The McCune Collection Presents the Spring 2019 Lecture Series

Sunday March 24, 2pm
“Nobody tells me anything...a novelist’s journey through self-doubt, self-discovery, rejection and purpose.”

Shanthi Sakaran

Join us for an enlightening and informative afternoon with educator and celebrated Bay Area novelist Shanthi Sekaran. An adjunct professor and creative writing instructor at Mills College, her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage in 2016. A member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New York Times, Canteen Magazine, the Huffington Post and Best New American Voices. Her most recent novel, Lucky Boy, was named an Indie NextGreat Read and an NPR Best Book of 2017. A child of immigrants, Sekaran has written about her experiences growing up in California; exploring disparities in the treatment of immigrants in the United States. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and two sons. More about Shanthi at:

Sunday April 14, 2pm
Workshop: “Active Story-telling”

Francesca Borgatta

Berkeley-based Artist Francesca Borgatta creates art and puppets from recycled materials and natural elements. Using language in conjunction with her artwork, she tells stories and uses art to generate communication. Promising an entertaining afternoon of whimsy and fun, Francesca offers an interactive storytelling workshop; audience members are invited to create their own stories incorporating puppet characters, masks and various components, to explore imaginative possibilities. Formerly a member of Peter Schuman’s Bread and Puppet Theater in New York; as Artist-in-Residence in schools and community centers, she teaches art and designs on-site installations. Francesca exhibits her work widely and uses her puppets for protest and celebration. Visit Frances at:

Sunday May 5, 2pm
Filipinos in Vallejo

Mel Orpilla

Mel Orpilla is an author, martial artist and Filipino historian. Born and raised in Vallejo, CA., he earned degrees in Journalism and Ethnic Studies at SF State and CSU, Sacramento. He currently works as the District Representative for US Congressman Mike Thompson. Passionate about Filipino culture and heritage; and a strong Believer in the importance of educating others about the Filipino community, he regularly lectures on Filipino American History. He is a board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, former National President of the Filipino American National Historical Society and author of the book “Filipinos in Vallejo”; a fascinating insider's look at the Filipino community in Vallejo. More about Mel at:

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