March 23, 2017 (REVISED APRIL 20, 2017) Library to Host Series of Disco Events

Line-up includes Gloria Gaynor, Tim Gunn

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
Website: Registration for downloadable images in online press kit | Tickets for events External
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

The Library of Congress is presenting a series of disco-themed events to celebrate and memorialize the era of the mid-1970s and early 1980s that changed American art, fashion, language and sound. “Bibliodiscotheque” will include two months of programs such as film screenings, lectures and a symposium followed by a disco party featuring Gloria Gaynor.

“The disco era has left a lasting mark on our culture,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The music, the clothes, those fantastic disco balls – they are a part of Americana that new generations are still discovering and embracing. I am so thrilled to announce these events and the incredible line-up of guests we will have at the Library in the coming months as we celebrate the era of disco and share related items from the Library's collections.”

Nearly 40 years have passed since the heyday of platform shoes and dazzling disco balls, but disco is recognized as a phenomenon that redefined cultural norms across the United States. “Lest anyone think that disco was an aberrant moment in the '70s, disco culture is inextricable from the history of 20th century fashion,” said Emmy award-winning fashion icon Tim Gunn. “Its representation in the Library of Congress not only legitimizes the genre, but fully validates it.”

 The Library of Congress holds significant collection materials in various formats that showcase the American disco experience. These items will be on display for the duration of this series. Programming includes screenings of disco-influenced films as well as lectures and panel discussions presented by cultural experts, such as author, producer and fashion icon Tim Gunn, who will present a lecture on the influence of disco fashion followed by a book signing.  The series will conclude with a symposium featuring the disco singing sensation Gloria Gaynor, followed by an evening extravaganza with a live performance.

Gaynor will discuss and sign her new book, “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song.” The book’s title hearkens to her 1978 classic “I Will Survive” which was selected for preservation in 2016 for the National Recording Registry. In “We Will Survive,” Gaynor shares 40 inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds --- individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of that song.

“I am thrilled that the Library of Congress has found my role in American music worthy to be commemorated by the inclusion of my recording of “I Will Survive” in the National Recording Registry,” said Gaynor. “I look forward with great anticipation to my concert at the Library of Congress “Bibliodiscotheque.”

Events are free and open to the public. Free tickets are required for admission to all activities. Tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on March 30 at this website. A limited number of press credentials will also be available for reservation. The deadline to reserve credentials for lectures, the symposium, and the dance party is Friday, April 28. Some of the events will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at and its YouTube channel at All programs will take place at the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., or at its James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., both in Washington, D.C.

The excitement can be followed on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LCDisco.

 The Library’s programming will include:

Film Screenings *

Wednesday, April 12 (7 p.m.)
“54 (Miramax, 1998, R-rated*)
An American drama film written and directed by Mark Christopher about Studio 54, a world-famous New York City disco club.

 Friday, April 14 (6:30 p.m.)  
“The Secret Disco Revolution” (Screen Media Films, 2012)
A documentary on the disco era featuring interview with key musicians who performed during its peak. Directed by Jamie Kastner.

“Donna Summer: Live & More Encore!” (Sony Legacy, 1999)
Live television concert that includes performances not in the original VH-1 broadcast. Directed by Dave Diomedi.

Saturday, April 15 (10 a.m.)
Queer as Folk” [UK] (Tony Jonas Productions, 2000-2005, R-rated*) Television series based on the lives and loves of a group of gay friends living in Manchester, England, and depicts clubbing culture at the turn of the 21st century. This screening will be a 7.5-hour marathon. Created by Russell T. Davies.    

Wednesday, April 19 (7 p.m.)
“Pump Up the Volume” (Flame Television Production Ltd., 2001) – Complete Series
In this documentary, the origin of house music is explained. After starting in Chicago in the “Warehouse” club it later became a genre of music called “house.”  

 Thursday, April 27 (7 p.m.)
“Saturday Night Fever” (Paramount Pictures, 1977, R-rated*) - CANCELED 
Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of this American musical drama starring John Travolta. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Directed by John Badham. 

Friday, April 28 (7 p.m.)
“You Got Served” (Screen Gems, 2004)
Dance drama that concerns a group of dancers who take part in a street-dancing competition. Directed by Chris Stokes.

 Saturday, April 29 (1 p.m.)
Celia: The Queen” (PBS, 2008)
A documentary of the life and times of Latin music singer Celia Cruz. Directed by Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona.

“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” (Lions Gate, 2004)
An American musical romance film directed by Guy Ferland. This film is the reimaging of the 1987 blockbuster “Dirty Dancing,” moving the setting from New York to Cuba on the verge of the Cuban Revolution.

