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Big Read Explores the Influence of the Church on Hispanic Artistic Expression

book jacket cover of bless me, ultimaThe Chouse, is an opportune venue for the next keynote Big Read event. A program titled, “The Influence of the Church on Hispanic Artistic Expression,” will be at the The Chouse, 717 West Boyd in Norman, Friday, March 14 at 7 p.m. The program will explore examples of art and music which reflect Hispanic culture and Catholic influence, both major themes in Bless Me Ultima. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 701-2620.

The Chouse is a private residence often used for special events. It once was St. Thomas More Catholic Church built in 1926 and remodeled by Tom Lee and his wife, Mary Katherine. The couple was careful to keep much of the church’s original architecture and now, call their residence the Chouse, a combination of church and house.

Bruce Boggs, Associate Professor of Modern Spanish Literature at the University of Oklahoma and Allison Palmer Associate Professor of Art History at the OU School of Art and Art History will be guest speakers. A special musical performance by Robert Ruiz, owner of Enye Music and the Enye Group will also be a part of the event.


The hometown public libraries of the Pioneer Library System are sponsoring a series of book discussions and thematic programs related to the novel Bless Me, Ultima by Hispanic author Rudolfo Anaya. The classic coming-of-age novel is the focus of The Big Read now under way in Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie counties.

The Big Read is a project of the library system and an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

Call or drop by the library to register for the event or to obtain a copy of the novel, Bless Me Ultima. Free reader’s guides produced by the National Endowment for the Arts are also available at the library as are copies of a special The Big Read edition of WORD magazine published by the library system. In WORD is a calendar listing 83 programs or events presented as part of The Big Read.

These official Big Read programs are eligible as locations to register for the “Bless Me, Ultima Ultimate, Altima Give Away” drawing for a 2005 Nissan Altima. The drawing is offered by Bob Moore Nissan of Norman as an incentive to participate in The Big Read. No purchase is necessary to enter the May 5 drawing. To enter the drawing one must attend an official Big Read event or visit the car dealership. Entrants must be 18 or older and not an employee of Bob Moore Auto Group or Pioneer Library System. Entries are also available at the dealership, I-35 and Tecumseh Road in Norman.

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