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  • The BIG READ 2014: INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH by LUIS ALBERTO URREA

    The Big Read Logo Full 225
      

    Into the Beautiful North is the story of nineteen-year-old Nayeli, who lives in Tres Camarones, a Mexican town nearly empty of men, including Nayeli's father, who went north to the U.S. to seek work. Inspired by the classic film, The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli and her three closest friends are commissioned by the new village president, Nayeli’s Aunt Irma, to travel north into the U.S. to bring back men to protect their town from encroaching drug-dealers. In this classic quest tale, Urrea uses humor and compassion to address issues of cultural differences and to depict the many borders in life that both divide and connect. 

    Into the Beautiful North - Book Cover
      

    The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. Santa Monica Public Library is one of 77 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project in 2013/2014. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest. Click here for the NEA's Reader's Guide, Teacher's Guide and Audio Guide for Into the Beautiful North.

    Click here to download our Into the Beautiful North Event Guide. (PDF)

    Haga clic aquí para descargar nuestro Rumbo al Hermoso Norte Guía de eventos. (PDF)

    All programs below are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

    Please note locations for each discussion or event, as several take place in non-library venues.
    For a list of book discussion dates and times, scroll to the bottom.

     
  • THE BIG READ 2014 SPECIAL EVENTS

     Into the Beautiful North - Book Cover

       Into the Beautiful North Book Discussions
    Various Dates and Locations
    Join us for one of our many book discussions between March 29 and May 4. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of all dates & locations.

     Calendar Image - TBR Alfredo Lopez

       The Big Read Kick-Off Celebration
    Saturday, March 29 at 12:30 pm
    Main Library, North Courtyard, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard
    Alfredo López, leader of the Mexican musical group Quetzalcóatl, Isaac Ruben Izquierdo and Jorge Andres Herrera take us on an exciting musical tour of Mexico in an outdoor concert highlighting the richness and variety of traditional Latin music. Pick up a copy of Into the Beautiful North, enjoy some refreshments and start reading!

     Calendar Image - TBR Film Wkshp

       Into the Beautiful North Filmmaking Workshop Series
    PART 1: Saturday, March 29, 2:00-5:00 pm
    PART 2: Wednesday, April 2, 7:00-9:00 pm
    Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue 
    The Echo Park Film Center leads a cinematic exploration of borders in this 2-day workshop series using traditional analog film equipment to make individual short films. Films will premiere during a public screening at the Main Library on April 26. For ages 13 and up. Space is limited. Participants must attend both sessions. Registration required: contact education@smmoa.org or 310-586-6488, ext. 118. Photo: Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo, founders of Echo Park Film Center by Florian Cramer/CC BY-SA 3.0. Click to visit the Museum's workshop page.

     Calendar Image - TBR A Better Life

       The Latin Experience Movie Series: A Better Life (2011)
    Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    Renowned Mexican actor Demian Bichir earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as a gardener in East L.A. who struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give him the opportunities he never had. (98 min) In English and Spanish, with English subtitles.

     Calendar Image - Jennie Cook

       Food and Fiction at the Santa Monica Farmers Market
    Saturday, April 5, 11:00 am
    Pico Farmers Market, Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue 
    Celebrate the flavor of Into the Beautiful North with local author and caterer Jennie Cook (Who Wants Seconds?).  Jennie demonstrates Mexican cooking with seasonal flavors and serves small bites.

     Calendar Image - TBR Toy Theater

       Into the Beautiful North Toy Theatre Workshop
    Saturday, April 5, 2:00-5:00 pm
    Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue 
    In this hands-on workshop, puppeteer and filmmaker Yulya Dukhovney shares cutting, collage and assemblage techniques to create miniature scenes from Into the Beautiful North. For ages 13 and up. Space is limited. Registration required: contact education@smmoa.org or 310-586-6488, ext. 118. Click to visit the Museum's workshop page.

    Calendar Image - TBR Same Moon 

     

    The Latin Experience Movie Series: Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) (2007)
    Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main Street *
    This heartwarming portrait of a family tells the parallel stories of a young Mexican boy who crosses the border after his grandmother dies and his mother who is working illegally in the U.S. in the hopes of providing a better life for her young son. (106 min) In Spanish, with English subtitles.

    Calendar Image - TBR Sin Nombre  

      The Latin Experience Movie Series: Sin Nombre (2009)
    Friday, April 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm
    Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Boulevard *
    Honduran teenager Sayra reunites with her father, which presents her with an opportunity to potentially realize her dream of a life in the U.S. Moving to Mexico is the first step in a fateful journey of unexpected events. (96 min) In Spanish, with English subtitles.

