The Big Read Blog (Archive)


February 23, 2009
Martinsville, VA

Back in November, we featured the first three portraits in Barbara Parker?s ongoing series of local --and not-so-local --celebs "caught reading" To Kill a Mockingbird, including Vice President Joe Biden. Here are three more snaps -- with commentary -- from Barbara?s steadily growing collection, all of which will appear in Martinsville?s local newspaper through March. (Heading to Virginia? Check out the Piedmont Arts Big Read calendar of events at The Big Read Web site.)

Nikki Giovanni: "Each January, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginians for the Arts host a conference in Richmond called ArtWorks for Virginia, including speakers, workshops, and an Arts Advocacy Day during which arts organization have an opportunity to visit with our Virginia Legislators. Poet Nikki Giovanni, who is currently a professor at Virginia Tech University, was the keynote speaker at the event on Jan 28-29, 2009."
Daphne Maxwell Reid: "Daphne Maxwell Reid and her husband Tim live in Virginia, and have a production company. I emailed her about the project. . . She called me back immediately, and said she had plans to be in Richmond at the same time I was. She met me at our hotel, we did the shot in the lobby, and she was off and running. A very gracious and lovely woman."
Governor Tim Kaine: "I [first] met Governor Kaine when my husband ran for the 16th District House of Delegates seat in 2007, and Governor Kaine came and campaigned for him. He had a wonderful quote about the book. He said that one night he sat in front of the TV for a few moments, and the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird came on. He didn't have time to watch the entire movie again, but he always watches the beginning credits with the cigar box, the hands, the soap dolls, and the marble rolling across the table. Just seeing that brings the story to life again for him."