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Look for copies of 'Into the Beautiful North' around the St. Croix Valley

Submitted by ArtReach St. Croix

STILLWATER, Minn. — Keep a look out for "Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea. Copies of the book will be popping up in Little Free Libraries, coffee shops, taprooms and laundromats throughout the lower St. Croix Valley this month, courtesy of ArtReach St. Croix as part of this year's NEA Big Read. Those who come across the book are encouraged to read it, then pass their "Read and Release" copy to another reader, leave it in a public place or return it to ArtReach. Book club kits and copies of "Into the Beautiful North" can be found in circulation at St. Croix Valley libraries too.

Each of the copies purchased by ArtReach is marked with a sticker explaining the "Read and Release" program, along with suggestions for releasing the copy back to into the public. NEA Big Read programs will start in April, culminating in a talk by the author, Luis Alberto Urrea, with "On Being" radio host Krista Tippett on May 3. Additionally, numerous tie-in programs and book discussions will be held at libraries across the valley. Dates and times for all these programs will be available at

ArtReach St. Croix announced in May 2017 that it was one of 75 organizations nationwide to receive a grant to host NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This year, programming will focus on themes related to the coming of age border tale "Into the Beautiful North." This is the fourth year that this competitive grant has been awarded to ArtReach St. Croix. As a regional arts agency serving the lower St. Croix Valley, ArtReach is working in collaboration with arts organizations and libraries throughout the six-county region to provide a range of activities associated with the featured book. Theatre, music, visual arts, book discussion and other activities will take place in April. You can learn more about the NEA Big Read at