NEA Big Read 2021

Circe by Madeline Miller

The 2021 NEA Big Read book selection is Circe by Madeline Miller. For fourteen consecutive years, the Massillon Museum has been honored to be awarded the NEA Big Read grant. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

What is the NEA Big Read program?

The NEA Big Read is a community reading program focused on a single book. Massillon Museum and its amazing community partners create innovative and critical programs highlighting the book themes, exposing participants to new genres and ideas. The selected book is offered to the community for free so that many can participate. Since 2008, Massillon Museum has proudly distributed more than 27,000 books to Massillon and its surrounding communities. 

Click here to learn more about this year's book selection from the National Endowment for the Arts and to access discussion questions.

Click here to visit the author's website.

 

Book Pick-Up Locations

Pick up your free copy of Circe at the following locations while supply lasts. It is advised to call your preferred location before visiting to ensure copies remain available and to learn more about each location's COVID-19 visitor protocols. This list will be updated as additional pick-up locations receive their copies of the book.

Massillon Museum

Massillon Public Library - Main & Branches

Boys and Girls Club of Massillon

John Strauss Furniture

Kent State University at Stark Library

Kimberly & Co. Salon & Boutique

Kozmo's Grille

Lepley + Co. - Massillon

Massillon Family YMCA

Massillon Parks & Recreation

Massillon Senior Center

Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce

Muggswigz Coffee & Tea - Canton & Lake Cable

North Canton Community Building YMCA

Pampered Nails Boutique

Paul and Carol David YMCA

Perry Sippo Library

Schalmo Family YMCA

St. George Greek Orthodox Church

St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church

Towpath Trail YMCA

Tremont Coffee - Massillon & Perry

Walsh University Library

 

2021 NEA Big Read Programs

March 6 through March 28

Alana Cartwright: Clothed in Resilience

Studio M during regular Massillon Museum hours (Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646).

Clothed in Resilience is a visual diary expressing journeys to reclamation after experiencing sexual violence. Mature content.

Free admission.

Saturday, March 27, 1:00-3:00pm

2021 NEA Big Read Kickoff

Massillon Museum

Pick up your free copy of the 2021 NEA Big Read book selection, Circe by Madeline Miller! While you are at the Museum, explore the galleries and visit the Massillon Public Library Bookmobile on First Street. Enjoy a virtual Greek dance performance by the St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers, shared to MassMu's Facebook and YouTube at 1:00pm, and a virtual Myths and Monsters exhibition walk-through shared to MassMu's Facebook and YouTube at 2:30pm, as part of this year’s kickoff!

Free.

View the St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers performance by clicking here.

View the Myths and Monsters exhibition walk-through by clicking here.

March 27 through April 25

Click here to view a virtual exhibit walk-through on YouTube

Myths and Monsters

Fred F. Silk Community Room Gallery during regular Massillon Museum hours. 

Students grades K-12 in Northeast Ohio exhibit two-dimensional artwork inspired by the myths and monsters present in Circe by Madeline Miller.

Free admission.

March 27 through May 23

Women of Resilience

Aultman Health Foundation Gallery during regular Massillon Museum hours.

This invitational exhibition features 25 women artists and is co-curated by Priscilla Roggenkamp, Patricia O'Neill Sacha, and Judith Sterling. Women of Resilience is part of local and national celebrations of the centennial of women’s suffrage, and explores a variety of topics in traditional and nontraditional media. These topics include: personal empowerment, overcoming barriers, the capacity to recover, acts of strength and resistance, and healing the world and ourselves.

Free admission.

