Big Read 2018

Join Art Center East for the Big Read!

Big Read

Union County Big Read Kick-Off
March 2 at 6pm

Join us for the opening of our Museum of Civilization and a Shakespeare Monologue Contest! We expect it to be a high energy evening with fun for all!

Shakespeare Monologue Contest Details:

Community members are invited to participate in a Shakespeare Monologue Contest starting at 6 PM on Friday, Mar. 2, at Art Center East, 1006 Penn Ave, La Grande.

Contestants should prepare a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s plays, using dramatic skills and/or ingenuity to make the monologue memorable. Monologues may be delivered seriously or as a rap song or as a collaborative choral production or accompanied by clogging or using a whoopee cushion—whatever the actor(s) prefer(s). Monologues should last no more than five minutes. A microphone will be provided, if needed. Please keep language appropriate for young audience members.

Contestants should arrive around 5:30 PM to sign up for a slot.

The contest will be judged by three celebrity judges: Steve Clements, Mayor of La
Grande; Grant Turner, founder of the La Grande Shakespeare Company and owner of Looking Glass Books; and Kenn Wheeler, Associate Professor of Theater at Eastern Oregon University.

The contest winner will take home a $25 cash prize, $25 ACE gift card, and a
commemorative Yorick Skull trophy that must be defended or passed on to the victor of the 2019 contest, should such a contest occur. All contestants will receive a $10 coupon for ACE classes.

Big Read

In partnership with Fishtrap, Eastern Oregon University, and key community partners, Art Center East is excited to bring the Big Read to Union County! The Big Read is a community-wide event designed to inspire conversation and discovery through the joy of sharing a good book. Community members are invited to read this year’s book - Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - before or during the Big Read, which kicks off in Union County on March 2 at Art Center East. Free community events will follow through the month of March in both Union and Wallowa counties, including a Museum of Civilization at Art Center East, book discussions, and much more. Start reading now, and stay tuned for more information on Big Read happenings in northeast Oregon at and

The Museum of Civilization

As part of the Big Read, Art Center East will host a “Museum of Civilization,” similar to that depicted in Station Eleven, this year’s featured book by Emily St. John Mandel. Rather than a museum you visit, the “Museum of Civilization” is one you can help build. In the book - a post-apocalyptic novel about art, community, and culture - it showcases items from the lost world, those rendered obsolete but which still hold powerful memories for viewers old enough to have once used them, and a powerful curiosity for those who were born into a world that has no need of them.

ACE’s “Museum of Civilization” will follow a similar theme - filled with objects from our daily lives and the ways we identify with and value them - and we need your help to make it happen! Starting February 1, we’ll accept submissions to the museum, which will be on display at Art Center East from March 2-24 in conjunction with the Big Read and associated events. Read Station Eleven to learn about the Museum of Civilization, and stay tuned to find out more about how and why you should submit to ACE’s version!