Big Read



Join thousands of residents in reading, discussing & taking part in free community activities inspired by our featured book

View the Ventura Film Society THE THINGS THEY CARRIED COMPILATION VIDEO (18 minutes) by Will Randall and Lorenzo DeStefano (click here or click on the YouTube icon)

The City of Ventura Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships, in partnership with the Ventura County Library, received a grant for The Big Read, a bold initiative designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by encouraging an entire community to read, discuss and participate in activities inspired by the featured book. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest


Click here for a PDF of the Big Read Events Calendar

BIG READ SCHEDULE through May 4, 2014
All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 15, 10-11am: Book Discussion “The Things They Carried”
Join us to read a chapter of the book and discuss it together at the Ventura Library, 651 E.Main St

Tuesday, April 15, 6pm: Author “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him”
New York Times bestselling author Captain Luis Carlos Montalván with his service dog Tuesday discuss the “war after the war” and his story of hope and healing from physical wounds and PTSD with the help of his golden retriever at the Ventura Library, 651 E Main St. Book signing follows.

Friday, April 18: Art Exhibit: “War Stories”
Curator/artist/Vietnam veteran Moses Mora and the Ventura County Arts Council host a group show focusing on “what soldiers carry with them, in mind and body, during and after war” from April 18 to May 2 at the Ventura County Government Center Hall of Administration. 800 S Victoria Ave

Friday & Saturday, April 18 & 19, 7:30pm: Multi-Media Theatre World Premiere
“Under Fire: Stories of Combat Veterans Across Generations”

Based upon the collected interviews of combat veterans of America’s foreign wars from WWII to Afghanistan. Written and directed by Vietnam veteran Michael J. Arndt (California Lutheran University Theatre Professor and Artistic Director of Kingsmen Shakespeare Company) with choreography by Pamela Pilkenton and music composed by Christopher Hoag. Funded in part by a Ventura County Arts Council Artists in Community Partnership Grants. A panel discussion follows the show. Ventura College Performing Arts Center, 4700 Loma Vista Rd

Monday, April 21, 10-11am: “Book Talk” at the Ventura Avenue Center
Join us for a lively conversation about the book, “The Things They Carried,” at the Ventura Avenue Center, 550 N Ventura Ave

Friday, May 2,5:30-7pm: Closing Reception: “War Stories”
Ventura’s Big Read closes with a reception for exhibit artists and public—see April 18 opening—at Ventura County Government Center Hall of Administration. 800 S Victoria Ave

City of Ventura Community Partnerships, Ventura County Library, Bell Arts Factory, Ventura College and California Lutheran University are proud sponsors of Ventura’s Big Read