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Big Read

Big Read

The National Steinbeck Center is proud to receive an NEA Big Read grant. From August 28 to October 18, Monterey County will read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. If you have questions about the program, please email eric@steinbeck.org

Ways to get involved: 

1. Read Citizen: An American Lyric  
Though Citizen is a little under 170 pages, you'll be amazed by how much ground is covered in the book. Copies of Citizen will be available at the Salinas Public Library, Monterey County Free Libraries, Hartnell College Library, Monterey Library, CSUMB Library and of course at the National Steinbeck Center bookstore. Reading copies are also available at the Cherrybean, Rollick’s Coffee, Gold Leaf Spice & Teas, and Viva Espresso (more locations coming soon). Reading Guide

2. Attend NEA Big Read Events.

3. Join one of the Big Read book groups. 

4. Attend free screenings of films that deal with race at Maya Cinemas. LINK TO FILM SERIES  

As a community based program, the success of the NEA Big Read depends on participation. Don't just join us - bring a friend (or three). Share information about the NEA Big Read events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Big Read schedule, August 28-October 18: [updated PDF]

Week 1: Aug. 22--27

Tuesday, August 22, 4-5:00 PM,  BOOK GROUP: Citizen, Educators’ Book Club #1, Monterey Co. Office of Education, 901 Blanco Circle, Salinas, Room G-H. Facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Elemen, Educational Administrator.

Sunday, August 27, 10AM-2PM, EVENT: Rancho Cielo’s Family Fun Day. 710 Old Stage Road, Salinas, CA The NSC will raffle copies of Citizen and lead  children’s art activities 

Week 2: Aug. 28--Sept. 3

Monday, August 28, 6-8:00 PM, FILM: Lifeboat Maya Cinemas, 153 Main Street, Salinas
Intro. by Susan Shillinglaw, Director, National Steinbeck Center

Monday, August 28, 6:45-7:15, BOOK GROUP: Citizen, Introduction and discussion. Monterey Hostel, 778 Hawthorne St, Monterey.

Sunday, September 3, 2-4:00 PM, FILM: Zootopia. Cesar Chavez Library, 615 Williams Road, Salinas

Week 3: Sept. 4--Sept. 10

Monday September 4, 6-8:00 PM PM, FILM: Lady Sings the Blues Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Kendra Cabrera, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Social Science at MPC.

Tuesday, September 5, 7-9:00 PM: FILM/DISCUSSION: Citizen: Video Clips, Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea. Whites for Racial Equity will host a viewing of video clips from author Claudia Rankine’s website.

Wednesday, September 6, 11-12AM, BOOK GROUP: King City Library, 402 Broadway, King City. Pick up a copy of Citizen and sign up for the Oct. 12th book club discussion.

Wednesday, September 6, 5:30-6:30 PM, LECTURE/DISCUSSION: Linda Bynoe, “African American Women in the Blues” National Steinbeck Center. Dr. Bynoe is a Professor Emerita in Liberal Studies at CSUMB and the proud niece of the late Willy Dixon, prolific blues writer and musician.

Thursday, September 7, 5:30-7:00 PM, LECTURE/DISCUSSION: Jose Ortiz, “que estoy pintando en la pared? Am I painted on the wall?” National Steinbeck Center. ARTS HABITAT presents Arts in Progress. Jose Ortiz is the founder and director of Hijos del Sol Arts Collective.

Thursday September 7, 6-7:00 PM, EVENT: Yoga and Meditation with Leslie Price, Seaside Public Library, 550 Harcourt Avenue, Seaside. In Citizen, Rankine discusses what “stresses stemming from racism” can do to the body. Join us for a FREE yoga and meditation workshop with Dr.  Price, Professor of Psychology at MPC and Hartnell  and Mentor in Meditation and Mindfulness. 

Friday, September 8, 1-3:15 PM, FILM: To Kill a Mockingbird King City Library, 402 Broadway, King City

Friday, September 8, 4-7:30 PM, KICKOFF at the NATIONAL STEINBECK CENTER: Citizen Book Club followed by Poetry Slam! Food, music! 4 PM Dicussion of Citizen  led by Susan Shillinglaw, followed by 5:30-7:30 Poetry Slam. Cash prizes! Submissions due Sept. 5th, see steinbeck.org for full details. Community partners will be on hand to talk about their Big Read programs.! 

Saturday, September 9, 10AM-4:00PM, EVENT: First Annual Salinas Book Fair, Cesar Chavez Library, Salinas.  The NSC will raffle copies of Citizen. Children’s art activities.

Sunday, September 10, 2-4 PM, FILM: Hidden Figures, Cesar Chavez Library, Salinas.

Week 4: Sept. 11--Sept. 17

Monday, September 11, 6-8:30 PM, FILM: A Raisin in the Sun, Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Walter Ryce, Arts and Cultural Writer for the Monterey County Weekly.

Wednesday, September 13, 5:30-7:00 PM, LECTURE/DISCUSSION:  Claudia Melendez & Julie Reynolds: “Justice for  Communities of Color,” National Steinbeck Center. In Citizen, each “Script for Situation Video” covers national events. Journalists and authors Julie Reynolds and Claudia Melendez Salinas will discuss their work as reporters covering ethnically diverse Monterey County and what constitutes justice for communities of color.

Friday, September 15, 1-3:00 PM, FILM: Crash, King City Library, King City.

