Camden residents are once again invited to join an avid book club potentially numbering in the thousands, as the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts celebrates A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway through lively discussions and innovative activities in fall 2014.Thanks to a $13,500 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant, the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts has been named a grantee of The Big Read. Participating for the fifth year, 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.
Launched in 2006, NEA’s The Big Read program promotes a lifelong love of reading by uniting communities across the nation in discussion and celebration of one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature.
Rutgers–Camden aims to connect approximately 2,000 New Jerseyeans to the book, A Farewell to Arms, and to each other. It has already begun coordinating efforts with Camden City schools by agreeing to provide hundreds of books to Camden students.
“This will be our fifth Big Read program, and last year’s was the most successful yet! Our Camden audiences really look forward to these annual events,” says Noreen Scott Garrity, the associate director and curator of education for the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts. “We enjoy broad audience participation and host a variety of events geared towards different age groups. They are highly anticipated!”
Beginning the two-month celebration in late September, the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts will host a number of events organized around A Farewell to Arms, including a festive kick-off event, where copies of the book will be distributed; a visual arts component, and distribution of a companion book for young readers. There will also be multiple discussions and a lecture series, plus a family-friendly storytelling series in the Camden County Library’s Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez Downtown Branch, located on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Public programs are free of charge and open to all Camden residents.
A program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, The Big Read offers grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based programs. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title.
The Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts seeks to provide performances, exhibitions, education programs, and community projects, that inspire a full appreciation and enjoyment of the arts, create meaningful opportunities to participate in the arts, advance the central role of the arts in pre K-12 education, and increase awareness of the arts as essential to cultural, economic, and community vitality.
For additional information about The Big Read at Rutgers–Camden, contact Noreen Scott Garrity at (856) 225-6306.