The Big Read 2013

What is The Big Read?

ABC30 is proud to partner up with the Fresno County Public Library for The Big Read. You are encouraged to read Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The Big Read answers a big need. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. The concerned citizen in search of good news about American literary culture would study the pages of this report in vain. The Big Read aims to address this crisis squarely and effectively. It provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. The Big Read supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, and educational and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement. Each community event lasts approximately one month and includes a kick-off event to launch the program locally, ideally attended by the mayor and other local luminaries; major events devoted specifically to the book (panel discussions, author reading, and the like); events using the book as a point of departure (film screenings, theatrical readings, and so forth); and book discussions in diverse locations and aimed at a wide range of audiences. The NEA inaugurated The Big Read as a pilot project in 2006 with ten communities featuring four books. The Big Read continues to expand to include more communities and additional books. To date, more than 1,000 grants have been awarded to communities in the U.S. to host Big Reads since the program's 2007 national launch. (NEA)

For more information, download the Flier (PDF)


The Life and Works of Rudolfo Anaya
April 26th 6:30 PM at Woodward Park Library
University of California, Merced professor Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez will speak on the life and works of the Bless Me, Ultima author.

Dia de los Niños
April 27th 11 AM - 3 PM at Arte Amèricas
Dia de los Niños event will feature Mariachis, folkloric, storytelling, crafts and activities, along with a Bless Me, Ultima tie-in exhibit (at the museum through May) of black and white photography curated by the author.

Bless Me, Ultima Live Theater Performance
Presented May 3rd-11th at the Severance Theater. The California Public Theater Company brings the novel to life. Check the Library website for times and how to get advance tickets.

May 11th 2 PM at Woodward Park Library
Hear about a curandera's (herb doctor) approach to herbal medicines and holistic health.

Owl Pellet Dissection
May 1st-21st Enjoy youth programs throughout the county. Check the Library website for branch locations, dates and times. Kids can dissect pellets to investigate the eating habits of owls.







The Big Read
April 24th to Jun 2nd

Download Flier (PDF)

(559) 600-6227