As emcee for a series of comedy events at Hennepin County libraries this fall, Brandi Brown seems to be going for an experience that is inclusive, accessible – and hilarious.
Brown, a lifelong resident of North Minneapolis, is presenting this year’s Comedy in Your Community series at Walker, Webber Park and Minneapolis Central libraries during September and October. Last year’s presenters were Blackout Improv.
For each event, the “multidimensional comic,” writer and consultant has pulled together an ensemble cast of local comics who represent a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and more.
“I wanted to do something good that would be different … I wanted to be respectful of underrepresented and marginalized groups,” she said. “I love the library, and I thought, what can I do that will respect the spirit of what the program is about, but also be something only I would do, and that would take place at the library?”
In addition to Brown’s set and those of each evening’s cast, each event will include individual interviews of four library staff members, who also will take part in a panel discussion. Library staff, she said, have seen it all, and she expects that they will have stories to share about funny and interesting things they’ve seen happen at the library.
“For me, it’s important that these programs showcase performers who people don’t know, but also that they showcase the library,” Brown said. “I’m a huge library nerd. I love the library very much, and I want interesting people to talk to.”
In addition, Brown is a former Hennepin County Library Board member, so she knows a thing or two about the system, as well as the areas she wants to promote, such as cool materials in the collection, or programs that take the library out into the community.
Brown sees pros and cons to performing at a library. On the plus side, libraries are open and accessible to all. On the negative side, libraries are open and accessible to all. Not all of the comedy is suitable for all audiences, and that’s why the shows are held in the library’s off-hours.
The comedy shows are appropriate for people who are 16 or older. No registration is required. The first show is at Walker Library on Saturday, September 22, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Learn more about the series, as well as showtimes for Webber Park and Minneapolis Central libraries.