NH-based cartoonist, musician, and educator Marek Bennett leads discovery-based Comics Workshops for all ages throughout New England and the world beyond! His comics work includes the graphic novel series, The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, as well as drawing, translating, & editing for The Most Costly Journey (2021) with the bilingual El Viaje Project. Marek is the recipient of the 2021 New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award for Art Education. For more about Marek’s work, see: www.MarekBennett.com
ContactMarek BennettHenniker, NH email@example.comHome Phone: 603-428-7049
Available Program Formats: In person or online presentations
Marek Bennett presents a whirlwind survey of comics from around the world and throughout history, with special attention to what these vibrant narratives tell (and show) us about the people and periods that created them. Bennett engages and involves the audience in an interactive discussion of several sample comics representing cultures such as Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, the Ancient Maya, Feudal and modern Japan, the United States in the early 20th century, and Nazi Germany during World War II. The program explores the various ways of creating and reading comics from around the world, and what these techniques tell us about the cultures in which they occur.
From the simplest stick figures to the flashiest modern manga, cartooning and comics have long offered us powerful ways to look at and define ourselves and our communities. What does it mean to “draw together” in community, and how does the act of creating art help us move from “MY story” and “YOUR story” to “OUR story”? Join New Hampshire cartoonist Marek Bennett as he shares lessons from his award-winning work on graphic novels and webcomics like The Most Costly Journey (El viaje más caro), the long-running series The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, and more. Through sample artwork, historical source materials, and live cartooning demonstrations, this program looks at how collaborative cartooning — “drawing together” — helps us explore identities, share perspectives, and deepen connections in our communities.
Marek Bennett will deliver an engaging overview of global politics prior to the American Civil War through the lens of early banjo music. Between 1820 and 1860, the banjo transformed from a slave instrument found only on Southern plantations to an international pop phenomenon: songs and playing techniques carried far and wide in the emerging global economy, from the streets of New York's Five Points slum to the gold fields of California and the elite drawing rooms of London, from the battlegrounds of Nicaragua to official diplomatic receptions in Japan. How did this African-derived, slave-borne folk instrument come to symbolize all the best and worst of a young United States of America?
Marek Bennett presents an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participate and sing along as the presenters explore lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress. Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Bennett examines the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change. Showcasing numerous instruments, the presenters challenge participants to find new connections between song, art, and politics in American history.
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.