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It’s time for The Big Read “Read & Release”

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The Grapes of Wrath Cover

The Grapes of Wrath CoverLook for copies of “The Grapes of Wrath” around the St. Croix Valley

STILLWATER—Keep a look out for The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Copies of the book will be popping up in Little Free Libraries, coffee shops, tap rooms and Laundromats throughout the lower St. Croix Valley this month courtesy of ArtReach St. Croix as part of this year’s The Big Read in the St. Croix Valley. Those who come across the book are encouraged to read it, then pass their “Read & Release” copy along to another reader, leave it in a public place, return it to ArtReach, or even keep it!

Numerous copies of The Grapes of Wrath and book club kits can be found in circulation at local libraries throughout the St. Croix Valley. Additionally, anyone interested in purchasing their own copy of The Grapes of Wrath can receive a 15% discount at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater.

Each of the copies purchased by ArtReach is marked with a sticker explaining the “Read & Release” program, along with suggestions for releasing the copy back to into the public. The books are being distributed in advance of The Big Read programs, which begin April 1 with a kick-off event featuring Charlie Maguire at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson. Visit for dates and times of The Big Read events, which will be hosted throughout the lower St. Croix Valley.

ArtReach St. Croix announced in May 2015 that it was one of 75 organizations nationwide to receive a grant to host The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This year, programming will focus on themes related to the Steinbeck classic The Grapes of Wrath. As a regional arts agency serving the lower St. Croix Valley, ArtReach is working in collaboration with arts organizations and libraries throughout the six county region to provide a range of activities associated with featured book. Theatre, music, visual arts, book discussion and other activities will take place in April 2016.