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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: Big Read Wichita


Wichita’s NEA Big Read kicks off this Saturday with a live celebration at 2:30 p.m. on KPTS Channel 8. Usually held in October, last year’s program was pushed back to January 9 through February 21 of this year. The selection is Circe by Madeline Miller — a novel that focuses on the lesser known Greek goddess.


Wichita Public Library has several virtual events planned, and many participating organizations are hosting events that embody Greek themes. A complete list can be found at wichitalibrary.org/bigread, but here are some highlights:


Jodie Simon, an instructor in women’s studies and sociology at Wichita State, will present From Circe to Sabrina, a discussion on the evolution of the witch stereotype in popular culture. The Zoom event is at 6 p.m. on January 14, register at wichitalibrary.org/events.


The Andover Public Library has created a digital escape room based on the novel. It can be accessed at andoverlibrary.org January 9 through February 21. 


The Derby Public Library is offering a take-home murder mystery box called The Curse of Pandora’s Box, for pick-up at the library January 11 through February 19. 


At 6:30 p.m. on January 26, Wichita Public Library presents Fred Gassert of the Lake Afton Public Observatory for a discussion of notable constellations and their associated Greek myths. Register for the Zoom event at wichitalibrary.org/events


And this doesn’t even begin to cover all the events, so expect to hear more about Wichita’s Big Read from me in the future.

Jordan Kirtley is KMUW's Marketing Manager and the host of Next Up, a local events commentary. More casually she is known as KMUW’s “in-house artist,” having designed the many facets of KMUW’s visual identity.