NEA Big Read Classes

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The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. White Bear Center for the Arts is one of 60+ nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project.

WBCA is thrilled to partner with community organizations in 2022 and 2023 to bring in-depth, creative programming surrounding the book The Bear.

The Bear, written by Andrew Krivak, traces the journey of a young girl who lives off the land and follows a mysterious talking bear as she tries to survive in a world without other humans. This book asks us to consider the stories and mythologies we grow up with, how these are passed down, and what they tell us about our perception of ourselves and our relationship with the natural environment.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Partner Organization Classes

White Bear Lake Area Historical Society: The Legends of White Bear Lake

This program will include an exploration of the legends of White Bear Lake, how they came to be, and how they have evolved over the years. November 28, 2022Monday, 6:00 PMTuition: FREELocation: White Bear Lake Area Historical Society

White Bear Lake Area Historical Society Lecture Series with David Mather

This immersive lecture series organized by the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society will explore the history of bear ceremonialism from a local, statewide, and global perspective. Session 1: A global look at bear ceremonialism and the ways it has been manifested around the world and for what purposes. November 7, 2022Monday, 7:00–8:00 PMTuition: FREELocation:…

Ramsey County Library: White Bear Lake Kids Library Family Storytime – Nighttime Sky

Join us for a special “stellar” storytime. We’ll read stories, sing songs, and do a fun craft about the moon and stars. This program is in partnership with WBCA and the NEA Big Read program. September 23, 2022Friday, 10:30–11:30 AMNo registration requiredLocation: Ramsey County Library: White Bear Lake BranchTuition: Free Age/Level: ages 2–5 and caregivers

Creative Writing at Mahtomedi Middle School

Instructor: Karen Parkman The writing activities in this class will draw from age-appropriate topics in The Bear, including: dream journaling, writing the future, writing inspired by nature, personal mythologies, and more. Writers of all genres and skill levels are welcome. Students should bring a writing utensil or laptop to write with. October 13–November 34 Thursdays,…

Book Club in a Bag

Ramsey County Library is including The Bear in its Book Club in a Bag program. Each bag contains 10 copies of the title and a notebook with discussion questions, author information, recommended reading lists, bookmarks, information on the library, suggested reading lists, web resources, and information on how Book Club in a Bag works. For…

NEA Big Read Book Discussions

Join White Bear Center for the Arts for an in-depth discussion of The Bear at these in-person book discussions throughout the community. You’ll be invited to connect with other readers, and share your thoughts and impressions of the book. A facilitator will be present to help guide conversation and foster connection. Ramsey County Library: White…

WBCA Classes

BR11 – Draw Nature In: Mindful Drawing and Watercolors Outdoors

Instructor: Dallas Rising In this half-day workshop, we’ll bring our sketchbooks outside and slow down to focus deeply on our senses. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a novice, we’ll bring a beginner’s mind to this practice as we discover patterns, textures, and lines that surprise and delight in their perfect imperfection. Supply List September…

BR03 – Northern Winter Traditions: A Solstice Workshop

BR03 – Northern Winter Traditions: A Solstice Workshop Instructor: Gigi Stafne Explore winter elements, foods and herbs in this workshop with national instructor, Gigi Stafne. In the spirit of The Bear by Andrew Krivak, a story which emphasizes the cycles of the seasons and an awareness of local plants, animals, medicines and foods, participants will…

BR13 – Nature Close Up

BR13 – Nature Close Up Instructor : Ann Solyst Take time to smell the roses in this meditative nature sketching class. With pencil and paper, venture into the great outdoors and sketch the veins in a leaf, or the repeated pattern of flower petals. This class will encourage you to notice those subtle differences that…

BR12 – Inspiration from Trees (CANCELLED)

BR12 – Inspiration from Trees Instructor : Annie Hejny Join Annie Hejny for this special tree-inspired abstract art workshop. In the morning, Hejny will guide a Forest Bathing walk for sensory awareness and tree connection. While outside, students will take photos on their phones to inspire abstract compositions. Returning to the classroom after lunch, students will…