    Calendar Image - TBR OSM Escobar

     

    Orchestra Santa Monica: North & South of the Border
    Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    Join us for a concert by the OSM Strings and guitarist Ricardo Escobar. The musicians, who are active on both sides of the US-Mexico border, also discuss the cultural influences that inform their music.

     

    Calendar Image - TBR Quinceanera

      The Latin Experience Movie Series: Quinceañera (2006)
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm
    Montana Branch Library, 1704 Montana Avenue *
    This ALMA and Independent Spirit Award-winning film examines the life of a 14-year old Latina girl, who becomes pregnant just shy of her 15th birthday and gets kicked out of her home by her parents. Taken in by her great grand-uncle and gay cousin, they each struggle to find their way through life in Los Angeles' rapidly-changing Echo Park neighborhood. (90 min)

    Calendar Image - TBR Gustavo Arellano

      Author Talk with Gustavo Arellano
    Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    Award-winning author and OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano presents a talk on his popular nationally-syndicated column and books ¡Ask a Mexican! and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

    Calendar Image - TBR Magnificent 7  

      Movie Screening: The Magnificent Seven (1960)
    Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    In this classic that inspires Nayeli's heroic quest in Into the Beautiful North, a ragtag group of cowboy mercenaries led by Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen is assembled to protect a small Mexican village from a gang of ruthless bandits. (128 min)

    Luis Alberto Urrea Author Photo  

      Conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea
    Monday, April 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Main Library, Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    Luis Alberto Urrea joins us for a virtual author talk via a web link from his home state of Illinois. Learn more about our acclaimed Big Read author and hear the story behind Into the Beautiful North.

     Calendar Image - TBR Filmmobile

      Echo Park Film Center Filmmobile at SMPL
    Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Main Library, North Entry Courtyard, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    Visit the EPFC Filmmobile to view the short films created during the Santa Monica Museum of Art workshops inspired by the themes of Into the Beautiful North.

    Calendar Image - TBR Ruben M

      An Afternoon with Rubén Martínez and Friends
    Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *

    Writer, musician and Emmy Award-winning journalist Rubén Martínez, writer-performer Raquel Gutiérrez and multi-disciplinary artist Rafa Esparza present a special program of spoken word and music exploring the theme of immigration. Author of Crossing Over and Desert America, Martínez has spent over two decades giving voice to those who imagine a new life for themselves.

    Calendar Image - Latino Lit Panel  

      In Discussion: Latino Literature and Into the Beautiful North
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *

    Marissa Lopez, author of Chicano Nations, moderates this panel discussion on the history of Latino literature, as well as its contemporary incarnations.  Learn about The Big Read author Luis Alberto Urrea’s place in the canon of fiction set in Mexico. Panelists include Daniel Olivas, author of seven books including The Book of Want; Reyna Grande, novelist, memoirist, and author of The Distance Between Us; and Veronica Reyes, Chicana feminist jota poet and author of Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives.

    Calendar Image - TBR Inocente

      Inocente: Documentary Screening & Discussion
    Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    This Oscar-winning documentary short tells the inspiring story of Inocente Izucar, a young Mexican immigrant who found her way out of homelessness with the help of an after-school program that tapped into her artistic talents. A discussion with representatives with Rachel Bujalski and participants of The Mirror Mirror Project, a similar local arts program focused on at-risk youth, follows the screening.

     

    INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH BOOK DISCUSSIONS

    Trained volunteer facilitators lead these free public book discussions. No registration required. Discussions are open to readers of all ages. 

    • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 1201 Third Street Promenade
    • Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main Street *
    • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm - AMF Bay Shores Lanes, 234 Pico Boulevard
      Discussion followed by bowling. Space is limited. First come, first served.
    • Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth Street *
    • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Montana Avenue Branch Library, 1704 Montana Avenue *
    • Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 10:00 am - Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue
    • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm - El Cholo Restaurant, 1025 Wilshire Boulevard
    • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm - SPANISH LANGUAGE DISCUSSION Patio Room, Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue *
    • Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 11:00 am - Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard *
    • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Patio Room, Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue *
    • Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 11:00 am - Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Boulevard *

    * Note: City of Santa Monica facilities are wheelchair accessible. To request a disability-related accommodation, call Library Administration at 310-458-8606 (TDD 395-8499) at least one week prior to event.

    The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Visit The Big Read at www.neabigread.org.

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