Morenci library wins Picturing America grant 07.28.10

Written by David Green.

Picture this: a small town library applies for a $2,000 grant to be awarded to 30 libraries from across the country.

Then picture this: the small town library wins the grant.

Finally, picture this: the small town library turns itself into a big city art museum.

That’s only part of the picture as Stair Public Library prepares to launch its winning grant proposal for a Picturing America project.

The library learned last month that it was among only 30 libraries in the country to win a grant for programming related to its collection of Picturing America art posters—the American Library Association and National Endowment for the Humanities project that promotes a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation of American art and history.

“Kym Ries [Morenci Area High School art teacher] came up with the idea of highlighting all the Picturing America art that relates to New York City,” said library director Colleen Leddy.

Ries started thinking about possible student art projects that relate to the art depicted in the Picturing America posters. Those works would be put on display at the library.

“I titled the project ‘Picturing New York...in a tiny Midwest town,’ and we began planning activities and events that would tie in with that theme,” Leddy said.

Those events include a repeat performance of the Paul Keller Trio—playing all New York tunes—and a book signing and talk with New York author Ned Vizzini whose book “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” has been made into a movie with a release date of Sept. 24.

Those two events are planned for Saturday, Nov. 13, which also happens to be National Gaming Day, an event the library has participated in for the last three years.

“We don’t want to miss out on that, so we’re planning to add some games played in New York City such as Skullsey,” said Leddy.

The “New York, New York” art show will be on display in November and December and the library will also attempt to stock a small art museum store with items to sell for Christmas gifts.

Refreshments will include lox and bagels, black and white cookies and other New York-inspired foods.

“It will be an action-packed day, starting at 10 a.m., but we’re picturing a good time for everyone,” Leddy said.

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