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.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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