 Friday, May 5 (7 p.m.)
“House Party” (New Line Cinema, 1990, R-rated*)
American comedy film starring Kid and Play of the popular hip hop duo Kid 'n Play. Directed by Reginald Hudlin.

 Free, tickets available, visit for more information.

*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. All screenings will be held in the Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building.


 Tuesday, May 2
7 p.m. (Coolidge Auditorium)
Tim Gunn Legacy of Disco Fashion*
Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Newlen interviews fashion icon and native Washingtonian Tim Gunn about the history of fashion in the disco era and its impact on modern fashion. Gunn is a past chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design, where he was on faculty from 1982-2007. He is a design mentor and host of the hit television show “Project Runway,” which has garnered him a primetime Emmy Award. Gunn has also authored five books. A book- signing will follow.

Free, tickets available, visit for more information.
*This event will be live streamed.

 Wednesday, May 3
7 p.m. (Whittall Pavilion)
ABBA & Disco’s Influence on European Dance Music
James Wintle, Library of Congress Music Division, lectures on the influence of disco on European dance music and hosts a screening of “ABBA: The Movie” (Warner Bros., 1977). Presented in association with the Embassy of Sweden, European Month of Culture, and the Delegation of the European Union to the United States Directed by Lasse Hallström.

Free, tickets available, visit for more information.

 Thursday, May 4
7 p.m. (Pickford)
Mathematics of African Dance Rhythms
Martin Scherzinger, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU
Martin Scherzinger of New York University explores elements of African dance music through the lens of Zimbabwean matepe and mbira music, bringing cultural and mathematical insights to bear in an engagement with this vital music.

Free, tickets available, visit for more information.

 Friday, May 5 
Noon (Whittall Pavilion)
Music & Veterans Panel Discussion
The Library of Congress Music Division and Library of Congress Veterans History Project present a discussion of the role of music in supporting service members and veterans from the Vietnam era through the present.

 Free, tickets available, visit for more information.


Saturday, May 6
1 p.m. (Coolidge Auditorium)
Library of Congress “Bibliodiscotheque” Symposium
Explore the history of disco music, dance and culture in this afternoon symposium that features appearances by Gloria Gaynor, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, distinguished music scholars Martin Scherzinger and Alice Echols, photographer Bill Bernstein, and Yolanda Baker, the only disco ball maker in the United States. A book-signing will follow.

 Presented in association with the Library of Congress Music and Prints & Photographs Divisions, and Veterans History Project, with additional support from The Recording Academy.

1 p.m. “The Craft of Making Disco Balls”
Yolanda Baker, Disco Ball Maker, Omega National Products
Toni Lehring, Omega National Products

 1:30 p.m. “Two Perspectives on Beyoncé’s African Dance References”
Martin Scherzinger, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

2 p.m. “Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs”
Bill Bernstein, Photographer

 2:30 p.m. “Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture”
Alice Echols, Barbra Streisand Professor of Contemporary Gender Studies and Professor of History and Gender Studies, University of Southern California

 3 p.m. Panel Discussion
Bill Bernstein, Alice Echols, Martin Scherzinger

4 p.m. “Gloria Gaynor on “I Will Survive”
Gloria Gaynor, Vocalist
Robin Roberts, Good Morning America, Interviewer
Keynote interview with Gloria Gaynor, member of The Recording Academy New York Chapter Board of Governors and author of "We Will Survive,” a book of 40 individual “true stories of encouragement, inspiration, and the power of song.”

 5 p.m. (Whittall Pavilion)
Book-Signing: Gloria Gaynor, Robin Roberts, Bill Bernstein and Alice Echols
Books will be available for purchase at the Library of Congress Gift Shop (Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building) beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 6.

Free, tickets available, visit for more information.
*This event will be live streamed. 

Disco Dance Party 

7 p.m. -12:30 a.m. (Great Hall)
Gloria Gaynor Live: Disco Dance Party
The Library of Congress opens the doors of the Thomas Jefferson Building for LOC Disco Night, a celebration of the Library’s collections and the music of Gloria Gaynor, with an once-in-a-lifetime disco dance party in the historic Great Hall. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the Main Reading Room, meet curators, view special treasure displays, explore the Library’s exhibitions, and dance the night away. Gloria Gaynor and her band will kick off the evening with a live performance. Appearances by DJ Mike Simonetti and DJ Adrian Loving.  

Free, tickets available, visit for more information.

 All disco-themed activities are made possible in part by the Library of Congress in association with BrightestYoungThings, the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA), and The Recording Academy. The District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA) is a chapter of the American Library Association (ALA) and the local service organization for librarians and library workers, LIS students, and library supporters in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. BrightestYoungThings is a web magazine, event-production and experiential marketing/public- relations agency based in Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers.

 The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at


PR 17-027
ISSN 0731-3527