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The Big Read kicks off this Saturday!

Apr 14, 2016 02:59PM ● By Melissa Lauren
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County's month-long program, The Big Read kicks off this Saturday. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Big Read broadens understanding of the world and communities through the joy of sharing a good book. The Big Read supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences.

The Big Read Festivities include…


Saturday, April 16, 10 am: Mark Twain on Parade.

Starting at the parking lot of the Bates Legacy Center the parade includes the Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corps, Mark Twain in a horse drawn carriage and the Tiki Barbarians playing Dixieland Jazz. Everyone is welcome to dress as a character from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and march along! Cancelled in the event of rain.

Saturday, April 16, 11 am: Meet Mark Twain.

Mark Twain will share his storytelling skills with visitors of all ages at Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Free with $5 admission for ages 1 and up.

Saturday, April 16, 10 am – 4 pm: Tall Tales Tournament try-outs (ages 8 to 18).

Get on the schedule to audition your wildest original tale. Successful tall tale tellers will be asked to go on to the final rounds: Tuesday, April 26, 10 am at CCM for Elementary School students; Sunday, May 1, 2 pm at Chesapeake Arts Center, 184 Hammons Lane, Brooklyn Park for Middle and High School students. Groups can have their own try-outs and register by April 20 to have a contestant or two in the final rounds.


FOR GROWN UPS who like to DRESS UP!


Sat., April 16, 7-9 pm: Twain on Twain at Annapolitan Bed and Breakfast

We’re pretending it’s around 1880. Sales for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer have picked up. Our featured entertainment, Mark Twain, has become world famous.  The gathering is catered with European delights in homage to Twain’s previous book Innocents Abroad. Live music will be provided by Maggie Sansone. FREE PARKING at Trinity Church across West Street. Period attire is encouraged for all! $20.

Saturday, April 16, 2 to 5 pm: Race Through History at AACC.

Mark Twain Explains Himself, followed by 4 local speakers: Chris Haley from Maryland Archives, Gretchen Huntley from Community Action Agency, Patricia Omana from Centro de Ayuda, Rhea Leonard from Archbishop Spalding High School. For educators and community leaders. Please pre-register through www.ccm.org. Moderated by The Hon. Ellen Moyer and Dr. Deborah Wood.


Other Race Through History discussions and events to follow including:


Sunday, April 17, 10-11 am: Mark Twain and the Jews at Chesapeake Children’s Museum.

Mr. Twain (portrayed by Charles Kiernan) reflects on prejudice and humanitarianism. A keen observer of human characteristics and interactions, his first-hand knowledge of anti-Semitism has been shared in writings and speeches. Travel with him through his life’s journey from a pre-Civil War childhood in a southern village along the Mississippi to his later world travels and international connections. Appropriate for ages 10 to adult. $5 includes museum admission.

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30–8:30 pm: The Skin You Live In for Teachers at CCM.

Find out how to use everyday objects to explain and explore skin color differences with your children. Preregistration is required. $25.

Wednesday, April 27, 2-3:30 pm: The Skin You Live In at Chesapeake Children’s Museum.

Hands-on workshop for ages 7- 12 about the complex but simple topic of skin color. $8 per child. Free for accompanying adults.

Tuesday, May 3, 2:30–4 pm: Understanding Implicit Racism at AACC, Arnold Campus.

Explore the roots of racism and if it is possible for people to override unconscious prejudiced attitudes and behaviors. Register with Dr. Jerina Wainwright. 410-777-2467. Free.

Saturday, May 7, 7 to 9 pm: Lead On, Harriet! at CCM.

Meet the famous conductor on the Underground Railroad and take a “ride” to freedom. This program has been recognized by the Four Rivers Heritage Area and the Emancipation Day Commission for its merit in teaching about an important chapter in state and national history. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Advance registration is required. $10.

Sunday, April 17, 2 to 3:30 pm: Mark Twain Rambles On at St. Martin’s in the Field Church and School, Severna Park.

The author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (played by Charles Kiernan) shares his boyhood memories, reflects on the newspaper publishing business, recalls life on the Mississippi and, of course, tells a tale about frogs. Mostly, though, he rambles on about the river. Appropriate for ages 6 to 106. Suggested donation: $10 adults, $5 students, benefits St. Martin’s playground fund and CCM.

Sunday, April 17, 4:30 to 6:30 pm: Visit with Mark Twain at Annapolis Bookstore.

