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NEA Big Read Study Group no. 4

March 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm CDT

Immigration, Identity and the Arts

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on the experiences of African immigrants in the U.S. through the lenses of music, literature, and Thi Bui’s NEA Big Read book, The Best We Could Do. Minnesota author and educator Shannon Gibney will host a dialogue with Nigerian composer-performer Kashimana Ahua — an ACF awardee — and Somali author Abdullahi Janno. The event will feature Janno’s children’s book When River Stopped Singing to Cloud (copies will be available), plus music by Ahua.

For more information about this series, click here.


American Composers Forum believes that music is a medium that can help us connect as humans, tell stories, and share experiences. East Side Freedom Library has long hosted study groups, partnerships, and community events that lift up the stories of its neighborhood in the name of justice. Together, we will host several cultural events and conversations examining the theme of “Immigration, Identity, and the Arts,” to amplify the voices, stories, and music of immigrant artists and community members wrestling with this theme. Included in our events will be discussion of, and inspiration from, Thi Bui’s graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do. Supported by the NEA’s Big Read project, this book aligns greatly with our theme, and resonates with so many members of our community. We are planning parallel in-person and virtual options to accommodate health and accessibility considerations. All events are free and open to the public.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

We are grateful for the support of Saint Paul’s STAR program for this event.


March 25, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm CDT


East Side Freedom Library
1105 Greenbrier St
St Paul, MN 55106 United States
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