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NEA Big Read Returns with TRUE GRIT

The Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, in partnership with the Columbus Museum and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, is pleased to announce a series of NEA Big Read events in celebration of Charles Portis’ classic tale of vengeance in the west, TRUE GRIT.

Presented in coordination with the Museum’s current exhibitions ANSEL ADAMS: THE MASTERWORKS and THE IDEA OF WEST, along with the Symphony’s upcoming THE WILD, WILD WEST Family Concert, the Libraries hope to have the whole Chattahoochee Valley reading and thinking about the mythology of the American West and its importance to our cultural heritage and identity.

A wide variety of programming has been planned to help celebrate this unique American literary classic.

KICK-OFF CELEBRATION HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED TO FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 AT SUNDOWN. featuring the Chuckwagon Cinema and Readin’ Rodeo: A fun free evening for the whole family will take place on the lawn of the Columbus Public Library on Friday November 2 as we present a showing of the 1969 John Wayne classic movie version of True Grit (1969, Rated G). Mr. Wayne won an Oscar for his legendary portrayal of the irascible U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn in this wildly funny adventure. Attendees will be able to rope up a free copy of the novel and there’ll be some games for the young’uns and refreshments to buy. The movie will begin about sundown. Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road. FREE BOOKS – copies of True Grit will be distributed at the movie (while supplies last).

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONSANSEL ADAMS: THE MASTERWORKS and THE IDEA OF WEST. Now open at the Columbus Museum are these two thrilling photography exhibitions that explore all aspects of the western mythos. Ansel Adams’ landscapes have become the classic portrayal of the unfettered wilderness still present in our county in the 20th century; his works are juxtaposed with those of three modern photographers – Jeremiah Ariaz, David Taylor and Will Wilson – who explore the more personal aspects of those who live in the vast realm west of the Mississippi River. Now through November 30. Exhibits are free. Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road.

MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHERS – The three photographers (Jeremiah Ariaz, David Taylor and Will Wilson) featured in THE IDEA OF WEST exhibit will participate in a Roundtable Discussion to talk about their work in the exhibit and the interaction of American themes and visions presented in their work and others. Thursday October 25, 6:00pm. Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road.

COLUMBUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FAMILY CONCERTTHE WILD, WILD WEST. Maestro George Del Gobbo leads the Columbus Symphony on this fun-filled musical adventure featuring the music of Elmer Bernstein (from the movie True Grit) and selections from the American classics “Rodeo” and “Billy the Kid” by Aaron Copeland. Library staff will lead the narration, and there will be plenty of family activities in the lobby before the concert. Sunday October 28, 4:00pm. RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Tickets $20 ($10 for students, $5 for children ages 0-12). Tickets available at the RiverCenter Box Office.

AUTHOR JAY JENNINGS – Jay Jennings, senior editor of the Oxford American magazine and editor of Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany, will bring his unique insight into the reclusive Mr. Portis to Columbus for a very special public lecture. He is also known for his award-winning non-fiction work Carry the Rock: Race, Football and the Soul of an American City about the 2007 season of the Little Rock Central High School football team on the 50th anniversary of the integration battles at their school. Mr. Jennings free public lecture will be Thursday November 1, 7:00pm in the Columbus Public Library auditorium. Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.

ART LECTURES – Two esteemed art historians will share their perspective on the mythology of the American West, using both the Museum Exhibits and the novel True Grit as a catalyst for their comparisons.

  • Dr. Emily Burns, Auburn University – Dr. Burns considers thematic intersections with appropriations of the American West as a flexible metaphor in Franco-American exchange in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Tuesday October 2, 12noon, Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton. Please bring a lunch or you may purchase a lunch for $10 by contacting the Museum’s education department at edu@columbusmuseum.com.
  • Dr. Claire Black McCoy, Columbus State University – Open Range: The West and the American Imagination – Through an exploration of images of the American West drawn from paintings, photographs and cinema, Dr. McCoy will discuss the creation of the mythology of the West and its role in shaping American aspirations and character. What did the open range and endless possibility mean to Americans… and what did it cost? Does the West still matter? Wednesday November 7, 12noon, Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton. Please bring a lunch or you may purchase a lunch for $10 by contacting the Museum’s education department at edu@columbusmuseum.com.

PUBLIC BOOK DISCUSSIONSSmoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway, will be the location for two food-themed book discussion led by Chattahoochee Valley Libraries staff, plus our regular Page Turners Book Club will discuss the novel at its November 10th meeting. All are welcome!

  • Thursday November 1, 6:00pm, Smoke Bourbon and BBQ (hosted by the Columbus Public Library Adult Services staff, please contact 706.243.2687 for more information).
  • Saturday November 3, 2:00pm, Smoke Bourbon and BBQ (hosted by the Mildred L. Terry Public Library staff, please contact 706.243.2782 for more information).
  • Saturday November 10, 1:00pm, Page Turners Book Club, Mildred L. Terry Public Library, 640 Veterans Parkway (please contact 706.243.2782 for more information).

TRUE GRIT (2010, Rated PG-13) – Our Monday Night Movie series shows the recent Coen Brothers re-telling of the tale of Mattie Ross avenging the death of her father. Monday October 29, 7:00pm, Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road.

WESTVILLE AT THE LIBRARY! – The talented Interpreters from Historic Westville will give demonstrations and answer your questions about frontier life in the nineteenth century. Saturday September 29, 2:00pm, North Columbus Public Library, 5689 Armour Road.

MURDER IN THE STACKS! – The North Columbus Public Library hosts this western-themed WhoDoneIt in which you will help solve the crime! Please call 706.748.2855 to reserve your spot! Saturday October 27, 6:00pm, North Columbus Public Library, 5689 Armour Road.

HOOKS & NEEDLES CROCHET & KNITTING CLUB – Round up those needles, pardner, ’cause there’s some western-themed purlin’ goin’ on! We’ll work on crafts inspired by our NEA Big Read book. All skill levels welcome! Saturday November 3, 3:00pm, North Columbus Public Library, 5689 Armour Road.

START SOMETHING NEW – MIXOLOGY 101 – Learn how to make some the West’s favorite cocktail concoctions at this drinkable feast. We’ll use imitation liquors to learn, then you can take the recipes home to try with the “real” stuff.  Saturday November 10, 2:00pm, North Columbus Public Library, 5689 Armour Road.

Columbus is one of 79 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read from September 2018-June 2019. A national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Local sponsors include the Muscogee County Friends of Libraries, the Columbus Museum and the Columbus Symphony. Media Partners include the Ledger-Enquirer, WRBL News 3 and iHeartMedia.

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