35 Maryland Avenue. Parking suggestion: park for free on weekends in the garage on St. John’s St. & Calvert St., or along King George St. More parking hints at: http://www.annapolis.gov/government/city-departments/transportation/parking#residential Photo opportunity! Civil War era music – minstrel songs and Negro spirituals - by Bob Friedman. Free event.

Sunday, April 17, 7-9 pm: Book Club reception for Mark Twain at CCM.

FREE for area book clubs – please reserve ahead, especially to help with refreshments: 410-990-1993.

Monday, April 18: Mark Twain in person (Charles Kiernan)

11 am: Annapolis Senior Center, 119 S. Villa Ave, Annapolis. Plenty of free parking. 1–2:30 pm: South County Senior Center, 27 Stepney Lane, Edgewater. Includes book discussion. 3-4 pm: Genesis Health Care Spa Creek Center, 35 Milkshake Lane. School groups welcome.


Library events


Monday, April 18 – May 20: Pick a Picket

Come in any time during library hours (9 am to 9 pm most days) to decorate a picket to add to the fence inside Maryland City - Russett Community Library. 3501 Russett Common, Laurel.

Wednesday, April 27, 6:30 pm: Read-along at Crofton Community Library.

Families that read together succeed together! Share The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain with your children and join a librarian to discuss this book and participate in fun extension activities. 1681 Reidel Road – off of Rt. 424, Davidsonville Road, Crofton.

Tuesday, May 3, 5 pm: “Who Wouldn’t Want to Paint a Fence?” 

Explore Tom Sawyer’s World Annapolis Regional Library Do you think life has changed in the last 150 years? Come explore what life was like for Tom Sawyer and his friends in the 1800’s. Reading the book is optional. For elementary age students. 1410 West Street, Annapolis.

Wednesday, May 4, 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Book Discussion at West County Library (Odenton)

Share your musings on this American classic with other readers, ages 10 and up. We’ll compare our own childhood adventures with Tom’s, and ponder the present and future for our community’s children. The book discussion is free and open to the public. 1325 Annapolis Road.

Sat.-Sun., April 23-24, 2016: Whitewash Weekend:

"At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration." Join the community in proving that "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." There will be volunteer projects throughout the county - planting, cleaning, painting, and more, coordinated by the Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County. Or start one of your own! Volunteers at CCM will be planting gardens as part of GreenScape with the City of Annapolis on Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm. Girl Scout Juniors must register in advance ($8) to complete the Gardener badge. All others, ask what’s needed.

Saturday, April 30, 8:30 am-1:30 pm: Whitewash Weekend 2 with Comcast Cares at CCM

Teen and adult volunteers register with http://www.comcastinthecommunity.com/ Saturday, April 30: 5-8 pm costume making. Volunteers are needed. Anyone needing costume help for a Big Read event should call to make reservations. Donations are appreciated. At CCM.

Saturday, April 23, 10am-4pm: Tom Sawyer Day at Hancock’s Resolution

Hancock’s Resolution is one of the few places in the mid-Atlantic region that still whitewashes rather than paints the frame buildings on the farm. We need volunteers, ages 8 and up, wearing caps, grubbies (old clothes), and eye-protection (recommended), to help us whitewash. All other materials provided. This is a traditional activity on old farms, made famous by the Mark Twain scene, “The Glorious Whitewasher” in the book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Other farm chores you can try out: haul water from the pump, churn butter, split rails. Cancelled in cast of rain. Pre-registration is preferred: 410-255-4048. http://www.historichancocksresolution.org/

Saturday, April 23, 4 pm: Alastair Moock

in concert – singing a celebration of childhood. At Chesapeake Children’s Museum, outdoors, weather permitting. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Alastair is a songwriter committed to celebrating the roots of American music while knocking down the walls between different audiences, genres, and musical traditions. Today, his audiences range from adults to preschoolers, and he plays everything from theaters to nightclubs to schoolrooms. Like his boyhood hero, Woody Guthrie, Moock believes in the power of music to reach all people — young and old, far and wide. $5 includes museum admission, ages 1 and up.

Wednesday, May 4, 10-11:30 am: Book Discussion - How Has Childhood Changed?

For parents and grandparents at Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Free with $5 museum admission. Reserve childcare in advance for $5 per child.

