UNCW and community partners kick off NEA’s Big Read

Tuesday 01 November 2022

To promote a community-wide shared reading experience, the UNCW Office of the Arts will launch the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read: Cape Fear Program at a launch event Nov. 10 from 5-7 p.m. at the Main Branch of the New Hanover County Public Library in downtown Wilmington. The title of the featured NEA Big Read book for 2022-23 is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

After light refreshments, there will be a brief introduction to library resources, a discussion of the Homegoing book, and an in-depth workshop led by author Tim Pinnick to explore African American genealogy. Homegoing chronicles the different journeys of two half-sisters born in the 18th century in Ghana through eight generations.

“African American communities across the country can and should become more proactive in collecting, sharing and preserving their stories,” Pinnick said. “Documenting the genealogy of the community is essential to creating a rich and powerful narrative from the perspective of our ancestors who lived it.

Young readers can also participate in NEA Big Read: Cape Fear by reading companion titles such as Crow by Barbara Wright and The Year We Learned to Fly by Jaquelyn Woodson. Visit UNCW Randall Library website for a full list of companion titles for readers of all ages, including Cape Fear Rising! by UNCW faculty member Philip Gerard.

The Cape Fear area is one of 62 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read. A variety of related public and private events are planned through April 2023. For example, the DC Virgo Preparatory Academy, a year-round public K-8 school that was opened by UNCW, will host Wright on November 3 to lead interactive discussions on the books. with fourth, fifth and sixth graders about history, writing and the power of fiction. Sixth graders will receive signed copies of Crow, a work of historical fiction that explores the events in Wilmington, North Carolina, of 1898 through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy who is a generation removed from slavery .

Gerard will visit the Pender County Library for an author’s tour on Saturday, November 5 at 1 p.m. to discuss Cape Fear Rising!, another work of historical fiction based on real events in Wilmington at the turn of the century.
On Friday, January 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m., Kenan Auditorium Presents will perform “One Noble Journey: A Mike Wiley Production”, a solo piece that tells several escape stories of characters born into slavery.

To register for the NEA Big Read: Cape Fear launch event, visit the New Hanover County Library website. To see the full schedule of related events, visit UNCW Office of the Arts NEA Big Read: Cape Fear website.

The NEA Big Read: Cape Fear is presented in partnership with UNCW Office of the Arts, UNCW Randall Library, Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County, Brunswick Arts Council, Brunswick County Library, Cameron Art Museum, Cape Fear Community College, Cape Fear Literacy Council, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, DC Virgo Preparatory Academy, Good Shepherd Center, New Hanover County Public Library, New Hanover County Schools, Pender County Library and Wilmington African American Community Remembrance Project, with support from the National Endowment for Arts.

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

Krissy Vick

About Bradley J. Bridges

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