Thank you to everyone who made our first area Big Read a great success!

Below are just a few highlights of the 2009, Mock on the Rock!

THE BIG READ 2009: Mock on the Rock!


Mockingbird on Stage: The highlight of Mock on the Rock was the concluding two sold-out performances of the Montana Repertory Theater’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The evening community performance of 1,329 included 277 complimentary tickets that were distributed to our library and Big Read partners. The school matinee performance had 1,243 attendees including 30 complimentary seats through our Arts4All scholarship program.

Mockingbird Trophy: We commissioned an undergraduate student in UW-Whitewaters BFA program to create a Mockingbird sculpture that served as an incentive for the community to participate, and the trophy had an additional branding feature of the campaign and as an interest-drawing marketing item. The statue was unveiled at the community kick-off, and then toured partner libraries during the month of April. Whenever the trophy “nested” in another community it drew attention to the Big Read and was especially a draw for the area media. The trophy served as a focal point in the library displays, and we received numerous comments, that the trophy helped to draw patrons into the printed materials and participate in the drawings, readings, events. The trophy was printed on our promotional t-shirts, and on the community ballots.

Special City Challenge Ballots were printed that served as pocket-sized calendar of events as well as a method to track patron attendance at events. Libraries that distributed these aggressively (inserted into patrons books, etc) drew strong participation. Of our library partners, seven aggressively participated in the City Challenge with over 280 ballots returned for a total of 2,400 “Mockpoints.”

MOCKPARDY! A Jeopardy-style game show with questions based on To Kill a Mockingbird. Six teams of students, from four high schools competed for the title of Mockpardy! Champion. Undergraduate Education majors in a reading methods class at UW-Whitewater developed questions and answers for the Mockingbird inspired competition. These college students also volunteered as ushers, escorts, monitors, and judges for the event. All high school participants were awarded commemorative t-shirts and certificates.

Number of Schools that participated: 24
Number of Libraries that participated: 20
Other organization partners: 8
Book discussions: 24 Book discussion participation: 204

Total Event Participation: Adults: 2,375. Children: 1,537


Young Auditorium and several community partners will host The Big Read: Mock on the Rock! in April 2009. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. It is the nation’s largest community reading initiative for students and adults. Throughout the month of April, Young Auditorium will be partnering with libraries and other organizations in Rock, Walworth, and Jefferson counties including: the Milton House, Hoard Museum, Jefferson Council of the Performing Arts, Elegant Farmer and Geneva 4 Theatres to promote reading enjoyment in our communities.

Events are scheduled in Elkhorn, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Lake Geneva, Milton, Mukwonago, and Whitewater. A detailed calendar of events is TBA. Schools, towns, libraries, and citizens of Rock, Walworth, and Jefferson counties are encouraged to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and participate in events related to this classic novel. Some of the highlights of Mock on the Rock! will include kickoff and finale events, guest speakers, a screening of the 1962 film starring Gregory Peck and Mary Badham, a mockingbird calling competition, Mockpardy! (a Jeopardy-style competition for HS students), and Montana Rep’s performance of To Kill a Mockingbird at Young Auditorium.


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