Beaufort County Library Announces Lineup of Events for The Big Read Project

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The Beaufort County Library System is pleased to announce dozens of events, book clubs, film showings, and other programs to celebrate The Big Read in January and February. The Library will focus on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. The Library is asking all residents of Beaufort County to read the book between now and the end of the year, and attend at least one program at the branches in early next year.

The opening kick-off event will occur at the St. Helena Branch Library on January 8, 2016 and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Lemuel Watson, Dean, USC College of Education, presenting Zora, In Her Own Words: The Love of Her People, Culture and Language. Attendees will be treated to complimentary cake and refreshments (celebrating Hurston’s birthday) and enjoy a live musical performance by local jazz legend Teddy Adams and his talented jazz ensemble.

The lineup includes an art exhibit and art discussion by famous local artist Cassandra Gillens, a basket weaving course with Jeryline Taylor, folktale discussions, Storyboard Workshops, Teacher Workshops, programs featuring famous local authors Dori Sanders and Diane Johnson, rhythmic storytelling fun with J’Miah Nabawi, a program featuring directors of the Mitchelville Project, book discussions with Dr. Gloria Holmes, film viewing and discussions, and a swingin’ Wrap Up Party at a ‘Juke Joint’ in Hilton Head. For an event schedule and more information about the project, visit beaufortcountylibrary.org/the-big-read.  A major partner on this project is the Writing Improvement Network (WIN) and the S.C. Center for Educational Partnership that is housed at the College of Education at the University of South Carolina.

A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information about The Big Read please visit neabigread.org.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit arts.gov.

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit artsmidwest.org.

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