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March marks the beginning of the NEA Big Read: Wichita

Dana McCall
Riverside Photography
Dana McCall presents at Wichitalks: Big Read Edition on April 29, 2022.

This year’s Big Read selection is Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by cartoonist Roz Chast, a deeply personal memoir about facing her parents’ final years. The Wichita Public Library and partnering organizations are putting on events throughout March and April, starting with the kick-off on March 12 at the Advanced Learning Library. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. there will be music, dance, art and free copies of Chast’s memoir while supplies last. More Big Read events are at bigreadwichita.org.

an’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Tallgrass Film Association and Wichita State University are hosting a mini film fest with similar themes to Chast’s memoir. It starts with the romantic drama The Notebook on March 16. Next up is the sci-fi drama Robot & Frank on March 23, and on March 30 there’s the comedy The Farewell, which tells the story of a Chinese family dealing with the imminent death of their sick grandmother. All screenings start at 5:30 p.m. at the Advanced Learning Library. Free tickets can be reserved at bigreadwichita.org.

KMUW is also partnering with the library to present a special Big Read edition of Wichitalks. Even when there’s a theme — like this year’s focus on death and end of life — you can never know what stories to expect. Ten presenters will give quick talks — just 5 minutes each — on something they’re passionate about. I imagine there will be a few tearjerkers. It’s at 2:00 p.m. on April 2 at Roxy’s Downtown. Click here for details.


Music: "Slotcar" by Podington Bear
From the Free Music Archive

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.