NEA Big Read
Lewis & Clark Library is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Lewis & Clark county.
We are one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between September 2020 and June 2021.
Our NEA Big Read will focus on Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. Activities will take place in January 2021.
NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. It aims to inspire conversation and discovery.
Pick up a copy of the book at any Lewis & Clark Library location, or check out the ebook or audiobook through our online service Axis 360.
Please adhere to Social Distancing protocols and remember that masks are required when visiting any Branch of the Lewis & Clark Library.
Our Little Read for kids this year is Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Appropriate for grade levels 6-8, this book will be available along with a craft kit based on the book at any Library branch while supplies last.
More to Explore
- Read Alikes! If you liked Into the Beautiful North, try these books!
- Ebook and audiobook Read Alikes! Check out this excellent list on Axis 360.
- A Taste of LatinX Culture
- Beanstack Challenge! New in 2021! Participate in our January 2021 NEA Big Read with Beanstack, a reading challenge app.
You can participate in activities, reading, and writing a book review.
Once you earn 6 badges you'll be entered into a drawing for a basket of goodies from local businesses. The only required badge is to read the book!
- What does "Home" mean to you? Share your description in art or words! More info
- Writing Prompts for Kids about the idea of "Home"
- Get crafty! Get inspired by Into the Beautiful North and check out Creativebug for tutorials and ideas!
- More about the book at the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read page. It has terrific information about the book and author Luis Alberto Urrea.
|Click here for the short n' sweet flier of events!||Click here for a Printable Calendar|
What does “Home” mean to you?
December 21, 2020-January 31, 2021
Submit your artistic or crafty creation(s) of what "home" means to you. It can be a painting, a craft, photograph, or anything that makes you think of home. Simply take a picture of your artwork and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll showcase it on our Exhibits page. Questions? Contact Suzanne at 447-6681 or email@example.com
Kickoff Book Discussion with Jesus Salazar
Saturday, January 2 at 4 PM
Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsdumupj4oH9w9rWuc0K6wxrTDE9nlYtSD After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
We will kick off the NEA Big Read with a book discussion hosted by Jesus Salazar, who will lead an exploration of the theme of immigration, discussing both his own experiences and those in Into the Beautiful North.
Jesus Salazar was born in Mexico City and studied Graphic Design. He moved to Chicago, then to Helena 17 years ago. Jesus enjoys the outdoors riding his bike, and is seeking a second career as a Software Engineer at Helena College.
Documentary Screening of The Other Side of Immigration and live Q&A with Filmmaker
Wednesday, January 6 at 4 PM
Watch Roy Germano’s documentary, The Other Side of Immigration, online at 4 PM. A live Q&A with the filmmaker will follow at 5 PM. Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcsde6ppjIrGNCQuz4rUJfSwt_mVrIH91Kt After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The Other Side of Immigration is a 2009 documentary film directed by Roy Germano. The film explores why so many people leave the Mexican countryside to work in the United States and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. It is based on Germano's interviews with over 700 households in Mexico, which he carried out while doing Ph.D. research on remittances at the University of Texas at Austin. On September 6, 2019, Roy Germano and Team Love released The Other Side of Immigration in full on Germano's YouTube channel. Roy Germano teaches International Relations at New York University and is the author of a book about remittances called Outsourcing Welfare. Germano is also a Senior Research Scholar at the New York University School of Law.
Discuss Into the Beautiful North with a Library Book Group
Thursday, January 7 at 7 PM
Join the Lewis & Clark Library’s Premier Book Group to discuss the book. Free and open to the public. Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwqdeChpzwpE9AVmeIQtcUYGxBnELRpitJB After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Finding & Defining Home: A Writing Workshop with Virginia Reeves
Tuesday, January 12 at 6 PM
Go to https://bit.ly/37quLs5 to register. Class is limited to 20 people.