Saturday, September 16 ,all day, EVENT: El Grito Festival, Alisal Street, Salinas.
Join us for the annual celebration of Mexican Independence. The National Steinbeck Center will raffle copies of Citizen. Prizes and children’s art projects.

Saturday, September 16, 10-11:00 AM, EVENT:  Yoga and Meditation with Leslie Price, Marina Public Library.

Saturday, September 16, 2-4:30 PM, FILM: Fences, Monterey Public Library, 625 Pacific St, Monterey

Sunday, September 17, 2-4 PM, FILM: Pocahontas,Cesar Chavez Library, Salinas.

Week 5: Sept. 18--Sept. 24

Monday, September 18, 6-8:30 PM, FILM: In the Heat of the Night Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Luis Camara, Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts, CSU Monterey Bay.

Wednesday, September 20, 5:30-7:00 PM: LECTURE/DISCUSSION: Ann Todd Jealous and Caroline Haskell “Combined Destinies” National Steinbeck Center. Dicussion of their book, Combined Destinies. Jealous is a life member of the NAACP, a founding member of the Monterey Chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute, and a board member of The Village Project, Inc. Haskell is the Founding Director of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center and currently oversees all of Health and Wellness Services at CSUMB.

Thursday, September 21, 7-9:00 PM: BOOK GROUP: Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Whites for Racial Equity will host a book discussion of Citizen.

Friday, September 22, 1-3:00 PM FILM, A Better Life, King City Library, King City.

Sunday, September 24th, 2-4:00 PM, FILM: Remember the Titans, Cesar Chavez Library, Salinas.

Week 6: Sept. 25--Oct. 1

Monday, September 25th, 6-8:30 PM, FILM: To Kill a Mockingbird Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Yhashika Lee, Lecturer in Cinema Arts and Photography at CSUMB. 

Tuesday September 26, 4-5PM: Citizen, Educators’ Book Club Discussion #2, Monterey County Office of Education, Salinas. Led by Dr. Jennifer Elemen.

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30-8:00 PM: BOOK GROUP: Discussion of Citizen, Monterey Public Library. Join us for a book discussion facilitated by librarian and published poet Victor Henry. Copies of the book available to borrow while supplies last. Please register for the discussion at monterey.org/library/events.

Wednesday, September 27, 5:30-6:45 PM: LECTURE/DISCUSSION: Susan Shillinglaw: “Banned Books: The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men—language, situation, identity” National Steinbeck Center. Dr. Shillinglaw, Director of the NSC, has written extensively on John Steinbeck.

Friday, September 29th, 1-3:00 PM FILM: Fruitvale Station King City Library, King City

Saturday September 30th, 10-5:00 PM: EVENT: Monterey County Open Artists’ Tour National Steinbeck Center. Included are works by Hijos del Sol Arts Collective inspired by Citizen.

Saturday, September 30, 2-4:00 PM, DRAMA: Western Stage Performance, "Of Thee I Sing," National Steinbeck Center. Actors from The Western Stage and Hartnell College present a dramatization of passages read from Citizen.

Sunday, October 1, 10-5:00: EVENT: Monterey County Open Artists Tour National Steinbeck Center. Works by Hijos del Sol Arts Collective inspired by Citizen.

Week 7: Oct. 2--Oct. 8

Monday, October 2, 6-8:00 PM, FILM: The Jackie Robinson Story Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Mel Mason, Co-Founder, Executive Director and Clinical Director of The Village Project.

Wednesday October 4, 5:30-7:00, PANEL DISCUSSION: Local leaders panel discussion, participants TBA, National Steinbeck Center.

Thursday, October 5, 6-7:00 PM,  EVENT: Yoga and Meditation with Leslie Price, Salinas Public Library

Friday, October 6, 1-3:00PM, FILM, Stand and Deliver King City Library, King City.

Week 8: Oct. 9--Oct. 15

Monday October 9, 6-8:00 PM, FILM: Fruitvale Station Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Steven Goings, NAACP and National Coalition Building Institute at CSUMB. Post-film discussion with Salinas police and community leaders.

Wednesday October 11, 5:30-7:00 PM: LECTURE: Sriya Srestha“Policing the Image: Race, Gender, and Representation,” National Steinbeck Center. Dr. Shrestha teaches courses on American history and culture at CSUMB.
Thursday, October 12, 11-12:00 AM: BOOK GROOUP: King City Library,  King City.
Join us for a book discussion. Bring your own book!

Friday, October 13, 1-3:00 PM, FILM:  The Perfect Game King City Library, King City.

Saturday, October 14, 10-11:00 AM, EVENT: Yoga and Meditation with LesliePrice, King City Public Library

Sunday, October 15, 10 AM-2:00 PM, EVENT: Ciclovia, Alisal Street, Salinas, CA
The NSC will raffle Citizen, read passages, give prizes and offer children’s art activity.

Week 9: Oct. 16--18

Monday October 16, 6-8:30 PM, FILM: Do the Right Thing, Maya Cinemas, Salinas.
Introduction by Christine Hong, Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, October 18: BIG READ FINALE, National Steinbeck Center:  4:30-6: Panel discussion of issues raised in Citizen, Community leaders, TBA. 6-8 PM: Readers’ Theatre Night. Michael Roddy unveils an original play inspired by Citizen featuring local actors. Michael Roddy is the Performing Arts Coordinator for the Salinas Union High School District.



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