Liberal Arts joins national literacy campaign

8/22/2007 7:00:00 AM

The College of Liberal Arts is collaborating with local, regional and national groups for this year's "Big Read." A 2004 report from the National Endowment for the Arts, titled Reading At Risk, identified a critical decline in literary reading among American adults. A Big Read project highlights the value and joy of reading, and simultaneously provides shared experiences and common ground for dialogue or engagement through fine literature.

As part of the shared experience, the public is invited to a free showing of the 1966 film version of Ray Bradbury's classic novel, Fahrenheit 451. The movie will be presented at Wingfield Park (1st and Arlington) in downtown Reno on Friday, August 24, at 7:30 p.m. It's the official kick-off event for "Northern Nevada Reads", in which a variety of events revolving around Fahrenheit 451 will take place.

Presentation of the film is made possible in part by the College of Liberal Arts. Dean Heather Hardy commented, "It is our pleasure to join this partnership that encourages literacy and helps restore reading as one of the central activities of American culture."

Directed by Francois Truffaut and starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner, the film has been acclaimed as a modern classic in the vein of Brave New World and 1984.

Set in a future electronic age, all books are banned and firemen must keep fires burning at 451 degrees – the temperature at which paper burns. Moviegoers will enjoy free popcorn and a chance to watch this thought-provoking film outdoors on Wingfield Park's big screen (please bring low-back chairs or blankets, and dress warmly).

In addition to the film showing, the College's Hilliard Endowment is sponsoring a lecture by noted Bradbury historian Sam Weller on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. (location to be announced). Weller will be heard on KUNR (88.7 FM) that same day at 4:00 p.m.

The "Northern Nevada Reads" project is part of the national "Big Read" sponsored by the National Endowment on the Arts in partnership with Institute of Museums and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

Other key partners in "Northern Nevada Reads" are: Washoe County Library System, Carson City Library, Northern Nevada Literacy Council, Washoe County School District, Nevada Humanities, Sierra Arts, City of Reno, KNPB Channel 5, The Estipona Group, Reno Fire Department and Friends of Washoe County Library.


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