UB Hosts Big Read–Edina, What About Only In Bridgeport!

The Big Read

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 has nothing on Only In Bridgeport. From UB:

Big Read returns to Bridgeport in October, hosted by the University of Bridgeport

Big Read, the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)-funded reading campaign held in cities and towns across America, will be held in Bridgeport this fall and is being co-hosted by the University of Bridgeport (UB) and several other institutions, UB officials announced today.

Referred to by some as a “book club on steroids,” Big Read encourages local organizers to select a book that can be read, discussed, and enjoyed in their respective communities. The NEA began the program in 1996 in response to surveys showing that literacy in America is on the decline.

Bridgeport’s Big Read events–including a 24-hour read-a-thon, live performances, and art exhibitions–will run from October 22, 2012 to November 30, 2012. This year’s Big Read selection is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

UB has partnered with several institutions to host the Big Read, including the Bridgeport Board of Education, Barnum Museum, Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council, City Lights Gallery, Cox Media Group, Hearst Media Group, the Bridgeport Library, Downtown Special Services, The Klein, WPKN, and the Bijou Theatre, among others. The NEA awarded Bridgeport Big Read organizers at $15,000 grant to fund the month-long celebration.

An opening reception for the public will officially launch Big Read in Bridgeport and will be held on October 23 at Arnold Bernhard Center on the UB campus.

For more details of the opening and a full list of Bridgeport Big Read programs throughout October and November please go to www.neabigread.org and click the link, “Find a Participating Community.”

Edina Oestreicher, who is the Big Read program director at UB, called Fahrenheit 451 “a perfect book” for the Big Read.

Published in 1953 during the early years of McCarthyism, Fahrenheit 451 sounds a prescient and chilling warning of a future America, where books are outlawed, firemen burn down houses that contain them, and despairing individuals commit suicide by self-immolation. Written after Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), George Orwell’s 1984 (1949), and playwright Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (1952), Fahrenheit 451 is often compared to the three because of its dystopian themes of censorship, scapegoating, individualism and society, and television’s poisonous effect on culture.

“There’s so much to talk about, to explore, debate, discuss. It captures so much about our contemporary society, such as reality television, social media, this 24/7 news feed,” Oestreicher said. “It’s a title that people have read for generations and its timelessness provides a great opportunity for readers of all ages and backgrounds to exchange their perspectives. We’re really excited to co-host the Big Read again this year, and I’m looking forward to a great month with a 24-hour read-a-thon, live performances, lectures, other Fahrenheit 451-related events.”

Bradbury died on June 6, 2012 at 91.

The last Big Read program cosponsored by UB and other organizers was held in the fall of 2010, when the community read The Maltese Falcon.


One comment

Leave a Reply