March 27 through May 2

Virtual Film Screening: The Genius of Marian

The Genius of Marian is a visually rich, emotionally complex story about one family’s struggle to come to terms with the changes Alzheimer’s disease brings. After Pam White is diagnosed at age 61 with early onset Alzheimer’s, life begins to change. As she loses the ability to write, Pam’s eldest son, Banker, begins to record their conversations, allowing her to share memories of childhood and of her own mother, the renowned painter Marian Williams Steele who died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. The Genius of Marian paints a powerful contemporary portrait of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art and the meaning of family. Learn more about the film at https://geniusofmarian.com/

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Sunday, March 28, 1:00-5:00pm

Creating a Greek Amphora Workshop & Raku Firing Demonstration

Ceramics Studio at the Massillon Museum

Join the Massillon Museum in creating your own Greek amphora. Learn and experience traditional clay and firing techniques through the MassMu Ceramics Studio, and find out more about its open public studio use from the studio co-managers. This workshop will include a raku firing demonstration. Participants must be age 11 or older. Children must have adult supervision.

$15/MassMu member. $20/non-member. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Available March 28 onward

Star Myths: Discover the Constellations and the Greek Mythology Behind Them

Walsh University Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube

Head to the Walsh University Library's social media accounts starting on Sunday, March 28, for a video that dives into the Greek mythology behind the constellations in the night sky.

Free. Watch the video by clicking here.

April 3 through April 25

Andrea Palagiano: Self-Conscious

Studio M during regular Massillon Museum hours.

Explore Andrea Palagiano's mixed media paintings inspired by Greek mythology.

Free admission.

Available April 3 at noon onward

Click here to view on YouTube

Do the Mu: Greek Drama Masks

Massillon Museum Facebook, YouTube, and website

Join instructor Brayden Frascone as you learn how to craft your own Greek drama mask! This video will be shared to the Massillon Museum's Facebook, YouTube, and website at noon on Saturday, April 3. A supply list is available here.

Free.

Saturday, April 3, 12:00-2:00pm

SUPER Girl Power Workshop with BeYoutiful Weirdo

708 Tremont Avenue SW, Massillon, OH 44647

Use your strengths to reach your goals. The girls participating will decorate a mirror with their strengths and what they are good at using heart, crown, and star cutouts. Learn more about BeYoutiful Weirdo at beyoutifulweirdollc.com.

$10/child. Click here to register.

Monday, April 5, 5:00-6:00pm

Virtual Teen Book Discussion of Madeline Miller's Circe

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Young Adult Department of the Massillon Public Library will host a book discussion just for teens about the 2021 Big Read book selection of Circe by Madeline Miller. This free program is open to teens in Grades 7 through 12.

Free. For more information or to register for this program, please contact Susan Baker at bakersu@massillonlibrary.org or 330-832-9831 x321.

Tuesday, April 6, 6:00-7:00pm

Herbal Medicine and Remedies with Elizabeth Rickard, DN

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library will host “Herbal Medicine and Remedies” featuring guest speaker Elizabeth Rickard, DN, of Allium Naturopathic Health in Orrville, Ohio. The main character of Circe is an immortal sorcerer who uses plants and herbs to protect herself and others from harm. Learn from a medical professional how you can do the same! Registration is required and begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 23, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 4. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the program.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org.

Tuesday, April 6, 8:00-9:00pm

Star Party with Stark Parks

Tam O'Shanter Park (shelter at upper parking lot), 5055 Hills and Dales Rd. NW, Canton, OH 44708

There are 5 planets that are visible to the naked eye from Earth. Spend the evening learning about the stars and planets. This a drop-in style class and participants are asked to bring their own equipment if desired. This program is weather dependent and will be cancelled if it's cloudy or raining. More information is available at starkparks.com.

Free.

Thursday, April 8, 10:00-11:00am

Click to view this program on YouTube.

Mythology 101 with David Harding

Massillon Museum Zoom.

Join David Harding for this introduction to mythology featuring references to characters and events surrounding Circe. The program will introduce the various deities and then focus on their stories and the Odyssey.

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Thursday, April 8, 6:00-7:00pm

Women of Resilience Panel Discussion

Massillon Museum Zoom

A virtual panel discussion with curators will reflect on assembly of an invitational exhibition featuring 25 women artists, co-curated by Priscilla Roggenkamp, Patricia O'Neill Sacha, and Judith Sterling.

