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NEA Big Read 2019

Burning Bright by Ron Rash

This year's 2019 Big Read book wasBurning 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. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

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 participate. 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." 

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.

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

David Foster  is a professor of Photojournalism at Kent State University.  David holds a master’s degree in journalism education as well as an undergraduate degree in photojournalism from Kent State University.  In 2006 and 2007, he was named Ohio News Photographers Association Student Photographer of the Year. He has interned as a photographer at the The Columbus Dispatch(Columbus, OH) and the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, OH) and currently lives in Kent, Ohio. He is the co-Author of Tiger Legacy: Stories of Massillon Football. 

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 Events

Big Read Kick-Off

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 3:00 pm-5:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

Celebrate the 2019 Big Read program and pick up your free copy of a Burning Bright by
Ron Rash. Participate in hands-on craft activities such as yarn spinning, loom weaving, and a community paper patchwork quilt project. Enjoy live bluegrass music and refreshments. On view: Photography exhibitions, Looking at Appalachia and Looking at Massillon.

     

“Stark Beauty: Amateur Photography from Appalachia”

Monday March 25, 2019- Thursday April 18, 2019 at Walsh University Br. Edmond Drouin Library, 2020 East Maple St North Canton, OH 44720

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

The Walsh University Library will display amateur photography portraying Appalachia alongside quotes from Burning Bright by Ron Rash. This is a display only.

     

Brown Bag Lunch: Comparison of Regional Gothic with John and Gwendolyn Kiste

Tuesday, March 26, 12:10-12:40pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/ Public/No Reservations

 

 

How does Appalachian literature differ from Southern Gothic literature?

     

Community Gardens 101 Class

Tuesday March 26, 2019, 6:00-7:00pm at Stark County District Library Madge Youtz Branch, 2921 Mahoning Road NE, Canton, OH 44705

Public/ Free/ Registration required at www.starkfresh.org

 

 

Are you interested in growing food but have no space of your own? Learn if being a part of a community garden is right for you.

     

NEA 2019 Big Read Book Discussion - Burning Bright by Ron Rash

Wednesday March 27, 6:00pm- 7:00pm at Massillon Public Library- 208 Lincoln Way E Massillon OH 44646

Free/ Public/No Reservations

 

In conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts 2019 Big Read, on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:00pm, the Massillon Public Library will host a book discussion about the book Burning Bright by Ron Rash. This program is free, open to the public, and does not require registration. Light refreshments will be provided.

     

Nature Myths and Superstitions

Friday March 29, 11:00am – 12:00pm at The Wilderness Center, 9877 Alabama Ave SW Wilmot, OH 44689

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 

There are many stories, urban legends, myths and superstitions about our natural world. Does an Owl call predict a person’s death? Can Wooly Bear caterpillars predict the severity of winter? Learn the facts, and as you do, you will learn some very cool scientific discoveries about these animals and more!

     

Deadline for Submissions: 2019 Poetry and Writing Contest

March 31, 2019 at Massillon Public Library, 208 Lincoln Way E Massillon OH 44646

 

Free/Public/ No Reservations

 

The Massillon Public Library invites all local bards to submit their original poems to be entered into our thirteenth annual poetry contest. Additionally, in conjunction with The Big Read selection of Burning Bright, a book of short stories by Ron Rash, a short story contest for flash fiction (works of up to 1000 words) will also be held.

     

“Burning Bright” Panel Discussion

Tuesday, April 2nd,  5:30pm-7pm at Kent State Stark-Main Hall Auditorium, 6000 Frank Ave NW North Canton, OH 44720

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

Kent State University at Stark's English Outreach Committee invites the campus community and the greater community to a discussion led by a panel of experts. Panelists include historian Dr. Jim Seelye, literary scholar Dr. Amanda Hayes, and author and poet Professor Jessica Jones.

     

Book Discussion

Thursday, April 4th, 5:30pm-6:30pm at Kent State Stark Library (Learning Resource Center), 6000 Frank Ave NW North Canton, OH 44720

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

This book discussion will be led by Sigma Tau Delta, Kent State Stark's English Honor Society.

     

Book Club, Featuring a History of Magnolia Flour Mill by Stark Parks

Thursday April 4, 6:00pm- 7:30pm at

Stark County Library- Perry Sippo Branch, 5710 12th St NW Canton, OH 44708

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

  This month we will be discussing the Big Read 2018 selection of Burning Bright by Ron Rash and Trevor Householder, education programmer from Stark Parks, will share how The Magnolia Flouring Mills, an iconic five-story red mill, has preserved the history of the small town, agricultural communities of Appalachia. Built in 1834 by Richard Elson along the route of the Sandy & Beaver Canal, the Magnolia Flouring Mills remained in the Elson family for 171 years before being acquired by the Stark County Park District in 2005.
     

