Educational Events Mark Ager’s 150th
Two February presentations at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library will discuss immigrant identity as part of the 150th birthday of Waldemar Ager. A Norwegian immigrant, Ager moved from Chicago to Eau Claire in 1892 at age 23 to work for the Reform, a Norwegian weekly newspaper. Ager’s home, now a museum at 514 W. Madison St., serves as the base for the Waldemar Ager Association. The association’s goals include the preservation and study of immigrant contributions to the Chippewa Valley. On Monday, Feb. 11 at 7pm, a panel of three Hmong immigrants will discuss how
Ager’s experience, described in his first novel, On the Way to the Melting Pot, a century ago, is similar to the Hmong experience. As immigrant generations assimilate into the new society, how do families preserve their culture, heritage, and language? The panel will include True Vue, a bilingual education assistant at Locust Lane School; Khoua Vang, Hmong language instructor at UW-Eau Claire and Flynn Elementary School; and Pa Sia Moua, teacher at Flynn Elementary School. On Thursday, Feb 28 at 7pm, author Brain Blakeley, who recently published the first book in his multi-volume history of Eau Claire, will present “Immigrants in Eau Claire.” Ager considered America a mosaic of ethnic groups, each retaining its uniqueness and contributing to a strong nation. Blakeley will examine how the city of Eau Claire responded to Ager’s work and ideas.