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Friday, April 9, 4:30-5:00pm

Little Read Book Discussion: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library Children’s Department will host a book talk about Rick Riordan’s The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo Book #1). This program is in conjunction with the 2021 Big Read and is affectionately being called the Little Read. This book talk is open to children in Grades 3 and up and will also include a craft. Register online at www.massillonlibrary.org. Then, come into the Children’s Department to pick up your packet of supplies for the craft. Registration is required, begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 27, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 6. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the program.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org or call the Children’s Department at 330-832-9831 x317.

Available from April 10 at 2:00pm onward

Mother or Monster: Historical Contradictions of Women in Ancient Greece

Walsh University Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

This pre-recorded presentation, with Walsh University history professor Dr. Rachel Constance, explores Madeline Miller’s complex presentation of the Goddess Circe, contextualizing it within the history of ancient Greece’s fraught relationship with their goddesses. A deeply patriarchal society, Greek women were largely relegated to the home, unable to participate in civic life; but outsized female figures appear prominently in Greek literature and mythology, suggesting a distinct tension between how women were expected to be versus how they acted.

Free.

Monday, April 12, 6:00-7:00pm

Book Discussion of Circe with Sherie Brown

Zoom

Join MPL Director Sherie Brown for a virtual book discussion surrounding Circe by Madeline Miller.

Free. Email brownsh@massillonlibrary.org to register.

Monday, April 12, 6:30-8:30pm

Book Discussion of Circe with Women's Impact, Inc.

Women's Impact Zoom

If your career and friendships are important to you, you will find like-minded women at Women's Impact, a group of 150 professional women in the Greater Stark County Region. Visit us at WomensImpactInc.com.

Free. Register at WomensImpactInc.com.

Tuesday, April 13, 12:00pm

Podcast Interview with Andrea Palagiano

MassMu Facebook and Website

MassMu staff members will interview Studio M artist Andrea Palagiano about her exhibition, Andrea Palagiano: Self-Conscious, which features mixed media paintings inspired by Greek mythology. This podcast interview will be shared to MassMu's Facebook and website at noon and will remain available.

Free.

Tuesday, April 13, 6:00-7:00pm

Book Discussion of Circe with Massillon Public Library

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library will host a book discussion of the 2021 Big Read book selection of Circe by Madeline Miller. Pick up a free copy of the book at MPL or at The Big Read Kickoff Event at MassMu on March 27! Registration is required and begins at 8:00 a.m. on March 30 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 11. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the program.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org.

Wednesday, April 14, 6:00-7:00pm

Book Discussion of Circe with Stark Library

Stark Library Zoom

Discuss the 2021 NEA Big Read book selection, Circe by Madeline Miller. Stop in the Perry Sippo Branch of the Stark Library to receive a free copy!

Free. Click here to register.

Thursday, April 15, 10:00-11:00am

Circe...Victim or Victimizer? Discussion with David Harding

Massillon Museum Zoom

Join discussion leader David Harding as we look at Circe from various angles, trying to establish whether her positive traits outweigh the negatives.

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Thursday, April 15, 5:00-6:00pm

 


Click to view this program on YouTube

 

History Happy Hour with Dr. Niall W. Slater

Massillon Museum Zoom

Join Dr. Niall W. Slater, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek at Emory University, as he discusses Circe in Greek history. Learn how to make a beverage inspired by Madeline Miller's book before Dr. Slater's presentation begins!

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Saturday, April 17, 10:00-11:00am

Book Discussion: If Circe Were a 21st-Century Woman...

Soroptimist International of Canton/Stark County Zoom

Soroptimist International of Canton/Stark County is part of a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. This discussion will leverage the book's theme of access to knowledge as a means of finding and seizing one's power to compare Circe's struggles with those women face in present day.

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Sunday, April 18, 1:00-3:00pm

Weaving Workshop with Allison Smith

Massillon Museum Zoom

Join instructor Allison Smith for an all-ages weaving workshop inspired by Circe’s weaving prowess! A supply kit will be available for pickup at the MassMu front desk the week prior to the workshop.