Gardening Jubilee: CANCELLED

Saturday, April 6, 9:00am-12:00pm at Canton Garden Center, 1615 Stadium Park Dr NW, Canton, OH 44718

$15 admission/Public

 

CANCELLED
Ten separate garden classes, thirty minutes each. Examples of classes include, “Getting started,” “Composting,” and “Planting for pollinators.” For more information, visit www.starkfresh.org.

     

Do the Mu: No Sew Pioneer Rag Dolls with Gary Spangler

Saturday, April 6, 2018, 12:00 pm-2:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

Create your own rag doll without thread or thimble!

     

Film Screening: Appalachian Trail

Wednesday, April 10, 7:00pm-8:30pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

 

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

For more than half of the U.S. population, the Appalachian Trail is less than a day's drive away. Yet despite its proximity to many major cities, few truly know the splendor of this national treasure. National Geographic travels off the beaten track to discover the remote and often unknown corners of the 5-million-step journey.

     

Digital Photography Workshop with Roger May

Friday, April 12, 1:00pm-3:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

$10 members/$12 nonmember

Public/Registration required

 
Looking at Appalachia curator and professional photographer, Roger May, will lead participants through techniques in digital photography with Massillon as subject matter. Walk the streets with Roger, snap some shots, and examine photos together in this two hour workshop.
     

History Happy Hour: Looking at Appalachia Curator Talk with Roger May

Friday, April 12, 5:30-7:30pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

Looking at Appalachia curator Roger May will expand on the exhibition project and its mission to explore the region’s diversity and provide powerful visuals.

     

Digital Photography Workshop with Roger May

Saturday, April 13, 10:00am-12:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

$10 members/$12 nonmember

Public/ Registration required

 
Looking at Appalachia curator and professional photographer, Roger May, will lead participants through techniques in digital photography with Massillon as subject matter. Walk the streets with Roger, snap some shots, and examine photos together in this two hour workshop
     


“Cap off, Art on”: Bottle Cap workshop with artist John Taylor-Lehman

Saturday, April 13, 1:00pm-3:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

 

$6 members/$8 nonmember/Public/Registration required

 


Zanesville artist John Taylor-Lehman will lead a family friendly workshop on bottle cap art inspired by his own body of work on display in the lower level of the Museum. Participants of all ages are invited to create their own bottle cap design and build a whimsical bottle cap caterpillar to take home

     

The Poetry of Ron Rash: Another Perspective

Monday, April 15, 2019, 6pm-7pm at Kozmo's Restaurant, 37 First Street S.W., Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

Although Ron Rash is best known as a prose writer, he is also a gifted poet. This program will examine that side of his writings, with a tilt toward a tie-in with the Big Read book.

     

Recording History Workshop: Interviewing for Posterity with Mandy Altimus Stahl

Wednesday, April 17, 10am-Noon at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free /Public/Registration required

 


Archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl will discuss why oral histories are important and provide online history resources for broader context. She will provide possible questions to ask your subject, what equipment you'll need, and what to do with your interview once it's complete.

     

One Act Plays

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 (7pm-8:30pm) at Massillon-Washington High School, 1 Paul E. Brown Dr., SE, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 


The popular WHS One Act Plays features works by local playwrites. These short plays are inspired by Ron Rash's Burning Bright and performed by WHS Drama Students.

     

Genealogy 101

Saturday, April 20,  12:00pm
Massillon Public Library, 208 Lincoln Way E Massillon, Ohio 44646

Free /Public/No Registration Required

 

 

Do you have Appalachian Roots? Dive into your ancestry and see what you can find!

     

Hungry Turtle Crawl Kids Run

Saturday, April 20, 8:00am at Stark Fresh Food Production and Job Skills Training Farm, 612 Roland Ave NE, Canton, OH, 44704

$5/Public

 

The Hungry Turtle Crawl is presented by StarkFresh whose mission is to improve healthy food access and advance food and farming education to everyone in Stark County.  Each registration fee goes towards their goal to end food insecurities. For more information, visit www.starkfresh.org.

     

Hungry Turtle Crawl 5k

Saturday, April 20,  8:45am at Stark Fresh Food Production and Job Skills Training Farm, 612 Roland Ave NE, Canton, OH, 44704

$25/Public

 

The Hungry Turtle Crawl is presented by StarkFresh whose mission is to improve healthy food access and advance food and farming education to everyone in Stark County.  Each registration fee goes towards their goal to end food insecurities. For more information, visit www.starkfresh.org.

     

Stark Fresh Urban Agriculture Farm Open House

Saturday, April 20,  10:00am-12:00pm at

Stark Fresh Food Production and Job Skills Training Farm, 612 Roland Ave NE, Canton, OH, 44704

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

Explore an active urban farm. See Stark Fresh’s bee and bat houses, Turtle earthenware oven and hoop houses and more! For more information, visit www.starkfresh.org.

