Hosting its fifth annual NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley, ArtReach St. Croix is one of 75 organizations nationwide awarded a prestigious grant to host NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
“Station Eleven” is the chosen book for 2019, exploring life before and after a global flu pandemic leads to the collapse of modern society. Weaving together several different stories, the book primarily centers on a crew of resilient performers in a traveling symphony, who perform Shakespeare plays and pre-collapse music for the small, isolated communities of a dystopian future. With the structures of modern civilization stripped away, the book celebrates the strength of people determined to preserve what was best about the world.
To kick off a month of guest speakers, book discussions and related programs, ArtReach is excited to present the St. Croix Valley’s Traveling Symphony! On Sunday, March 31st, the symphony will feature a trio from St. Croix Jazz Orchestra, and on Monday, April 1st, artists from the Festival Theatre will perform Shakespearean scenes. These performers will visit grocery stores, coffee shops, libraries and more to bring random acts of art into the Valley!
“This is an opportunity to bring art into unexpected places,” shares Larry Neumann, Clarinetist from the St. Croix Valley Jazz Orchestra. “I’m excited to see how people respond to live music in a grocery store or on the street!” Jason Richards of Festival Theatre says, “The actors are excited to bring Shakespeare off the stage and into people’s daily lives for this mini-tour, and to show audiences how these classic theatre pieces continue to be so relevant in our modern world!”
More details about the stops on the symphony’s two-day tour will be posted on the ArtReach St. Croix Facebook page and on stcroixsplash.org soon. Don’t miss these “moments of transcendent beauty and joy!”
Copies of “Station Eleven” are available throughout the valley. Find them in local libraries or purchase a copy from Valley Bookseller in Stillwater or Chapter2Books in Hudson with a 15% discount. You can also borrow a Read & Release copy from Art-Reach St. Croix. When you’re done, bring it back to ArtReach or pass it along to the next reader!
For more information about NEA Big Read visit ValleyReads.org. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.