The Museum will close at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 19th, due to anticipated inclement weather. The Museum will reopen on Sunday, January 20th at 2:00 P.M. Anderson's will be closed on Saturday.

NEA Big Read 2019

Burning Bright by Ron Rash

Massillon Museum is pleased to announce the 2019 Big Read book: Burning Bright by Ron Rash. Burning Bright contains twelve powerful stories spanning a wide swath of time from the Civil War to the present, to paint a portrait of life in the Appalachian mountains, a region Rash’s family has called home since the 1700'sFor twelve consecutive years, the Museum has been honored to be awarded the NEA Big Read grant.

What is the NEA Big Read program?

The NEA Big Read is a community reading program focused on a single book. Massillon Museum and its amazing community partners create innovative and critical programs highlighting the book themes, exposing participants to new genres and ideas. The selected book is offered to the community for free so that many can impart. Since 2008, Massillon Museum has proudly distributed 23,300 books to Massillon and its surrounding communities. 

Click here to learn more about this year's book selection, view media guides, and listen to a Ron Rash podcast.

An excerpt from "The Women Who Believed in Jaguars" from Burning Bright by Ron Rash

"The buildings crumble like sand and blow away. Green-and-yellow birds spangle the sky. Below them wolves and buffalo lean their heads into the river's flow. From the far shore a tree limb rises toward her like an outstretched hand. On it rests a jaguar, blending so well with its habitat that Ruth cannot blink without the jaguar vanishing. Each time it is harder to bring it back, and the moment comes when Ruth knows if she closes her eyes again the jaguar will disappear forever. Her eyes blur but still she holds her gaze. Something comes unanchored inside her. She lies down on the bench, settles her head on her forearm. She closes her eyes and she sleeps." 


Call for Photographs: Looking at Massillon Photography Exhibit

Looking at Massillon Exhibit Description:
Massillon Museum seeks contemporary photographs of Massillon in all facets of life and landscape to be featured in an original exhibition in the Fred F. Silk Community Gallery.  Any individual may submit entries under the submission guidelines outlined below.

This exhibit will be presented in conjunction with the 12th annual NEA Big Read program and its corresponding exhibition, Looking at Appalachia.

Location: Silk Room Gallery

Exhibit Dates: March 23- May 4, 2019

Submission Guidelines:

  • All photos must be submitted in jpeg format via a Submittable form, which can be found here:
  • Entrants may submit up to three photographs, with the understanding that only one may be accepted for the exhibit. Photographs not selected for print will still be on view via an iPad application located in the Fred F. Silk Community Gallery.
  • Digital submissions are due: Sunday, February 17th at midnight.
  • Entry requirements:
    • 300 dpi Resolution minimum
    • Photograph name, date, title, place of residence
    • Photographs must have been taken within and around the Massillon area.
    • Photographs must have been taken within the past calendar year.
    • Artists must submit photos under one of the following three categories:
      • Women of Massillon (This category honors the 100th anniversary of the Massillon Woman’s Club.)
      • Landscapes of Massillon
      • Life in Massillon
  • Artists will be notified if they are selected the week of February 25th.
  • Selected photos for Looking at Massillon will be printed in an 8 x 10 format and matted by the Museum.
  • Selected photos for Looking at Massillon will be presented to photographers for pick-up the week of May 13 with matting, after the exhibit ends.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

For questions about the Big Read or the Call for Photographs, contact Megan at

Looking at Massillon Crowd-Sourced Photography Exhibition: Meet our Jurors!

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

Roger May  is an Appalachian American photographer and writer based in Charleston, West Virginia. He was born in the Tug River Valley, located on the West Virginia and Kentucky border, in the heart of Hatfield and McCoy country. His photographs, essays, and interviews have been published by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, National Geographic, ESPN, Huffington Post, Oxford American, Le Monde diplomatique, and others. He has also shared work with the ladies from the Carter County Poetry Society in the big room of the Shoney's in Grayson, Kentucky. In February 2014, he started the crowdsourced Looking at Appalachia project. He speaks about his work, about the visual representation of Appalachia, and photographs on commission. He blogs at Walk your camera

Sharon Kasunic Eslich has been Manager of the Massillon Woman’s Club since 2000.  Previously, she was the Executive Director of SARTA and the Public Transit Bureau Chief for ODOT.  She graduated from Massillon Washington High School, has an undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree from Cleveland State University.

 NEA Big Read 2019 program listing coming in March...


Previous Massillon Museum The Big Read Selections:

2018: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

2017: True Grit by Charles Portis

2016: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

2015: Old School by Tobias Wolff

2014: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

2013: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2012: The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

2011: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

2010: The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick

2009: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

2008: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

To learn more about the NEA The Big Read, click here.



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