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Pope Joan' author kicks off 'Big Read'

The Oneida Community Mansion House to host Donna Woolfolk Cross, author of "Pope Joan," on Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. to kick off "The Big Read."

The Big Read in Oneida and Sherrill is presented through a partnership of the Oneida Community Mansion House and the Oneida Public and Sherrill-Kenwood Free libraries to celebrate "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" by Thornton Wilder.

Oneida and Sherrill represent one of 268 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designed to restore reading to the center of American culture, from Sept. 2009 to June 2010. To date, the NEA has funded more than 800 Big Read programs in the nation's towns and cities.

The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Transportation is provided by Ford.

Cross' keynote address is free to the public and attendees will be the first to see the two-minute trailer of the movie version of "Pope Joan" that was released last year in Germany. Focusing on the power of reading and writing to enrich and change our lives, Cross will also discuss how Thornton Wilder has influenced her own writing. The author's talk will be followed by a reception when she will sign copies of "Pope Joan," on sale that evening from the Colgate University bookstore.

The Oneida Community Mansion House is located at 170 Kenwood Avenue, Oneida. For more information call: 363-0745, or visit: oneidacommunity.org

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