PDT Staff Report
Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association has announced it received a grant from National Endowment for the Arts to host "The Big Read" in Scioto County. SOPAA is one of 208 libraries, municipalities, and arts, culture, higher education and science organizations to receive a grant to host "The Big Read" from September to June 2009.
"The Big Read" gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss and celebrate one of 23 selections from American and world literature. "The Big Read: Scioto County" will focus on "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Activities will take place in February, March and April 2009.
"We are optimistic that all of Scioto County will embrace this national incentive to promote literacy and reading of this significant American novel," said Carl Daehler, executive director of Shawnee State University's Vern Riffe Center for the Arts and grant director of SOPAA.
Additional organizations and agencies in Scioto County that wish to participate in "The Big Read" will need to contact Susan McComas, director of the Literacy Council of Scioto County, at (740) 351-3514.
"To participate as a 'Big Read' community is such a great opportunity to bring the community together through reading a book and also experience 'To Kill a Mockingbird' on stage," said McComas.
SOPAA will participate in "The Big Read: Scioto County" by presenting a fully staged national tour production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" performed by the award-winning Montana Repertory Theatre on April 7, 2009, at Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Single tickets to the production will be available at McKinley Box Office starting Aug. 25.
The latest grantees represent 46 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To date, the NEA reportedly has given more than 500 grants to support local "Big Read" projects.
"The Big Read" is an initiative of National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents "The Big Read" in partnership with Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
"The Big Read: Scioto County" is comprised of the following local partners: SOPAA, Literacy Council of Scioto County, SSU's Clark Memorial Library, Portsmouth Public Library, Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center, South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Center for Alternative Progressive Education, Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority, Tecumseh High School located in Ohio River Valley Juvenile Corrections Facility, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, SSU's Theatre Department, Great Dames Book Club and Scioto County Reading Service for the Blind.
For more information, visit www.neabigread.org.