Alice150 To Take Over New York City

Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Alice150 Conference This Fall

Okay, maybe Alice150 isn’t actually taking over New York City. However, from October 2-11, fervent Carrollians and regular folk alike have the opportunity to attend special events spread all over town in honor of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Fans of math will note, that means the book was first released in 1865, into a world of pinafores, parlor games, phrenology and un-ironic beards.

What events should you attend? More importantly, what should you wear? In answer to that second question, I’m not exactly sure. I have only attended one meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (the sponsor of most of the Alice150 sessions), and I must say I was rather let down by the lack of whimsical attire. I know it’s not a cosplay event, but except for a stray Wonderland-themed lapel pin or scarf here and there, you’d never guess what the attendees were there to discuss. Now, several of the October happenings are hoping to draw a younger crowd, so I am guessing we will see a lot more white rabbit tees, a mad hat or two and maybe even some folks in full Alice regalia. We can only speculate. The bottom line is that anyone attending is either a little bit mad or lost, so wear whatever you want.

As for what you should attend, I have helpfully broken the affairs down into two lists: ones that are Free, and ones that Cost Money. I recommend you attend 100% of the free events, and as many of the pay events as you can afford. Then again, I am so into Alice in Wonderland I write a blog about it, so it’s possible I am a tad biased. If you have to pick just a few days of Alice150, October 9, 10 and 11 will be packed with the most much of a muchness.

Enjoy our interactive Alice150 map, won’t you?

Alice150 Free Events

October 3, On a Golden Afternoon: Lewis Carroll’s Premiere Alice Performance

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Don’t sleep in this Saturday morning! Set your alarm clock and get to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 10:30AM to hear Charlie Lovett discuss how Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland began with some improv on a rowboat. Reservations required.

October 5, Who’s Alice: An Evening with Kate Burton, David Del Tredici, Larry Pine, and Monica Edinger

New York Library For the Performing Arts
An all-star panel will discuss bringing Alice to life through theater. Starts at 6PM, be sure to register!

October 6, Alice’s Adventures at Columbia

Butler Library at Columbia University
The founder of the Lewis Carroll Society of Canada will talk about that time Alice Liddell Hargreaves came to Columbia and got an honorary degree. Starts at 6PM, I don’t believe reservations are necessary.

October 7, Lewis Carroll in Numberland
Museum of Mathematics
At 4:00 and 6:30, hear a UK mathematician give a presentation about Lewis Carroll, math, logic and puzzles! Refreshments will be served. Be sure to register with MoMath to save your seat.

October 6 and 7, Through the Looking-Glass Darkly

Butler Library at Columbia University
Andrew Sellon puts on a one-man play about the relationship between Lewis Carroll and the real Alice. As the title indicates, this could get dark. How dark? Ages 16 and up ONLY, that’s how dark! Free performances are at 3PM and 8:15PM Tuesday the 6th, and at 3PM and 6:30PM on Wednesday the 7th.

October 9 and 10, Alice150

New York Institute of Technology
From 12PM-9PM on the 9th, hear Alice150 speakers opine on Alice’s influence in fashion, advertising, children’s literature and more. After a dinner break, the foremost expert on Alice films will give a brief talk, followed by a screening of Alice films. On Saturday the 10th, things kick off at 9AM with presentations about Alice’s portrayals in live theater. After a lunch break, a panel of illustrators will discuss illustrating Alice (if I had to guess). Please note, the NYIT events are free but you need to reserve a space ahead of time. There’s talk of a reception the evening of the 10th, more details to come!

October 10, Alice in Wonderland film screenings

SONY Wonder Technology Lab
Check out Disney’s 1951 classic Alice in Wonderland at 10:30AM or 12:15PM, then watch the 2010 Johnny Deppified version at 3:00. RSVP starting on September 26.

October 11, Alicepalooza
New York University Global Center For Academic and Spiritual Life
I think we all know that if you want to lure young whippersnappers to an event, you stick a “palooza” at the end of it. Head over to NYU at 10AM to hear all about Alice in comic books, video games, modern movies and Japanese culture. Today’s schedule includes an extended lunch break, when you can peruse the Alice exhibit at the Fales Library. Once again, this event is free, but you must register for Alicepalooza.

Ongoing, Alice in a World of Wonderlands Exhibit
Grolier Club
Check out 140 translations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at this free exhibit! Runs September 16 to November 21, closed Sundays.

Ongoing, Go Ask Alice Exhibit
Bobst Library at New York University
Opening September 26, more info to follow!

Ongoing, Alice Live! Exhibit
New York Library for the Performing Arts
According to Lewis Carroll Society of North America President Stephanie Lovett, whose words I am about to 100% plagiarize from her comment below, “The exhibition is called Alice Live! and it will be about all kinds of aspects of bringing Alice to life through the performing arts, from the first production during Lewis Carroll’s life through today. It will be vibrant and a real landmark, bringing together materials that have never been exhibited in this way. The library doesn’t have a web page up for it yet, but it will be at the Performing Arts branch at Lincoln Center, from October 2 through January 16, and will be free.”


Alice150 Pay Events

October 2, The Art and Magic of Alice

Museum of Mathematics
For $25, you can party like it’s 1865 at the National Museum of Mathematics. COSTUMES WELCOME.

October 7 and 8, Alice in a World of Wonderlands
The Grolier Club
From 10AM-4PM both days, speakers from several different countries will discuss the challenges of translating the Alice books, with all their puns and wordplay, into different languages. The cost is $75 for both days, and you have to register. There is also a fancy-pants dinner on the 8th at the Cosmopolitan Club (all sold out, unfortunately!).

Ongoing, Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland Exhibit

Morgan Library and Museum
This exhibit houses a lot of cool stuff, but all you need to really know is it contains THE ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LEWIS CARROLL GAVE TO ALICE LIDDELL. Guys, this is usually in England and it is the holy grail of Alice-dom. It’s a foregone conclusion that I will hysterically cry when I see it. Tickets to the Morgan Library cost $18. Exhibit runs Tuesdays through Sundays June 26 to October 12.

I will add to the list as more information becomes available.

Are you excited about Alice150? Will I see you there?!

alice150 map of manhattan events

alice150 map of manhattan events

About Heather Haigha

Heather Haigha is your intrepid guide for all adventures under ground, through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole and sometimes even real life! Read her whimsical musings on the Alice Is Everywhere blog, and hear the melodious sound of her voice on the Alice is Everywhere podcast.