With a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DeSoto Arts Council in suburban Memphis will be organizing a community reading of Mark Twain's seminal classic of idealized boyhood, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
The reading will take place throughout the month of October, and include an outdoor gathering of artists on the Mississippi River, as well as school dramatizations of the novel. Part of the NEA's "Big Read" initiative to encourage community involvement in reading, the event was built around Tom Sawyer in particular due to the proximity of DeSoto County to the great river that is so central to both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Twain's work in general.
Other planned activities include dance and musical productions, a "visit with Mark Twain", oral and visual history of life on the river in DeSoto County, adventures on the Mississippi River, exhibits of historic fishing equipment and photographs of the Mississippi River. There will even be a workshop on creating a graphic novel based on the book.
For more information, check out desotoarts.com.