Friday, May 6, 8 pm: Movie Under The Stars

“Tom Sawyer” at Park Plaza Shopping Center. Outdoor showing of the 1973 movie with Johnnie Whitaker in the starring role and Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. 550 Ritchie Highway, enter from B-A Blvd. Sponsored by the Merchants’ Association of Park Plaza.

Saturday, May 7, 8:30-11:30 am: Together Again, Old Fashioned Group Games at CCM

for teachers, scout leaders, parents, and other youth activity organizers. Refresh your memory of traditional group games and learn some more. MSDE approved for childcare providers. Registration is required. $30.

Saturday, May 7, 12-3 pm: Aunt Polly’s Picnic at CCM. Music by: The Weems Creek Jammers.

Bring your own picnic. Make your food without using electricity! Special recognition will be given to foster / adoptive / honorary parents and guardians to honor all the Aunt Pollys of today. Live to Tell the Tale speakers are welcome to share personal stories of narrow escapes at 2:30 pm.

Sunday, May 8 (Mothers’ Day), 1-4 pm: Annearrundel County Free School

Visit a genuine one-room school house – with a few modern upgrades to keep you comfortable! The docent will share artifacts and stories about schooling the old-fashioned way. 1298 Lavall Drive – Take Rt. 450 west from Annapolis Mall to Davidsonville, left on Rutland Road, left on Lavall. Also available by appointment to scouts and other groups: 410-222-5050.

Tuesday, May 10, 10 am &1 pm: The Trial of Muff Potter in the Anne Arundel County Courthouse.

Performed by the King William Players of St. John’s College in the county’s historic courtroom. The audience is encouraged to come dressed as the villagers. (Still looking for 6 men to be jurors – not a speaking part.) Appropriate for ages 10 to adult. Additional times will be added with enough interest from groups.

Saturday, May 14, 1:30–3:30 pm: Outdoor Adventuring at Chesapeake Children’s Museum, Sunday, May 15, 1:30–3:30 pm: Outdoor Adventuring at Chesapeake Children’s Museum

Get outside for a scavenger hunt, outdoor games, and nature crafts. $8 per child, ages 6 to 9 years. Pre-registration is appreciated. No charge for accompanying adults.

Wednesday, May 18, 12 noon: Green Junkyard Band (Vocal Trash) “Think Before You Throw it Away!” at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

Children have always found playthings even long before there were toy stores and video games. This band takes things that might otherwise be thrown away and turns them into musical instruments! Advance tickets. $9.50 for Kdg-6th grade; Free for teachers. http://www.artsonstage.org/show.asp?show_id=284

Friday, May 20: Mark Twain

appearances at schools, nursing homes, Senior Centers 10 am Book Discussion with Mark Twain Pascal Senior Center 125 Dorsey Road Glen Burnie 3 pm Meet Mark Twain at Sunrise of Annapolis, 800 Bestgate Road Please call if you would like to schedule a visit with Mark Twain (Stephen Hollen).

Friday, May 20, 7-9 pm: Reception for Mark Twain with Book Club Members at CCM.

Clubs must reserve in advance: 410-990-1993. Contributions of refreshments are appreciated.

Saturday, May 21, 9-11 am: (Model) Raft Building & Launching at CCM.

We’ll make a scale model river with plastic sheeting. Mark Twain will stroll and tell tales. $5 for ages 1 and up includes museum admission.

Saturday May 21: Adult seminars on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

led by St. John’s College tutors (faculty)  St. John’s College McDowell Hall, 9:30 am coffee and check-in, 10-11:30 am seminars in classrooms 12 & 14.   Pre-Registration is required for the seminars at www.sjc.edu/programsandevents/bigread. Box lunch is available for advance purchase at $12; picnic tables outside McDowell Hall.

1:30 p.m.  Mark Twain speaks,

McDowell, the Great Hall at McDowell Hall St. John’s College


Saturday, May 21 at 3-5 pm: 1907 Reception and Mark Twain performs at Md. State House

Help to re-create the historic occasion of Mark Twain’s actual visit to Annapolis in 1907. Call the Annapolis Opera, 410-267-0087 for an appointment for a costume rental in the weeks prior.

Take a photo with Mark Twain outside at Lawyers’ Mall for a nominal fee. Music by Maggie Sansone on hammered dulcimer.

Saturday, May 21, 7 pm: Mark Twain, Storyteller at CCM

As Mark Twain would say, “Doors open at 6/12. The trouble will begin at 7.” Recommended for ages 6 and up. Advance tickets are encouraged. $5.