Using this year's Big Read (Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea) and the Library’s virtual art exhibit (What Does “Home” Mean to You?), this workshop explores the process of finding, defining, and ultimately maintaining a home within literature. Through a variety of prompts, participants will write their way into multiple homes, both real and imagined, and leave with a handful of ideas and techniques to apply to their own writing.
Virginia Reeves is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin. She is the author of The Behavior of Love (Scribner, 2019) and Work Like Any Other (Scribner, 2016). Work Like Any Other was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and Booklist named it to their Top 10 First Novels of 2016. She teaches writing, communication, and literature at Helena College and lives with her husband, two daughters, and three-legged Pit Bull in a house that has survived a major earthquake and a fire.
Gather Round the Hearth: Exploring Migration and Into the Beautiful North
Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 PM
Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kfu-vqjkiH91XrroM6-Fr9oO__oDF1kzO After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The anthology Hearth is a collection of essays exploring community, identity, place, and more. You can read “pairings” of essays to discuss at our gatherings. In January, we will discuss the overlapping and divergent themes between Hearth’s migration essays, which explore the migration of laborers, and those in the NEA Big Read book, Into the Beautiful North. You can find the Hearth essays here: https://www.humanitiesmontana.org/gather-round-fire-edition-2019/hearth-pairings-2/
Latino History in Montana with Dr. Bridget Kevane
Wednesday, January 20 at 6:30 PM
Register in advance for this webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eEyO4FdOScayNsQaFh_1yA After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Learn about the vibrant history & future of the Latino community in Montana. Latinos have a more than two-centuries-old history in Montana, yet few know about Latino history, culture, or their economic contributions to the state. From the fur trade to the sugar beet, from our Flathead cherries to construction, Latinos have had a long and vibrant culture in Montana that continues to this day. Dr. Bridget Kevane discusses the critical role that current border policies are having on the community and immigration.
Dr. Bridget Kevane is a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies Program as well as the director of Liberal Studies at Montana State University. Her research focuses on Latino/a studies, specifically the literature, culture and history of Latino/a communities in the United States. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, she has written four books, including her most recent, The Dynamics of Jewish Latino Relationships: Hope and Caution.
Community Book Discussion hosted by Helena College faculty
Thursday, January 21 at 7 PM
Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkf-6tqToiEtVlj-5lzbAPuWXW_NpLyhjo After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Sociology Instructor Kim Feig and Writing Instructor Virginia Reeves lead a discussion based on questions related to the NEA Big Read book, Into the Beautiful North. You can find these questions ahead of time here.
Flavors of Mexico with Jesus Salazar
Sunday, January 24 at 4 PM
Register in advance for this webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AxoBhDwcR8qe4e2JxJLtiw After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Learn about the spices, flavors and colors that make up cuisine in Mexico. Jesus Salazar will explain the traditional Mexican roots of some of our favorite foods and their migration into our kitchens today.
Redefining Home: A Creative Writing Workshop
Monday, January 25 at 6 PM
Contact: Suzanne Schwichtenberg, Adult Services Librarian 406-447-6681 firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to https://bit.ly/38DS95W to register. Class is limited to 20 people.
Building off ideas from our last workshop, this session further explores the idea of what makes—and breaks—a home. Participants will be given a variety of techniques to explore both during the workshop and later in their own writing. Participation in the last workshop is not required.
An Evening with the Author: Luis Alberto Urrea
Thursday, January 28 at 7 PM
We are delighted to present this year’s NEA Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea! Register in advance for this free webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EjiWLfHeTsGkYpSWXeKagw After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Hailed by NPR as a “literary badass” and a “master storyteller with a rock and roll heart,” Luis Alberto Urrea is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.
A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 17 books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.”
Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He also taught at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
NEA Big Read Wrap-Up Book Discussion
Sunday, January 31 at 2 PM
Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrf-iqpzIqGtBNQxW9JZLRB4imMdATAJk- After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
As we conclude our NEA Big Read for January 2021, we invite you to share your impressions about the programs, conversations and the book at our final program.