Welcome to the Great Michigan Read!

Welcome to the Great Michigan Read, a free, statewide humanities initiative inviting Michiganians to read and participate in book discussions and events in their hometowns.

This year’s program features Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age by Detroit native Kevin Boyle.

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Great Michigan Read Finale Event

Join the Michigan Humanities Council in celebrating our most successful Great Michigan Read yet with a finale event on June 25 in Traverse City.
The Great Michigan Read is a statewide reading program, partnering with 300 schools, libraries, religious organizations, book clubs, museums and more to create community discussion around a single book. The 2011-12 selected read was Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, written by Detroit native Kevin Boyle.
Arc of Justice tells the story of African American physician Ossian Sweet and the chain of events that occurred after he purchased a home for his family in an all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925. The book brought about a statewide discussion of race, housing discrimination and gentrification, and even more importantly, how these issues are still relevant today.
The Great Michigan Read finale event, held at the Dennos Museum Center, will provide participants and community members in an opportunity to reflect on the conversations and discussions generated by the Great Michigan Read throughout the state over the past year.
This special event will feature discussion by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh and Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle. The Dennos Museum Center is located on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College, and ticket prices are as follows:
Sponsor Reception: 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Location: Sculpture Court
$100 for one ticket or $150 for two (sponsor tickets include admission to the reception and program)
Retrospective Program: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Milliken Auditorium
Featuring Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh and Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle
$30 Advance purchase
$35 At the door
$10 Student
Tickets may be purchased online through this link. Special book clubs rates are available, as well as sponsorship opportunities. For more information on either, contact Amanda West by calling (517) 372-7770 or contacting her at awest@mihumanities.org.
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Traveling Exhibit Continues Tour

As we move into April, the Great Michigan Read traveling exhibit is making it’s way to the Castle Museum of Saginaw. The exhibit will be hosted in Saginaw until the end of the month, then move to the Old Mill Museum (Dundee) for May, and wrap up its tour in June at ARTWORKS: Big Rapids Area Arts and Humanities.
This year’s Great Michigan Read, featuring the “Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age,” has been a hit thanks to our 293 partners throughout the state. If you’d like to get involved, it’s not too late! A small number of books are still available for book kits for Michigan non-profits; an application can be found on the “Partner’s Guide” page. If you’d like to see what’s going on in your area with the Great Michigan Read, visit our “Events” page for partner listings.
For a full list of partners, check out our updated link, featuring an interactive map!

2011-12 Great Michigan Read Partners

 

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Partner Highlight: Charles H. Wright Museum

This month, the traveling Great Michigan Read exhibit, We Don’t Want Them, is displayed at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. The museum is a Great Michigan Read partner and has held numerous events relating to Arc of Justice. In January, the museum’s Sweet trial reenactment was so popular that it will be performed again. Don’t miss your opportunity to see a wonderful acting performance in Dr. Sweet’s Tinderbox, on Feb. 22 at the museum.  For more information, call The Wright museum at (313) 494-5800.
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Book Kit Applications are now Waitlisted

We’ve officially run out of Arc of Justice books (again!). This means that those organizations that apply for book kits will be put on a wait list. We cannot guarantee when books will arrive. You may still apply for the kit, but with the understanding that you may not receive books given our supply. We will continue to keep you updated on our book supply. In the meantime, we are still sending teacher’s and reader’s guides, newspaper inserts, bookmarks and additional materials. The 2011-12 Great Michigan Read continues to be a success, and we’ve now reached 287 partners. Thank you to everyone for making this such a great year!
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Check Out the Events Calendar

This past Saturday, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History held an extraordinary event surrounding the Arc of Justice. A dramatization of the Sweet Trials, poetry reading and panel discussion drew more than 300 to the museum. We have many wonderful programs still this winter surrounding the Great Michigan Read. Check out the Events Page to see a full list.
The museum will also host the Great Michigan Read traveling exhibit, We Don’t Want Them, in February.
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2011-12 Great Michigan Read Partner List Tops 280

Happy New Year everyone! The number of 2011-12 Great Michigan Read partners now tops 280 and registration is still open! Organizations can register online and receive free Arc of Justice materials such as bookmarks, reader’s guides and teacher’s guides. We have a small supply of books still available for those non-profits interested in applying for a book discussion kit. More books should be on their way, so any book kit applications approved will be put on a wait-list if books are not available at that time.
In exciting news, the National Endowment for the Humanities has commissioned an article on the Great Michigan Read for a future issue of Humanities magazine, the NEH bi-monthly print magazine. We’ll keep you posted of when the story will be published.
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Council Awards More Than 4,000 Copies of Arc of Justice

As of today, November 22, we’ve awarded more than 4,000 copies of Arc of Justice to program partners in all corners of the state. As of now, partners requesting free copies of the book will be placed on a waiting list. We anticipate a few more books will become available after loaned copies are returned to the Council, but we cannot make any guarantees. We still have other program materials available, though! Thank you for your support of the Great Michigan Read!
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More Partners, More Books, Updated Map

The Council is delighted to report that 267 organizations have joined the Great Michigan Read — and this doesn’t include the scores of retail partners ranging from all Meijer stores to Snowbound Books (Marquette). We’ve shipped more than 30,000 bookmarks, 17,000 reader’s guides, 1600 teacher’s guides, and a half-million newspaper program guides.
Based on popular demand, the Council ordered 2,000 additional Great Michigan Read editions of Arc of Justice. Last week, more than 1,500 of these were distributed statewide, without cost, to dozens of schools, libraries, and other organizations. Free copies still remain — nonprofits may submit a book discussion kit for consideration.

View 2011-12 Great Michigan Read Partners in a full screen map

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Kevin Boyle Author Tour Wraps Up

The Great Michigan Read author tour, featuring Arc of Justice author Kevin Boyle, was a tremendous success. From October 22 to 27, Boyle made ten appearances in six communities, covering more than 1000 miles on the tour. The tour reached more than 1300 individuals, including standing-room-only crowds in Marquette, Grand Rapids, and Lansing and a packed house at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Amazing appearances in Flint and Alpena rounded out the schedule, along with classroom and college visits.  Thank you to everyone who joined us for this momentous program!
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Newsflash: Additional Grand Rapids Author Tour Event

Due to popular demand, Author Kevin Boyle will make an additional Grand Rapids appearance at Davenport University’s Lettinga Campus on Tuesday, October 25, at 10:00 am in the Sneden Center’s Lettinga Auditorium. Davenport is engaging in a campus-wide program featuring Arc of Justice, and the author’s appearance will mark  the kickoff of their program. The event is focused on Davenport students, staff, and faculty, but is free and open to the public. Faculty member Dr. Terri Tomaszek will moderate the author’s presentation.
Other student programs include an early morning visit to Eric Hammerstrom’s Marquette Senior High School classroom on October 24, a student program at Flint Public Library for local high school students on October 26 (contact Leslie Acevdeo, lacevedo@fpl.info, to register), and a classroom visit at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Detroit on October 27.
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