The Big Read Kicks Off!

Mar 16, 2010


Big Read Logo The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library will launch its Big Read program in celebration of “Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories” with a CU Big Read Kick Off on Thursday, April 1, 2010, at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center at U of I.  Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m.  

The free kick off event will feature music, art, reading, and hors d’oerves.  The “Life in a Border Town” exhibit, showcasing photographs taken by 5th grade school children from Reynosa, Mexico’s Felipe Carillo Puerto Primary School illustrating their daily lives in a border town, will be on display.  The exhibit’s Texas curators Jonathon Searfoss and David Freeman will be in attendance.  In addition, U.S. Representative Naomi Jakobsson will help to inaugurate April 2010 as Champaign-Urbana’s Big Read month.  A limited number of copies of the featured book, “Sun, Stone, and Shadows,” will also be distributed at this kick off event.     

Champaign-Urbana is one of 268 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.  From April 1st to May 5th, the Champaign-Urbana community will celebrate “Sun, Stone, and Shadows” with a full calendar of free events, including film screenings, story times, musical performances, a keynote lecture, and edible book contests.  For a complete listing of all of the local events, please visit

"The University Library is proud to be a part of the Big Read endeavor—the largest literature program in the history of the U.S. government," said Emily Love, outreach librarian for Multicultural Studies at Illinois and coordinator of The Big Read programming in Champaign-Urbana.  

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.  Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Transportation for The Big Read is provided by Ford.  Local support has been provided by Homewood Suites, the University of Illinois Alumni Association, and the Virginia Theatre.

For more information about The Big Read, visit  Visit, or contact Emily Love at or (217) 333-3285, for information about the local Big Read initiative.

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