The Big Read is a program run by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 7 Stages is pleased to be a recipient of The Big Read Grant. This season 7 Stages will focus on Edwidge Danticat’s Brother I’m Dying.

Join us during The Big Read for festivals, local author panels, and discussions all culminating with a finale highlighting your own artistic responses to the book.

Big Read Events:

AJC Decatur Book Festival – September 3-4, 2016
Downtown Decatur
Join us at the Decatur Book Festival and sign up to be a part of our book club at either of our events:

  • Sneak Peek at Tara Ochs’ White Woman in Progress
    Saturday, Sept. 3 from 12:30 – 1:15 PM
    Decatur Recreation Center Studio
    See a sneak peek of a new production premiering at 7 Stages Theatre March 17 – April 2, 2017. Inspired by performer Tara Ochs’ experience portraying civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo in the Oscar nominated movie ‘Selma’, this one-woman show opens a conversation surrounding privilege, race and social justice today. Ochs’ play chronicles the process of stepping over that gap, of daring to be vulnerable and responsible, and in doing so challenges everyone, especially white Americans, to take action against injustice.
  • Big Read Artistic Response: Edwidge Danticat’s Brother I’m Dying
    Saturday, Sept. 3 from 2 – 2:30 PM
    Sycamore Family Zone
    7 Stages Theatre is proud to have been awarded an NEA Big Read grant three years in a row! This grant supports our educational outreach programming through schools and libraries, where teaching artists assist young and old in responding artistically to great works of literature. This year at the Festival we will be handing out free copies of the novel ‘Brother, I’m Dying’ by Edwidge Danticat. Members of our Youth Creates teen ensemble will read selections from the novel and perform their own artistic responses to the novel, and teaching artists will be on hand to engage interested youth and adults in beginning the process of creating their own personal artistic responses. These responses will be crafted throughout the theatre season with workshops led by teaching artists, and will be showcased in a live presentation in May of 2017.
  • Bound To Travel: a literary travel agency, by Amy Rush
    Bound To Travel is a literary travel agency-inspired, immersive, one-on-one interactive theatrical experience. The “agency” specializes in sending clients to their next literary journey through a NEA Big Read selection, based on a special blend of questions that may sound obscure, but will most assuredly point them in the correct direction to the book shelf. Once the interview process is complete and the book is selected using the agency’s unique algorithm, the two travel agents present to the client a “Live Brochure,” highlighting a key moment in the book. This technology is inspired by toy theater, with puppets that have leapt from the pages of a book.Come sign up for a free appointment with our agents and we’ll be happy to present you with a ticket for your next literary journey!

    Bound To Travel originally was developed for 7 Stages’ Curious (Literary) Encounters in 2015 and was invited to set up shop at this year’s Decatur Book Festival. Amy Rush is a New York-based artist and graphic designer: www.amyrush.com. Performers: Holly Kent, Amy Rush, Pat Young, Jeffrey Zwartjes.

Carapace and Big Read unite for EXILE – Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 from 7-9 PM
7 Stages Theatre
Carapace, a local story telling event, and 7 Stages Big Read program unite to tell stories related to Edwidge Danticat’s Brother I’m Dying. A curated group of artists will share tales based on the theme, EXILE, and audience members will have the opportunity to share their own stories if they are brave enough to put their name in the hat.

Local author panel discussion – Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 from 7-9PM
Decatur Library
Local Atlanta authors including Jessica Handler, Jamie Iredell, Soniah Kamal, and Ajay Vishwanathan talk about the writing process, how their own writing experiences or influences relate to Edwidge Danticat’s and the art of sharing your own story through memoir or fiction.

Atlanta Talks about immigration – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 from 7-9 PM
Decatur Library
Members of the Atlanta immigrant community, as well as local figures in cities directly affected by immigration come together to talk about the immigration experience and our current local and national policies.

Story Palooza and Book Swap – Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 7-9 PM
Decatur Library
Local writers and community members read a story of their very own that relates to Edwidge Danticat’s own personal experience with family, loss, illness, and immigration. Along side this event, attendees are asked to bring a book whose story has stuck with them to swap for another.

Big Read Finale Exhibit – Saturday, April 22, 2017 from noon to 5 PM
7 Stages Theatre
Students, local artists and members of the greater Atlanta community who participated in our Big Read will perform and exhibit their artistic responses to Edwidge Danticat’s Brother I’m Dying.