The New Yorker cartoonist’s graphic memoir is St. Croix Valley Big Read for 2023

New York cartoonist Roz Chast’s award-winning graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is this year’s NEA Big Read in Valea St. Croix.

(Courtesy of ArtReach St. Croix)

The purpose of the program, led by Art Reach St. Croix in Stillwater, is to “have as many people as possible find connection by reading a shared book,” said ArtReach Executive Director Heather Rutledge.

A month of book-themed events kicks off with the NEA Big Read Kick-off and Exhibition Opening from 6-8 p.m. March 30 at ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater. The free event features two simultaneous exhibitions in the gallery space: “Roz Chast: Upper West Side Meets Upper Midwest” and “Art on Caregiving, Aging, Death and Dying.”

At 2 p.m., April 2, Minnesota Public Radio’s Cathy Wurzer will present “End in Mind’s Art of Difficult Conversations” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater. The event will feature improv artist Tane Danger, audience participation and the launch of a new online resource. Registration is required to participate.

Author Richard Leider will present “Everyone Gets Old, But Are You?” at 6:30 p.m., April 19, at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin. Leider is the author of “Who Do You Want to Be When You Get Old?” Registration is required.

Additionally, The Remember Project’s “Fortune Cookies,” a one-act play about memory loss by Bonnie Dudovitz, will be performed throughout the month.

ArtReach St. Croix is ​​one of 62 groups nationwide to receive the $20,000 NEA Big Read grant. This is the seventh year the group has received the grant, Rutledge said.

A portion of the grant will be used to purchase more than 150 copies of Can’t We Talk About Something Nicer? for libraries, Little Free Libraries and other public places, Rutledge said.

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