Thanks to a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Orem will join over 200 other cities in celebrating Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The program, which includes discussions and presentations, is free even if you don’t live in Orem.

The events will kick off on Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m. in the Orem Public Library’s storytelling wing. According to, nationally renowned storyteller Dr. Rex Ellis will present “historical documents and songs that provide context for understanding the novel.”

Events will continue almost daily in the storytelling wing until the finale on Oct. 17.

There will be film screenings of Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of the novel and “Fearful Symmetry,” a making-of featurette.
UVU is one of the leading contributors to Orem’s Big Read, and if you can’t make it to the kickoff on Sept. 8, the event will repeat the next day at UVU’s Library Lecture hall at 2:30.

According to, over $2 million was given by the National Endowment for the Arts to communities nationwide for the Big Read. Events will be taking place not only in libraries, but also at “municipalities, arts, culture, and science organizations, and a zoo.” The Orem Public Library received $10,000 for the event, and is the only city in Utah participating in the Big Read.

Orem is one of thirty communities that chose TO To Kill a Mockingbird for the Big Read. Orem’s Big Read Web site calls the novel “the touching homegrown story from a small town America (that) is accessible to readers of many ages and every walk of life.”
Other events during the program include a lecture about the life of Harper Lee (on Sept. 9), a discussion on racial relations in the historic South (on Sept. 16), and puppet shows (on Sept. 22 and 23).

Utahan educators can also earn one continuing education credit by attending ten events and writing an essay for each of them. To earn the credit, show up on Sept. 9 and identify yourself as an educator to one of the people in charge.

For more information:
To read more about The Big Read and for a complete list of events, visit