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The Big Read kickoff is set for Saturday

September 19, 2007

A monthlong celebration to promote reading kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre.

Washington County is one of 117 communities nationwide promoting reading and literary awareness among reluctant readers and nonreaders through The Big Read program, according to the Community Foundation of Washington County, one of the program sponsors.

Sunday marks the beginning of a celebration of author Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." The film version of the novel will be shown at The Maryland Theatre.

Authentic Community Theatre will present a dramatic sketch exploring Lee's inspiration for writing the novel. Rob Hovermale will introduce an original musical composition with vocalist Niki Perini and musicians Diana Gilbert, Lindsey Pompa and Steven Pompa.

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Tickets to the event are free and may be reserved by calling 301-745-5210 or by e-mail at bigread@cfwcmd.org.

The movie is the first in an series of events planned through Oct. 21. A complete schedule of events is available at www.cfwcmd.org. Click on the link to The Big Read.

Included in the events is an art contest for high school students.

Students are asked to base their art on a featured quote from the book. The quote, spoken by Atticus Finch when discussing his defense of Tom Robinson, is "before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

The artwork will be shown at Benjamin Art Gallery, 1303 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown.

Deadline to submit artwork and the opening of the art show is Friday, Sept. 28.

For information and rules, call 301-745-5210.

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