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History meets Halloween at Odyssey Project’s Night of the Living Humanities

On Oct. 27, Frederick Douglass, Frida Kahlo, and Maya Angelou will mingle with the public at the University Club, 803 State St. The room will overflow with historical figures thanks to Night of the Living Humanities, a pre-Halloween benefit for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Odyssey Project.

Odyssey Project student Char Braxton dresses as Toni Morrison for Night of the Living Humanities. Above: Rene Robinson as Maya Angelou, Stanley Sallay as Frederick Douglass, and Sahira Rocillo as Frida Kahlo.
Odyssey Project student Char Braxton dresses as Toni Morrison for Night of the Living Humanities. Above: Rene Robinson as Maya Angelou, Stanley Sallay as Frederick Douglass, and Sahira Rocillo as Frida Kahlo.

Odyssey students will be in costume, and guests have the option of dressing up themselves. The fundraiser runs from 5-7 p.m., featuring complimentary appetizers and arts and crafts by Odyssey students for sale. The minimum per-person donation is $30, $20 of which is tax deductible. See here to RSVP, or contact Odyssey director Emily Auerbach 608-262-3733, emily.auerbach@wisc.edu.

Each year, the Odyssey Project offers a free two-semester humanities class for 30 people, providing textbooks, childcare, and a weekly dinner. They earn six credits in English from UW-Madison, as well as gain critical thinking skills and a sense of empowerment. Many go on to complete a college degree and find meaningful work in the community.

The life-changing power of the humanities

The costumes at Night of the Living Humanities will be inspired by the writers, philosophers, artists, and political figures that students learn about in class.

“The students’ own experiences fighting injustice and triumphing over adversity make them feel a strong connection with these historical figures,” says Auerbach. “Night of the Living Humanities will celebrate the life-changing power of the humanities—the way reading, for instance, can broaden our sense of who we are.”

Those who can’t attend Night of the Living Humanities can consider making a donation online or by mailing a check to 21 N. Park St., Room 7468, Madison, WI 53715. Checks can be made payable to Friends of the Odyssey Project Inc.