. Plus: Music (Roadhouse-style), donuts stacked to the sky, coffee (black as midnight on a moonless night), and pie that is worth a stop. Costume Contest for their favorite character. An amazing Lynchian event. 

JANUARY - Madison Story tellers & New Art Opening featuring artists Kimberly Benson, Poonam Rao, and Craig Grabhorn with two-dimensional explorations of color, shape, medium, and culture. Also, Gabe Strader-Brown, Robert Aiosa, and Dean Allen with sculpture. With the addition of new digital media, designed by media lab experts and patrons. 

DECEMBER - Album Release: Rob Dz "Good Guy Memoirs" Listening Party

NOVEMBER- Art Car Derby curated by Artist-in-Residence Justin Bitner / November - December Art Openings featuring Julie VonDerVellen, Chris Murphy, Kent Williams, Keith Nelson, Max Puchalsky and Simone Doing.

OCTOBER  - A Sudden Light: Talk and Book singing with author Garth Stein

SEPTEMBER - Madison Storytellers / Art Opening by Jayne Reid Jackson, Katrina SchaagKemper Smith, Nathan Fritz, and a Sesquicentennial Portfolio released by Andrew G. Balkin (the Portfolio showcases prints by fifteen renowned artists all with ties to Wisconsin)

JULY - Act of Love Variety Show / Music by The Flavor that Kills and Cowboy Winter / Art Opening by Sarupa Sidaarth, Chuck Bauer, and Christine Olson 

MAY - Bubbler Made/Fashion Show

APRIL - Praying Drunk Reading and Book Signing with Kyle Minor

MARCH -Arts Extract Podcast Curated Music with Cap Alan & Lens/ Art Opening Briony Morrow-Cribbs

FEBRUARY 7th 7-11pm Poetry with Mark Wunderlich/ Music with Clocks in Motion / Interactive Art Show Opening / Drinks with Forequarter

JANUARY - Sherlock sneak peak premiere with Wisconsin Public Television and Library as Incubator Project

DECEMBER - Madison Storytellers / Drinks with Forequarter

Check out the stories here.

NOVEMBER - Sign Painter's Movie & Book Signing with Faythe Levine & Sam Macon/ Live Sign Painting / Drinks with Forequarter