Neutral Zone to present monthlong NEA Big Read program in Ann Arbor

Neutral Zone will host regular workshops, book clubs, community events in March

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer

The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E Washington St. Photo | Neutral Zone facebook page

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Neutral Zone will offer a monthlong program exploring Claudia Rankine's "Citizen: An American Lyric."

Offering regular workshops, book clubs and community events throughout March, the Neutral Zone intends to have a discussion about intersecting identities based on the themes of gender, race and class among others presented in Rankine's award-winning poetry collection. 

Lead by teens, there will be a series of weekly workshops at the Neutral Zone, as well as an accompanying cyber book club. Literati Bookstore and the University of Michigan will also host live book clubs to encourage Ann Arbor teens, students and other community members to participate in the month-long discussion. Local high schoolers will also read the poetry collection throughout their classes that month. 

The Neutral Zone is just one of the 75 nonprofit organizations to receive the NEA Big Read grant, which is designed to help communities grow together while promoting literacy. 

Neutral Zone will offer programming throughout March to promote community involvement and discussion. Photo | Neutral Zone

According to the press release, this is some of the anticipated programming:

Week 1 

  • Monday-Wednesday: Teen book club at the Neutral Zone (creative response to “Citizen”: poetry)
  • Thursday, Mar. 7: public kickoff event at the Neutral Zone

Week 2

  • Monday-Wednesday: Teen book club at the Neutral Zone
  • Thursday, Mar. 14: public workshop making identity collages at the Ann Arbor District Library

Week 3 

  • Monday-Wednesday: Teen book club at the Neutral Zone 
  • Thursday, Mar. 21: public “citizenship dinners” at the Neutral Zone and UM - Ann Arbor

Week 4

  • Monday-Wednesday: Teen book club at the Neutral Zone 
  • Thursday, Mar. 28: public culminating event & art-show at the Ann Arbor District Library

For more information about Neutral Zone programming or to see how you can become more involved, contact the Neutral Zone

About the Neutral Zone
The Neutral Zone is a diverse, youth-driven teen center dedicated to promoting personal growth through artistic expression, community leadership, and the exchange of ideas. It offers more than 20 weekly, after-school programs to all high schoolers in music, visual and media arts, literary arts, and education and leadership, as well as drop-in hours and tutoring services.

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