Morris Museum ‘SmartTalks’ Launches This Fall

The Morris Museum this fall will launch, “SmartTalks,’’ at the Bickford Theatre, a series featuring engaging humanities scholars and authors who will present thought-provoking talks on topics about which they are both passionate and knowledgeable.   

“We’ve known that there’s tremendous enthusiasm and interest in a speaker series in the community and we’re pleased to broaden the Bickford Theatre’s programming to provide another way to enhance the experience of our visitors,” said Marsha Baldinger, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris Museum and chair of the Bickford Theatre committee.

The following speaker sessions are planned:

Thursday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m. – What is Jazz and Why Does it Matter?

Sometimes called “America’s Classical Music,” the tradition and history of jazz embodies the essence of freedom and democracy. From its origins within the slaves’ songs, to the advent of the blues, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, and other styles, jazz exhibits how each individual (through his/her independence) must function within the framework of a group to better serve the entire community. Through music and discussion, this SmartTalk explores jazz and why it matters.

Speaker Michael Conklin, a Jazz historian, is presently pursuing his doctor of arts and letters degree from Drew University.

Thursday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m. – LOL, a Philosophical Look at Comedy

Since the formal introduction by the ancient Greeks, comedy has been and continues to be more than just laughs. It can be explored from a philosophical perspective and shed light on this aspect of the human condition. Speaker Brandyn Heppard is an assistant professor of philosophy at Raritan Valley Community College.

Tickets are priced at $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members. To purchase tickets visit or call the box office at 973-971-3706.

To become a member,  receive the discounted ticket pricing, and visit the museum year-round for free, visit, email, or call 973-971-3721.  


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