ArtReach Receives 15K Grant for The Big Read in the St. Croix Valley

ArtReach St. Croix was one of 77 organizations nationwide to recently receive a $15,000 grant to host to host The Big Read in the St. Croix Valley.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest.

The Big Read project will happen between between September 2014 and June 2015, and will focus on Minnesota author Louise Erdrich’s novel, “Love Medicine.” Activities will take place in April 2015.

“The spirit of The Big Read is to connect people to literature through creative programming using visual, performing and literary arts. In that way, The Big Read is a perfect fit for ArtReach St. Croix,” ArtReach’s Executive Director Heather Rutledge said. “ArtReach has been an active partner in the Valley’s literary arts programming. Through The Big Read, ArtReach and our library, bookstore and community partners will be able to connect people to each other and to the themes and characters in Love Medicine.”

ArtReach St. Croix’s Literary Arts Committee, in collaboration with core artistic and community partners, will offer a number of programs and events throughout the St. Croix Valley to engage the regional community in the themes of Love Medicine, Rutledge said. Programming will range from book discussions to a performing arts piece and an art exhibit to Earth Day hikes.

The events will take place throughout the month of April 2015 all across the river valley—from Hastings to St. Croix Falls.

The $15,000 federal grant requires a 1-to-1 match, Rutledge said. Valley Bookseller has pledge to support the project as a sponsor and partner.

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