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In the Time of the Butteflies butterfly graphic        
The Big Read at Columbia College Chicago

Beginning Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Columbia College Chicago Library presents The Big Read, a six week-long series of events on and off campus inspired by Julia Alvarez's novel, In the Time of the Butterflies


In the Time of the Butterflies transports us to the Dominican Republic in the mid-twentieth century when the country struggled under the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. A work of historical fiction, the novel honors the lives of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal, who became icons of freedom and women's rights when they were assassinated in the autumn of 1960 for their role in the underground movement against Trujillo's regime.


The Big Read is a nationwide literacy program of the National Endowment for the Arts whose primary goal is to restore reading to the center of American culture.  Columbia College Chicago Library was one of 78 organizations who received funding from The Big Read this year. 

This spring, through book discussions, programs featuring noted scholars and authors, and film screenings, there will be numerous opportunities to learn and ask questions about the Mirabal sisters and Dominican history as well as to question the nature of heroism and how radicals and revolutionaries shape history and culture. We hope participants gain new appreciation of the complexity and necessity of telling difficult stories.


The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This program is also made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.


Calendar of Events