This fall, the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts will participate in The Big Read, celebrating A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. The center, which is marking its fifth year with the initiative, aims to connect approximately 2,000 New Jerseyeans to the book and to each other through a two-month celebration, featuring a lecture series, performances, art installation sites, storytelling workshops and more.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. To date, more than 1,100 grants have been awarded to communities in the U.S. to host Big Reads since the program's 2007 national launch.
For more information on The Big Read or to have your own A Farewell to Arms book group, call Noreen Scott Garrity at 856-225-6306.
The calendar of events is as follows:
Family-Friendly Kick-Off Celebration
Thursday, Sept. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Exploring Hemingway!,” held in conjunction with Camden 3rd Thursday events. Camden County Library’s Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch. The celebration will include interactive stories of adventure for all ages by masterful storyteller Kyle Jakubowski, arts and crafts projects for the whole family, library card sign-ups, and much more.Storytelling Session
Saturday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. “Stories of Adventure.” Camden County Library’s Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch. Children will delight as Jakubowski, a resident of Audubon and a 2005 graduate of Rutgers–Camden, tells stories of adventure and leads them in a follow-up art activity.
Speaker Series in the Stedman Gallery
Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 12:15 p.m. “Ernest Hemingway and the Art of Composition.” Tyler Hoffman, a professor and chair of the Department of English, will explore two key stylistic devices that structure Hemingway’s writing: repetition and omission. He also will reveal what Hemingway learned from Gertrude Stein in Paris about literary method, what future minimalist writers learned from him, and what all of this has to do with icebergs.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 5:30 p.m. “Ernest Hemingway’s Fish.” Robert M. Peck, senior fellow at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will discuss Hemingway’s assistance in collecting fish for an academy research project in the 1930s. Peck recently returned from a trip to Cuba – where he was accompanied by two of Hemingway’s grandsons and a number of Hemingway scholars – to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hemingway’s receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, as well as the 90th anniversary of Hemingway’s collecting of fish for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
One True Sentence Installation Sites
Participants of all ages are invited to write their “one true sentence,” contributing to the ever-growing installations in both the Stedman Gallery lobby and Camden County Library’s Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch. Often faced with writer’s block, Ernest Hemingway – as quoted from his memoirs – once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” The theme of finding truth persists in many of Hemingway’s works. Seeking, finding, and expressing truth even in the simplest ways can be therapeutic. This is the inspiration and foundation of the One True Sentence project.
Additional events and arts education programs, such as a storytelling tour with Jakubowski and an art residency in Camden schools, are planned. Dates and participating schools are yet to be determined. For the most up-to-date listing of events, visit rcca.camden.rutgers.edu.
The Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts was once again named a grantee of The Big Read thanks to a $13,500 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant. The center is one of only three organizations from New Jersey to be selected for the upcoming year, and one of only 77 organizations to earn the nod nationwide. For more information about The Big Read, please visit NEABigRead.org.
Camden County Library’s Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch and the Stedman Gallery are located on the Rutgers–Camden campus. For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit: camden.rutgers.edu/resources/getting-to-campus.