For more information contact CCAC Public Relations
PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will kick-off a month-long series of outreach events designed to promote literacy, reading and community engagement with a free community event, The Big Read in Pittsburgh, held Thursday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The event will follow recognition of the initiative from Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Mr. Ravenstahl has proclaimed February 28, 2013, “Big Read Day” in the city of Pittsburgh. In the proclamation, CCAC and 17 partners are recognized for their participation in the national Big Read program through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Big Read in Pittsburgh is a project of the CCAC One College…One Community initiative, an innovative partnership among CCAC and local school districts, libraries, correctional facilities and other organizations focusing on the discussion of a novel and its themes. The initiative focuses on Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, the book selected for this year’s The Big Read program. Centering on the experiences of a deaf man, McCullers’ first novel gives a voice to the forgotten and mistreated amidst the racially charged atmosphere of the Depression-era South. Debuted to great acclaim in 1940, the novel has endured, with McCullers’ story of the personal search for redemption and beauty just as relevant today as when it was first published.
Courtney George, PhD, director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, will be the keynote speaker at the kickoff for The Big Read in Pittsburgh which also features live music from the Lee Robinson Trio. The event is free and open to the public; those individuals interested in attending should RSVP by February 21 to 412.469.6301 or OneCollege@ccac.edu.
The Big Read, a program of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of a number of selections from U.S. and world literature. CCAC is one of 78 organizations nationwide—and the only one in Pennsylvania—to receive the grant this year.
Throughout March, students in several Allegheny County high schools and English and history students at CCAC will be studying the book. The students will also participate in essay, poetry, art and project contests. Libraries will host book discussions and film screenings. CCAC faculty and administrators will also facilitate book discussions among inmates at the State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh and residents at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and Renewal Inc.
Besides CCAC and the August Wilson Center, the One College…One Community partnership includes the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Imani Christian Academy, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Monroeville Public Library, North Urban Pathways Charter High School, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pleasant Hills Public Library, Renewal Treatment, Inc., Shuman Detention Center, State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh, Steel Valley High School, University Prep 6–12 Milliones, West Mifflin High School, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Woodland Hills High School.
About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 155 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond.