The Stars Come Out In February for The Big Read

This February, the library is celebrating the 1920s as we unite in reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald for The Big Read 2013, a community reading initiative.

Choose from around 30 events that capture the essence of the book and are geared toward readers and nonreaders alike. Catch star performances by Angela Hagenbach and Queen Bey, two of Kansas City’s most notable jazz women. Hagenbach has a velvety voice and striking stage presence. Attendees will be wowed Feb. 24 when Hagenbach and her KC book club bring the novel to life through music, props and ‘20s-era costuming. Queen Bey will take on the persona of Bessie Smith, a popular blues singer of the 1920s. Her one-woman show on March 2 is directed by Kevin Willmott, award-winning director and professor at the University of Kansas.

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow will be at the library – well, kinda. We’ll be showing the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby, in which they star, on Feb. 1. See literary stars Laura Moriarty, acclaimed author of The Chaperone, and Kirk Curnutt, a literary critic who will discuss the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. View a complete schedule of events for The Big Read here.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.