Sturgis Area Arts Council - Event Details


The Sturgis Area Arts Council is pleased to be a part of the NEA Big Read. We are most grateful for the input on the grant application of Julie Peterson, Director of the Sturgis Public Library, and Heidi Kruse, Director of the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Bureau.

SAAC is also especially thankful for all of the volunteers who worked on the steering committee and donated time as well as our community partners and those who donated funds to the cause.

Some of the highlights of the program already in place are: the Kick-off (9/7) Main Street Square; History of Vietnam Conflict (Larry Mayes, 9/15) SPL Program Room; Keynote Speaker Jason McEntee (9/16) SCC Theater; Author Tim O'Brien (9/22) in Sturgis Brown High School in the morning and Sturgis Community Center Theater in the evening; Turmoil in the USA (Larry Mayes 9-29) SPL Program Room; a USO Concert/Show (10/15) SCC Theater; a conversation with Dr. Bill Meirose, SD Joining Forces, (10-19) Erskine Meeting Room; a conversation with Dr. Michael Fellner (10-26) Erskine Meeting Room; closing remarks with Secretary of SD Department of Veterans' Affairs Larry Zimmerman (11/11). There are many more events to expand the themes of the novel including book discussions; art projects; round-table sessions with Veterans and their families speaking of their experiences; a visit with a Vietnamese immigrant; and possibly storytelling in the school and a chance to enjoy some Vietnamese food. Be alert to the schedule as it evolves.

We look forward to seeing you and discovering with you the power of reading in our community. This program focused on The Things They Carried gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation to our local veterans while trying to understand the ordeals that they endured.

If you have questions, please contact Dorothy Pulscher, 605-720-5467, You can also go to the Big Read website -

And ... now the work begins. The steering committee will be meeting this summer - time and date yet to be determined, but you can call Dorothy if you'd like to attend. We will be needing lots of volunteers to help us make this the best NEA Big Read Program ever. Please look over the following list and choose the spots you want to take part in. Your presence will make a difference and we encourage you to let us know what you want to do.

A Volunteer Coordinator

Book distributors at the Kick-Off


Book discussion leaders

Ushers at the events in the theater and the Erskine Building


Attendance recorders

Supervisors at art project events

Artists for the art show

People to run errands and/or make copies

Vietnam veterans and veterans of other conflicts to participate in the Round-Table discussions

Attendees at all events

Also, if any of you veterans in any conflict have photos of the things you carried or groups of folks in the area of deployment and are willing to share them, we can put them on display at the Main Street Square during the period of the program along with the schedule of events. Please send digital copies to . A very short text is permissible and encouraged. If you have prints, they can be scanned at the library and sent from there to the Chamber. Please notify Dorothy Pulscher (605 720-5467, or the Sturgis Public Library (347-5467) about where and when you will be able to help.

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