For the fourth year in a row -- UMass Boston's WUMB Radio has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to manage a Boston-area Big Read project. This year we'll be celebrating Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies.
We expect nearly two dozen local Boston organizations, schools & libraries as well as UMass Boston departments will be producing in excess of 30 activities and events in celebration of the book. These activities will include book discussions, movie showings, lectures and much more. We'll also be distributing free Reader's Guides, Teacher's Guides, Audio and some copies of the book.
A complete list of all events already confirmed and open to the public can be found here.
What music would the Mirabel sisters have listened to alongside their family and friends? In a special Internet channel of music from the Dominican Republic in the 1950s, you’re transported back to that time and place. You can listen to our special Dominican Music Internet Channel here 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Listen to the music while you read the book!
Join us on Sunday, May 6th from 1:00-5:00pm for a Butterfly Festival in celebration of In The Time of the Butterflies. This is a free event and is open to the public.
Butterfly Festival Tentative Schedule - more details will be posted as soon as they are available
1pm-5pm: Arts & Crafts Table - Ages 5 and up
1pm-5pm: Domestic Violence Information Tables: Casa Myrna, Harbor COV - Communities Overcoming Violence
1pm-5pm: Food and Beverage Sales - Traditional Dominican snacks, sweets & beverages
1pm-2pm: Discussion Panel. Topic: The Social and Political Climate of the Dominican Republic represented in the book In the Time of the Butterflies. Panelists include: Joseph Bettencourt, UMass Student & DR Historian, Sussy Santana, Dominican poet & author, Leonardo Nin, Dominican poet, author & linquist and Minelys Sanchez, Dominican journalist & narrator.
1:30pm-3pm: Movie, In the Time of the Butterflies - hosted by UMass Boston’s student organization Casa Latina
2pm-3pm: Berklee College of Music – Dominican Music. Colombian Bassist and Arranger Esther Rojas leads her quartet comprised of Voice, Piano, Bass, and Percussion. Members are from a host of Latin American countries including Ecuador, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. They have individually performed with an array of world-renowned artists such as Issac Delgado, Maria Mulata, and Cesar Lopez, as well as in countless Berklee events. Their repertoire on this occasion will consist of traditional Cuban and Dominican songs, as well as a selection of well-known Latin American standards.
3:15pm-4:45pm: Movie, In the Time of the Butterflies - hosted by UMass Boston’s student organization Casa Latina
3pm-4pm: Chelsea High School Book Presentation (details, to be announced)
4pm-5pm: Wrap Up
What is The Big Read?
WUMB Radio is one of more than 100 organizations nationwide, recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to participate in that organization's annual initiative called The Big Read. It is the largest federal reading program in U.S. history. The Big Read answers a big need. Reading at Risk a 2004 NEA Report, found that book reading has reached an all time low among Americans of every age.
What will Boston read?
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez transports us to the Dominican Republic in the mid-twentieth century when the country struggled under the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. A work of historical fiction, the novel honors the lives of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal, who became icons of freedom and women’s rights when they were assassinated in the autumn of 1960 for their role in the underground movement against Trujillo’s regime.
The murders of the three women inspired many in the Dominican Republic to denounce the regime publicly and marked the beginning of the end for Trujillo’s reign. In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated the date of the Mirabal sisters’ deaths, November 25, as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us. Whether you're a regular reader already or making up for lost time, thank you for joining The Big Read and The Big Read:Boston.
Who are the Boston Partners?
In addition to WUMB Radio, primary partner includes the Adams Street Branch of the Boston Public Library. We expect dozens of other local organizations to also join in this initiative.
How you can participate - if you are part of a local organization
Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read: Boston receive reader's guides, teacher's guides and audio for the novel, an online organizer's guide for running a successful Big Read program, and access to a comprehensive Big Read Web site. We try to provide as many partners as possible with copies of the book for their library or to distribute to participants.
Each local initiative is expected to include events, such as read-a-thons, book discussions, film screenings, library & museum exhibits, and other interesting activities aimed at avid and lapsed or reluctant readers alike. More details here soon. Support may available to a number of greater Boston organizations to help organize associated events. This support may be in the form of copies of the book, a facilitator to lead book discussions or materials needed for their events. All events will be publicized on WUMB Radio and through this Web site, as well as on the NEA's web site if the event is open to the public.
WUMB Radio and its partners and collaborators are planning several special initiatives throughout the four months from February 2012-May 2012, to include a radio program, book giveaways and more. Other events will be coordinated by WUMB's various partners. All events will be listed on the Web page in a special calendar. The list of Big Read: Boston events and activities will be available on this Web page and as part of a daily calendar heard on one of WUMB's many radio transmitters throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
How you can participate - if you are an individual.
Plan to read the book. Copies of the book along with Reader's Guides & Audio Guides produced by the NEA will be available at participating libraries and community organizations across Boston. A list will be available after the first of the year.
Schools and Libraries
We particularly would like to see schools and libraries to get involved. Boston-area libraries will be able to receive a few copies of the book as well as copies of the Reader's Guides to distribute, and Audio Guides to lend. An online teacher's guide is available here:
WUMB Radio and the University of Massachusetts Boston are delighted to have the opportunity to take the lead role in organizing this exciting initiative. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help out, e-mail our Big Read: Boston Project Director Patty Domeniconi at email@example.com.
The primary organizer of The Big Read:Boston is WUMB-FM at the University of Massachusetts, Boston's National Public Radio (NPR) music station which has been on the air since 1982. Broadcasting over a network of five radio stations in Eastern Massachusetts with a reach of 1.6 million people, the station maintains a worldwide presence via the internet. WUMB is dedicated to produce, acquire and disseminate high quality, diverse and valued public service programming to audiences interested in expanding their horizons and perspectives, and who enjoy the arts and cultural experiences. The radio station serves as a local and national resource for cultivation, promotion and preservation of various genres of folk music.
The National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts - both new and established - bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. For more information, please visit www.imls.gov.
Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries. Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit www.artsmidwest.org.