AUGUSTA — Kate McBrien of the Maine Historical Society and Joanna Torow of the Maine State Museum will give a talk on the multi-racial community that settled on Malaga Island for the first event in Lithgow Public Library’s annual community reading project, A Capital Read 2017, according to a library news release. The program, “Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives,” will take place in the Community Room at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. This program is free and open to the public.

In 1912, the state of Maine evicted a multi-racial community who had settled on Malaga Island, a small island off the coast of Phippsburg. Families scattered along the Maine coast, setting up homes where they could, while eight members of the small island group were institutionalized in the Maine School for the Feebleminded. McBrien and Torow will describe the remarkable people who created this unique island home and the political and economic events that led to their demise.

McBrien is chief curator and director of Public Engagement at Maine Historical Society in Portland. She directed the creation of MHS’s Baskets from the Dawnland and 400 Years of New Mainers exhibitions and has directed or curated 12 exhibits at MHS. As a curator at the Maine State Museum, McBrien curated the exhibition “Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives,” which won the 2013 AASLH Award of Merit for exhibition excellence. She serves on the Board of Directors for the New England Museum Association and speaks regularly about the museum field.

Torow has 20 years of experience working with museums and other cultural organizations in Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. She is the chief educator at the Maine State Museum, where she has worked for the last 15 years. She served on the team that produced the award-winning “Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives” exhibit that was on display at the Maine State Museum in 2012. She continues to teach an hour-long museum program about the island community for middle and high school students. She holds a Master of Arts in museum education from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

A Capital Read is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and the Friends of Lithgow Library, in partnership with the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, Barnes and Noble, and the Augusta Civic Center, according to the release.

Copies of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” will be available at Lithgow Library, Bangor Savings Bank Augusta locations, and The Holocaust and Human Rights Center at UMA, while supplies last.

All events for A Capital Read 2017 are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Lithgow Library at 626-2415 or visit

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