Cochran, Georgia

Big Read Coming to Cochran in April

In News on March 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded Middle Georgia College $7,500 to host a Big Read project in Bleckley County in April.

According to the NEA, the Big Read is “an initiative…designed to restore reading to the center of American culture” by funding and sponsoring community activities related to a work of literature.  MGC was one of 76 not-for-profit organizations selected nationwide to host the Big Read, with over $1 million in grants awarded in 2011.

The Cochran-Bleckley Big Read will focus on award-winning author Tim O’Brien’s collection of Vietnam-era stories, The Things They Carried.  Events will include a keynote address, public film showings, small-group discussions of the book, the MGC International Festival, a memoir writing workshop, a student writing contest, and more.

Dr. Crystal O’Leary-Davidson, Chair of the Division of Humanities at Middle Georgia College and the grant’s author and coordinator, said, “O’Brien’s collection is a perfect choice to promote the value of reading. The Things They Carried is not only about the effects of war on the individual but also the power of storytelling as a way to better understand ourselves.”

Local organizations partnering with the Middle Georgia College Big Read initiative include Bleckley County High School, The Tessie W. Norris Cochran-Bleckley County Public Library, the Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce, and the Bleckley Arts Alliance.  Events and activities are planned and coordinated by faculty and staff from Middle Georgia College and Bleckley County High School, as well as the Friends of the Library and the Chamber of Commerce.

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

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