Free for MassMu members. $5/non-member. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Monday, April 19, 4:00-5:00pm

Gender and Power in Greek Mythology

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library will host “Gender and Power in Mythology” featuring guest speaker Jennifer Larson, Ph.D., of Kent State University’s Modern and Classical Language Studies Department. Dr. Larson will look at the 2021 Big Read selection of Circe by Madeline Miller in a light of relationships between goddesses and mortal men and how they upset the traditional gender roles for Greek men and women. This discussion is intended for high school and up and is for a general audience. Registration is required and begins at 8:00 a.m. on April 5 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 17. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the program.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org.

Tuesday, April 20, 6:30-7:30pm

Virtual Poetry Read-In

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library invites the public to the 15th annual Poetry Read-In on Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Bring your original poems, share the work of your favorite poet, or just sit back and enjoy listening to some great recitations. Each reader’s poems must be family-friendly and limited to five minutes. Registration is required, begins at 8:00 a.m. on April 6, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 18.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please contact Laura Klein at 330-832-9831 x319, kleinla@massillonlibrary.org, or visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org.

Wednesday, April 21, 8:00-9:00pm

 

 

Click to view this program on YouTube

 

One-Act Plays Presented by the Washington High School Struts & Frets Drama Club

MCTV Channels 11 & 611 and Massillon Museum Facebook & YouTube

The Washington High School Drama Troupe, the Struts and Frets, will perform original One-Act Plays written by local playwrights and based on the novel Circe. The One Acts will be directed by and star senior members of the drama club. 

This year's original One-Act Plays are:

-Teacher's Vet by Judi Christy
-Divine Dolls by Brayden Frascone
-Divine Interventions by Craig Joseph
-Scylla & Circe by Gwendolyn Kiste

Free.

Thursday, April 22, 7:00-8:00pm

Madeline Miller 
Photo Credit: Nina Subin

 

2021 NEA Big Read Keynote with Madeline Miller

Live via the Massillon Museum's Facebook and YouTube. A recording of the keynote will remain available through May 5. 

Madeline Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times bestseller. Her second novel, Circe, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Before she was a novelist, Madeline Miller earned her BA and MA in Classics from Brown University, and she taught and tutored Latin, Greek, and Shakespeare to high school students for more than fifteen years. Her novels have been translated into over twenty-five languages, and her essays have appeared in the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Lapham's Quarterly, and on npr.org.

Free. Ask questions of the author in the comments of the live Facebook or YouTube feeds, or email your questions in advance to sltoole@massillonmuseum.org.

Friday, April 23, 6:00-7:00pm

Mythology Trivia with Kahoot!

Massillon Public Library Zoom

Via Zoom and the Kahoot! app, the Young Adult Department of the Massillon Public Library will host a trivia session in conjunction with the Big Read. The trivia is geared toward teens, but anyone is welcome to play! Participants will need to download Zoom and the Kahoot! app, which are both free. The trivia topic for this special Kahoot! trivia session is Greek mythology!

Free. For more information or to register for this program, please contact Susan Baker at bakersu@massillonlibrary.org or 330-832-9831 x321.

Friday, April 23; Saturday, April 24; and Sunday, April 25, at 7:00pm each evening

NEON Theatre Presents: Scenes from Circe

NEON Theatre Facebook and YouTube

A total of six scenes from the book Circe will be released via Neon Theatre's Facebook page over three consecutive nights, two per night.  Each scene has a different cast, and there are twelve total cast members.  Spearheaded by Kelly Andrews, NEON Theatre's executive director, and Greg Pierot, director of photography, this production features all-female directors, and all-female lead actors. NEON Theatre received an ArtsinStark grant to facilitate this production, which was rehearsed and recorded in the Museum's Gessner Hall, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. 

The performances will be released at 7:00pm on April 23, April 24, and April 25, and will remain available. For more information, visit Neon Theatre's Facebook page, @neontheatreco.

Saturday, April 24, 11:00am

Soapmaking Workshop with Dawn Rohrer

Massillon Museum YouTube

Join Dawn Rohrer for a pre-recorded workshop as you take natural ingredients that are nourishing for your skin and make soap inspired by Circe’s work with herbs and magic! Pick up a supply kit at the MassMu front desk the week prior to this workshop.

