Dec. 21, 2016
CWU Announces Broad List of 2017 Big Read Events
Central Washington University Brooks Library’s Big Read grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts will fund a diverse schedule of events starting January 2017. The grant will support community-wide programming through April centered around the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien—and culminating in a visit from the author.
The Big Read will officially kick-off February 3rd at 6 p.m. at Ellensburg’s Clymer Museum & Gallery with a reception and speaking appearances by Mayor Rich Elliott and local Vietnam War veteran Rob Fraser. As with most Big Read events, copies of the book will be made available.
O’Brien will meet with local veterans during a special luncheon on April 27th. Later, at 5 p.m. a reception will be given in his honor, in McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall.
A variety of Big Read events are planned at locations on the CWU campus and in the wider Kittitas County community. Programming is diverse and includes genres such as performing arts, multi-media, poetry, literature, and more. All events are free and most are open to the community.
Below is a condensed listing of upcoming events. For a complete list with descriptions and updates, visit the CWU Big Read event calendar.
February 3, 6 p.m. Clymer Museum & Gallery, 416 N. Pearl, Ellensburg
Kittitas Valley Unitarian Universalist Book Discussion
February 16, 7 p.m., KVUU Church, 400 N. Anderson, Ellensburg
"Music and Words Confront War"
March 1, 6 p.m., CWU McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall
50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" Speech
April 4, 6 p.m., CWU Student Union Building
Roslyn Library Book Club Community Discussion
April 6, 6 p.m., Roslyn Public Library, 201 S. First Street, Roslyn
Amy Quan Barry Reading*
April 12, 7:30 p.m., location TBD
Tim O'Brien Talk*
April 25, 7:30 p.m., CWU McConnell
RECEPTION FOR TIM O'BRIEN
April 27, 5 p.m., CWU McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall
*Craft talks and readings are provided in partnership with CWU’s Lion Rock Visiting Writers series.
The NEA Big Read grant supports innovative community reading programs designed around a single book—in this instance, The Things They Carried. To further encourage reading and participation, close to 500 books will be given away free throughout Big Read events. A generous contribution by the CWU Veterans Center funds the majority of the free copies. These copies will be distributed to CWU students.
“The majority of the free copies will be distributed to students at our main campus and at the Des Moines and Lynnwood centers, with a limited number available for public distribution at some of our events,” said Maureen Rust, student engagement and community outreach librarian.
The Things They Carried has also been selected by the Kittitas County public libraries as the 2017 One Book One County selection. Copies of the book are available for checkout from all public libraries and from the James E. Brooks Library at CWU. Copies are also available for purchase at Pearl Street Books, Jerrol's, CWU Wildcat Shop, Bailey’s Bibliomania, Basecamp Books (Roslyn), and Inklings Bookshop (Yakima).
Interested community members are encouraged to read the book prior to the events for maximum engagement.
About the book and its author
Understanding warfare’s effect on soldiers, veterans, and their families continues to be important. Because Tim O'Brien is himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, he speaks about the experience with authority. The Things They Carried features portraits of characters in combat. O’Brien articulates the soldier’s view—often understandably conflicted. O’Brien is recognized for his ground-breaking work, not only for marking a certain period in American history, but also for demonstrating some of the best storytelling in contemporary literature.
Event sponsorship and collaboration
This project is a collaboration among many campus and community entities. The following departments are credited in securing the grant: Brooks Library, CWU English Department, Lion Rock Writers Series, the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, and the CWU Veterans Center. Further program collaborations with CWU ROTC, Kittitas County public libraries, community veterans groups, and Ellensburg High School are instrumental in reaching a larger diverse audience.
CWU is one of 77 organizations nationwide awarded a grant—the only one in Washington state.
“NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.”
“El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.”
Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484, email@example.com.
--December 20, 2016