     

Recording History Workshop: Interviewing for Posterity with Mandy Altimus Stahl 

Saturday, April 20,  2:00pm-4:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free /Public/Registration required

 


Archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl will discuss why oral histories are important and provide online history resources for broader context. She will provide possible questions to ask your subject, what equipment you'll need, and what to do with your interview once it's complete.

     

Actions Mandate Reactions: An Analysis of “Burning Bright” by Ron Rash

Monday, April 22, 6pm-7pm at Kozmo's Restaurant, 37 First Street S.W., Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

 

This program will focus on the action sequences...whether physical, mental, psychological, or other...and their consequences found in the stories of "Burning Bright."

     

Brown Bag Lunch: Appalachia and the Civil War   

Tuesday, April 23, 12:10-12:40pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/ Public/No Reservations

 

 

Within the region that follows the Appalachian Mountains, there was a civil war within the Civil War...

     

Easy-Peasy Cooking Class

Tuesday April 23, 6:00-7:00pm at Stark County District Library Madge Youtz Branch, 2921 Mahoning Road NE, Canton, OH 44705

Public/ Free/ Registration required at www.starkfresh.org

 

 

Healthy is not a seven-letter bad word. See how easy-peasy healthy food substitutions can be made to create yummy dishes on your own!

     

Open- Mic Read-In

Tuesday April 23, 6:30pm- 7:30pm at Massillon Public Library, 208 Lincoln Way E Massillon OH 44646

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 

Winners will be chosen in three categories: grades 3-8, grades 9-12, and adult. A $75 gift card to Books-a-Million will be awarded to the winner of each category, courtesy of the Junior Friends of Massillon Public Library.

     

 

 

 

Keynote Address with Ron Rash

 

April 25, 7pm, doors open at 6:30pm

at Massillon Museum

 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 

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. Rash will share his process and inspiration behind this year’s NEA Big Read book, Burning Bright.

StarkFresh Seed Library

Friday March 1, 2019- Saturday June 1, 2019  at Multiple Locations

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

For more information, visit www.starkfresh.org

 

 

Free Vegetable and Flower Seeds will be available at several locations throughout Stark County for no cost from March 1st through June 1st, 2019.  Seed Packets were Generously Donated by: Marc’s Grocery Stores, City of Canton Health Department, Motts Greenhouse.

 

 

 

 

Broom Maker's Apprentice Workshop by Hale Farm and Village- CANCELLED

April 27, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

$18/members, $20/nonmembers

Cost covers 1 adult + 1 child

Public/ Reservations Required

 
“What goes into making a broom? Our broom maker uses every last scrap of broom corn to make brooms and brushes to keep the farm tidy. Try out the smallest and tallest brooms you’ve even seen, experiment with natural materials, and make your own duster to take home.”
     

Earth Day Celebration

April 28, 1:00pm-4:00pm at Kent State University at Stark, Campus Center Lot and Pond Area

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 

Enjoy a free, family-friendly afternoon filled with environmental educational activities, nature walks, games, crafts, mock fossil digs, entertainment, giveaways and much more!

     

Big Read Book Talk

Tuesday April 30, 6:30pm- 7:30pm at John Strauss Furniture, 236 Walnut Ave NE, Canton, OH 44702

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 
Relax in the coziest chairs and sofas while discussing themes in the NEA book, Burning Bright with furniture store owner, John Strauss.
     

First Friday, Kentucky Derby Craft

Friday, May 3, 6:00pm-10:00pm in the Canton Arts District

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 
Celebrate the arts of Canton for May’s First Friday. Enjoy a unique craft at the Massillon Museum booth.
     

Do the Mu: Paper Quilling with Lauren and Erin Byrne

Saturday, May 4, 2018, 12:00 pm-2:00pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 


Engage in the fine art of paper quilling with sister educators, Lauren and Erin Byrne!

     

NEA 2019 Big Read Book Event – Screening and Discussion of Documentary "Hillbilly" (2018)

Saturday May 4, 2:00pm at

Massillon Public Library- 208 Lincoln Way E Massillon OH 44646

Free/ Public/ No Reservations

 

In conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts 2019 Big Read, on Saturday, May 4 at 2:00pm, the Massillon Public Library will host a screening and discussion about the 2018 documentary "hillbilly." “Filmed in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, hillbilly uncovers an unexpected set of artists, poets, activists, queer musicians, "Affrilachian" poets, and intersectional feminists -- all unexpected voices emerging from this historically misunderstood region.” (www.hillbillymovie.com)

     

Big Read Closing Concert: Appalachian Afternoon with One Dollar Hat

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 4pm-6pm at Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646

Free/Public/No Reservations

 

Spend an Appalachian afternoon with Northeastern Ohio musicians of the band, One Dollar Hat. This crew will provide a family-friendly concert of traditional Appalachian music and dance, infused with historical tidbits and crowd engagement. Refreshments served. 

 

     

 

 

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.

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


 

 
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