$15/MassMu member. $20/non-member. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061. The video will remain available to participants after the workshop date.

Monday, April 26, 6:00-6:30pm

Little Read: Magical Creatures Storytime

Massillon Public Library Zoom

The Massillon Public Library Children’s Department will host a “Magical Creatures Story Time.” This program is in conjunction with the 2021 Big Read and is affectionately being called the Little Read. Children from Pre-K to Grade 2 and their favorite adults are invited to this special story time where they will learn about some magical and mythical creatures! Register online at www.massillonlibrary.org. Then, come into the Children’s Department to pick up a special surprise before the program! Registration is required, begins at 8:00 a.m. on April 11, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 24. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the program.

Free. To register for this program or for more information, please visit our website at www.massillonlibrary.org or call the Children’s Department at 330-832-9831 x317.

Tuesday, April 27, available at noon

 

Click to view this program on YouTube

 

Brown Bag Lunch: Early Greeks of Stark County

MCTV Channels 21 & 621 and Massillon Museum Facebook & YouTube

William H. Samonides, PhD, will present "Early Greeks of Stark County" during the Massillon Museum's April Brown Bag Lunch.

Free.

Wednesday, April 28, 11:00am-12:00pm

Book Discussion of Circe with Christina Haas

Zoom

Join discussion leader Christina Haas for a virtual discussion of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Free. Click here to register or call 330-833-4061.

Wednesday, April 28, 5:00-6:00pm

Click to view this program on YouTube

Presentation: The Violentization of Circe with Dr. Bob Humphries

Walsh University Zoom

Join Dr. Bob Humphries from Walsh University to learn more about the violentization of Circe in Greek mythology.

Free. Click here to register.

Friday, April 30, 7:00pm

 

Virtual Play Reading: Shadow of the Son by Kate Leslie

Massillon Museum Facebook Live

Enjoy a live virtual play reading of Shadow of the Son by Kate Leslie. Directed by Brayden Frascone and starring a cast of local actors, this reading will stream live on the Massillon Museum's Facebook page and will then be available on the Museum's Facebook and YouTube pages through May 2.

Eternity is a long time to live by someone else's rules.

Artemis is the goddess of the moon, and her brother, Apollo, is the god of the sun. Expected to live up to the ideals of the immortals, Artemis longs for freedom and the opportunity to chart her own path. But when she builds her own world away from that of her father, has she simply traded one set of impossible expectations for another?

Free.

Available May 1 at noon onward

 

 

Click to view this program on YouTube

 

Do the Mu: Mini Greek Amphoras with Kat Francis

Massillon Museum Facebook, YouTube, and website

Join instructor Kat Francis to create miniature Greek amphoras using Sculpey or other materials. These amphoras will be a perfect gift for Mother's Day! 

What You'll Need:

-A mason, baby food, or other small jar

-Two small packs of terra cotta-colored Sculpey

-Black paint markers

Free.

Saturday, May 1, 1:00-4:00pm

Women of Resilience Exhibition Reception

Massillon Museum (121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, OH 44646)

A reception will be held for the artists and the public in celebration of the Women of Resilience exhibition, co-curated by Priscilla Roggenkamp, Patricia O'Neill Sacha, and Judith Sterling. 

Free. Click here to register for your timed ticket, or call 330-833-4061.

 

 

 

Previous Massillon Museum NEA Big Read Selections:

 

2020: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

2019: Burning Bright by Ron Rash

2018: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

2017: True Grit by Charles Portis

2016: In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

2015: Old School by Tobias Wolff

2014: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

2013: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2012: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

2011: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

2010: The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick

2009: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

2008: The Call of the Wild by Jack London


To learn more about the NEA The Big Read, click here.

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


In addition to the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, the Massillon Museum would also like to recognize Rotary Club of Massillon, Massillon North Canton Elks #2029, and One Tiger, Inc., for their generous contributions toward the purchase of copies of the NEA Big Read and Little Read books in 2021. Thank you!
 

 
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