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College to Host “The Big Read”

For more information, contact: Jerilynn Williams, Montgomery County Library Director, (936)760-6944; jwilliams@countylibrary.org; or Dr. Janice Peyton, director of the Montgomery College Library, (936) 273-7392; Janice.Peyton@lonestar.edu

College to Host “The Big Read” – a Staged Reading & Panel Discussion Celebrating Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

On Friday, May 25, the Montgomery County Memorial Library System and Montgomery College, in partnership with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, will host an Asian Pacific American staged reading and author discussion regarding the universal themes of The Joy Luck Club-- intergenerational conflict, cultural preservation, immigrant experience--and how it shapes their literary works.

This unique program will take place in the Montgomery College theatre (Building D) from 7-9 p.m.

Actors of the Houston production of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club will open the program with a staged reading of key scenes from the book. Featured panelists include:

Jenni Rebecca Stevenson, who is director of the Houston production of The Joy Luck Club, and founding director and board president of Nova Arts Project. Stevenson is a native of Houston, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in music and theatre from the Moores School of Music and her master’s degree in directing from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre. She has worked with numerous arts organizations around town, including the Ebony Opera, Ars Lyrica, AURA, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Co., the Sandra Organ Dance Co., the Allegro Ballet, and Theatre Under The Stars.

Grace Rodriguez, who is former editor of Rice Addict Magazine, contributor to Asian Focus/Houston Chronicle, and current APIA editor and columnist of the Minority Executive Report.

This event is part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. The initiative is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens. Twenty-eight sponsoring entities throughout the Houston Metropolitan area have developed programs based upon Amy Tan’s work that encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

The staged reading and author discussion is open to the public, free of charge, with a reception to follow the presentation.

About National Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the President to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week.  In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843.

The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) (www.apaha.org) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the State of Texas. APAHA's organizational mission is to promote the Asian/Pacific American culture, heritage, and awareness through celebration events and educational outreach - leading to the month of May, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

Montgomery College is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000 or visit montgomery.lonestar.edu.
NHMCCD, among the five largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center.