Newport Beach Public Library Foundation
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the witte lectures

$50 General admission
$45 Library Foundation members

6:30pm Doors open, wine reception, music
7:00pm Lecture, Q & A
8:15pm Book signing, dessert reception


$35 General admission
$30 Library Foundation members
2:00pm Lecture, Q & A
3:15pm Book signing, dessert reception

current members:
Save $5.00 per ticket; click here to request promo code and receive your discount. Promo code must be used at time of order; refunds will not be given later.

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For additional information, phone: 949.548.2411 or email:

rick reilly
Playing the Game from the Inside Out
Friday, February 21 @ 7pm
Saturday, February 22 @ 2pm

Rick Reilly has been voted National Sportswriter of the Year eleven times. He is a front-page columnist for and delivers human-interest television features for ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, opinion essays and features for ESPN’s golf coverage, and essays for SportsCenter, which he also occasionally anchors.

Reilly won the 2009 Damon Runyon Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism, an honor previously
won by Jimmy Breslin, Tim Russert, Bob Costas, Mike Royko, George Will, Ted Turner and Tom Brokaw, among others. Three times his columns have been read into the record in the U.S. Congress. An astronaut once took his signed trading card into space. He is the author of ten books, including his latest — Sports From Hell, My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition. The book, an account of his three-year search for the dumbest sport in the world, was a finalist for the 2011 Thurber Prize. The book also includes embarrassing attempts by Reilly to try Nude Bicycle Racing, Zorbing, Chess Boxing, Extreme Ironing, the World Rock Paper Scissors Championships and an unfortunate week on a women’s pro football team.

Publishers Weekly called Reilly, “an indescribable amalgam of Dave Barry, Jim Murray, and Lewis Grizzard, with the timing of Jay Leno and the wit of Johnny Carson.” Reilly will entertain and engage us on the topic of sports.


A Conversation with
frank bruni
Friday, March 21 @ 7pm
Saturday, March 22 @ 2pm

Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 2011, joined the newspaper in 1995. During his years at The Times, he has worn a wide variety of hats, including chief restaurant critic (2004–2009) and Rome bureau chief (2002–2004).

He has also written two New York Times best sellers: a memoir, Born Round, and Ambling into History, a chronicle of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency. That same year, Harper Perennial reissued, in paperback, A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, of which he was a co-author.

Bruni’s restaurant-related articles for The New York Times and elsewhere have appeared in five consecutive editions of Best Food Writing in America. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for his work at the Detroit Free Press.  

Bruni will speak about current issues making the headlines.


anna deavere smith
Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition
Friday, April 25 @ 7pm
Saturday, April 26 @ 2pm

An exploration of race, community and character in America, Anna Deavere Smith has been listening to people across the country from all walks of life for the last several years, using Walt Whitman’s idea “to absorb America” as an inspiration. To illustrate her goal of bringing “people across the chasm” of what she calls the “complex identity of America,” Smith slips in and out of character during the course of her presentation, recreating a diversity of emotions and points of view on controversial issues.

Playwright, actor and professor, Smith uses her singular brand of theater to highlight issues of community, character and diversity in America. Newsweek declared her “the most exciting individual in American theatre.”

Best known for crafting one-woman, multi-character plays about American social issues, Smith was awarded the 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts, as well as the National Humanities Medal. The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the “Genius” Fellowship for creating “a new form of theatre — a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.”

In addition to appearing on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Smith’s television credits include The West Wing and All My Children. She has appeared in films, including Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia and The American President.


The Hadley-Webb Foundation


Barbara Roberts
The Witte Family

Todd & Natasha Palmaer
Dr. James B. Pick & Dr. Rosalyn M. Laudati

Mary Lynn Bergman-Rallis & John Rallis

Terry & Sharon Bridges
MacGillivray Family Foundation
Marilyn W. McIntyre
Ellen K. Shockro, Ph.D.
Tom & Marilyn Sutton

Malin & Chris Fletcher
Elaine J. Weinberg

Hi-Time Wine Cellars
The Island Hotel
Lido Village Books


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