See Who Enters the Chat Next

An in depth speaker series highlighting notable voices from the Sacramento community and beyond

Hilton Als Enters the Chat - April 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Central Library
Hilton Als, Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist and author and Joan Didion superfan will be in conversation with Sacramento based curator Faith J. McKinnie. Join us for a riveting conversation covering Als most recent work on Joan Didion and her lasting impact that will be full of admiration and exploration.

Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for ‘The Talk of the Town.’ He became a staff writer in 1994, theatre critic in 2002, and lead theater critic in 2012. His reviews are not simply reviews; they are provocative contributions to the discourse on theatre, race, class, sexuality, and identity in America. In 2017, Als won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, and in 2018 the Langston Hughes Medal. He curated “Joan Didion: What She Means” for the Hammer Museum in October 2022. Als is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.
Faith J. McKinnie is a curator based in Sacramento. Her curatorial practice is rooted in prioritizing artists who find their work outside the traditional art historical canon. With an undergraduate degree in art history from Arizona State University, she has held leadership positions at Bigger Than Us Arts, Sacramento Theatre Company, Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, and Crocker Art Museum where she actively engaged historically underrepresented communities through art during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is the founding director of Black Artist Foundry and serves on the board of the Sacramento Alliance for Regional Art and is the DEI chair at Capital Creative Alliance.


Ear Hustle Enters the Chat - May 10 from 6-7 p.m. at Central Library
Ear Hustle co-hosts and co-authorss of This Is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life (Crown Publishing) Nigel poor and Earlonne Woods Enters the Chat to focus on stories of the daily realities of life inside San Quentin prison and outside post-incarceration. With over 60 million downloads Ear Hustle is one of the most popular podcasts in history, this is one conversation you won't want to miss.

Nigel Poor is a visual artist whose work explores the various ways people make a mark and leave behind evidence of their existence. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and can be found in various museum collections including the SFMOMA, the M.H. deYoung Museum, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She is also a professor of photography at California State University, Sacramento. In 2011, Nigel got involved with San Quentin State Prison as a volunteer teacher for Mount Tamalpais College (formerly the Prison University Project). 

Earlonne Woods was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. In 1997, he was sentenced to 31-years-to-life in prison. While incarcerated, he received his GED, attended Coastline Community College and completed many vocational trade programs. He also founded CHOOSE1, which aims to repeal the California Three Strikes Law, the statute under which he was sentenced. In November 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown commuted Earlonne’s sentence after 21 years of incarceration.