Big read big kickoff: Month-long event begins with potluck

Among the presentations was the premiere of the film made by Lorri Fisher’s Enterprise fourth- and fifth-grade class.
Kathleen Ellyn

Wallowa County Chieftain

Published on February 28, 2018 9:29AM

The stage of the Hurricane Creek Grange was packed with performers for the Big Read Kickoff Potluck Dinner. The ranks of dancers, which began with Kellee Sheehy’s Dance Class, swelled until children from around the county were dancing. Other presentations included a student-made film, a chorus, actors in a play and more.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

The stage of the Hurricane Creek Grange was packed with performers for the Big Read Kickoff Potluck Dinner. The ranks of dancers, which began with Kellee Sheehy’s Dance Class, swelled until children from around the county were dancing. Other presentations included a student-made film, a chorus, actors in a play and more.

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Ray Sohn of Baker City introduces Cecila April, 12, of Wallowa and Isabella Thomas, 11, of Baker City, to another of the novels written by Big Read author Emily St. John Mandel at the Big Read Kickoff Celebration Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Ray Sohn of Baker City introduces Cecila April, 12, of Wallowa and Isabella Thomas, 11, of Baker City, to another of the novels written by Big Read author Emily St. John Mandel at the Big Read Kickoff Celebration Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

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Students from Jennifer Gibbs and Wendy Stauffer’s Wallowa Schools classes, Mali, 12, and Ashley Wilson, 17, perform the Star Wars theme song on flute and euphonium. A quote from a Star Wars movie is a plot point in the Big Read novel “Station Eleven.”

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Students from Jennifer Gibbs and Wendy Stauffer’s Wallowa Schools classes, Mali, 12, and Ashley Wilson, 17, perform the Star Wars theme song on flute and euphonium. A quote from a Star Wars movie is a plot point in the Big Read novel “Station Eleven.”

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The Big Read Kickoff Potluck Dinner at the Hurricane Creek Grange Feb. 22 was an opportunity for children from around the county to entertain. Autumn Creeley, 8, and Kaydance Payne, 8, opened the event with a heartfelt singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

The Big Read Kickoff Potluck Dinner at the Hurricane Creek Grange Feb. 22 was an opportunity for children from around the county to entertain. Autumn Creeley, 8, and Kaydance Payne, 8, opened the event with a heartfelt singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

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Edie Kennedy, 6, of Wallowa, heads for the popcorn at the Big Read kickoff Potluck Dinner Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Edie Kennedy, 6, of Wallowa, heads for the popcorn at the Big Read kickoff Potluck Dinner Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

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Baby Mia Demelo of Joseph is no doubt wondering what this Big Read thing is all about as Livia Demelo, 8, and Hayden Kissenger, 9, both of Joseph, introduce her to the Fishtrap Big Fish (donation basket) at the Big Read Kickoff Potluck Diner Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Baby Mia Demelo of Joseph is no doubt wondering what this Big Read thing is all about as Livia Demelo, 8, and Hayden Kissenger, 9, both of Joseph, introduce her to the Fishtrap Big Fish (donation basket) at the Big Read Kickoff Potluck Diner Feb. 22 at Hurricane Creek Grange.

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Hurricane Creek Grange was packed for the 13th Annual Big Read Kickoff Potluck Dinner Feb. 22.

The stage was graced by spirited youth performers as the assemblage chowed down.

Among the presentations was the premiere of the film made by Lorri Fisher’s Enterprise fourth and fifth grade class — an homage to “The City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau, the youth book Fishtrap introduced as a companion read to Emily St. John Mandel’s post apocalyptic “Station Eleven.”

In the film, produced by Fishtrap Story Lab Leader Cameron Scott, young people from the future discover a history of Enterprise Courthouse and learn about the lives of the people who came before them and what was important to them.

The kickoff celebration itself, celebrating art, performance, community, family and shared experience, was also a nod to the themes of “Station Eleven,” which follows artists of several kinds and examines what value the past holds and what makes survival worth sustaining.

Short readings from the book interspersed the home-grown entertainment and kept curiosity about the book and the subject matter high. The novel moves between two realities, pre-apocalypse and post-apocalypse, linking the lives of those characters.

The post-apocalyptic troupe of actors are on their way to the Museum of Civilization when they encounter dramatic dangers.

The book won the 2015 Arthur C Clarke Award, was nominated for a national book award, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the 2015 Toronto Book Award.

Copies of the book were raffled and were available for folks just getting a start reading the book at a table set up by The Bookloft. Copies of “Station Eleven” are also available at the public libraries in the county.

The next installment of Big Read discussions will be the March 1 presentation of “What if? Disaster Preparedness: How Does Setting Contribute to Survival?” at 7 p.m. at Wallowa Memorial Hospital.











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