Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and Partners to Host NEA BIG READ: GREATER CINCINNATI Sept. 2022-June 2023

ETC_logoFrom September 2022 – JUNE 2023

(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) and several community partners will host the NEA Big Read: Greater Cincinnati, sponsored in part by grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through Arts Midwest. The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. ETC is one of 62 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project, which will take place from September 2022 – June 2023.­­

The program will focus on the book Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, a memoir-in-essays by Rebekah Taussig. Dr. Taussig is a woman who uses a wheelchair due to paralysis resulting from childhood cancer, but those are only a few facets of her life as a “writer, teacher, advocate, and human lady person,” and she tells stories of her experiences with humor, empathy, and humanity, making them relatable for just about anyone.

ETC and several partner organizations will host programs centered on the themes of Sitting Pretty over the course of 10 months, including a kickoff event at ETC on Sunday, September 18 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, where visitors can learn about ETC’s accessible programs, view the full schedule of NEA Big Read: Greater Cincinnati programming, and explore several other companion books with similar themes, including selections for all ages.

“I’m a Kansas City writer who lives in a very small, very old house with my fussy family of tenderhearted snugglers. I’ve spent most of my life immersed in the world of writing and reading – as a student, teacher, and human person – because I believe that words and stories matter. I am interested in the powerful connection between the cultural narratives we tell and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships. I earned a PhD in Creative Nonfiction and Disability Studies from the University of Kansas, and I write personal essays that participate in the stories being told about disability. I also run an Instagram account, @sitting_pretty, where I regularly craft ‘mini-memoirs’ that explore what it means to live in my particular (disabled, female) body.” Learn more about Rebekah Taussig at https://rebekahtaussig.com.


The following schedule is subject to change; visit www.ensemblecincinnati.org for the most current information.

  • Sunday, September 18, 2022 – NEA Big Read: Greater Cincinnati Kickoff
    1:00 – 3:00 pm at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati | 1127 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
    Learn more about ETC’s accessible programs and the rest of the event lineup for the NEA Big Read.
  • Friday, September 23, 2022 – Northern Kentucky Forum: Welcoming Workplace
    Exact time and location are still being determined; see the website for more details
    Join representatives from the Kentucky Career Center Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Easterseals Redwood, Brighton Center, and Innovative Supports for Autistic Workers for a discussion about state and local resources for connecting workers with disabilities to companies and organizations seeking employees.
  • Sunday, October 9, 2022Crip Camp Screening/Discussion & Next Generation Library Presentation
    1:30 pm at Cincinnati Public Library – Deer Park Branch | 4020 E. Galbraith Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236
    Enjoy a screening of the documentary Crip Cramp about the 1970s experience of teenagers with disabilities who met at Camp Jened and turned their summers of liberation and inclusion into a movement for Disability Rights. Prior to the screening, attendees will learn more about CHPL’s Next Gen Library plans to expand access in libraries across Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Following the film, there will be a discussion on ableism and access in modern cultural institutions.
  • Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – Employment is in Your Future
    4:00 – 5:00 pm online, hosted by Cincinnati Public Library
    Hosted by Cincinnati Public Library, learn about Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the state agency on the north side of the river which connects workers and employers, providing both with resources on hiring, employee rights and accommodations, and more.
    Friday, November 4, 2022 – Author Event: Sarah Kurchak
    7:00 – 8:00 pm at Campbell County Library Carrico/Ft. Thomas Branch | 1000 Highland Ave, Ft. Thomas, KY 41075
    Hosted by Campbell County Library, hear from Sarah Kurchack, author of I Overcame my Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder. The memoir examines the steps Kurchak took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life, and how she is now trying to recover. Register through the CCPL website.
  • Saturday, November 12, 2022 – Book Discussion
    1:30 pm at Cincinnati Public Library Price Hill Branch | 970 Purcell Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45205
    Join others who have read Sitting Pretty for a facilitated conversation about its themes and topics, and see visual displays featuring local (Marisa Conners, fashion designer), historical (Ludwig von Beethoven, composer), and notable (Alice Wong, activist/author of companion title Disability Visibility) people with disabilities.
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2023 – Book Discussion
    6:30 – 8:30 pm at Boone County Library Main Branch | 1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington, KY 41005
    Join others who have read Sitting Pretty for a facilitated conversation about its themes and topics.
  • Monday, March 13, 2023 – Book Discussion
    4:00 pm at Kenton County Library Covington Branch | 502 Scott St, Covington, KY 41011
    Join others who have read Sitting Pretty for a facilitated conversation about its themes and topics.
  • Saturday, April 29, 2023 – Children’s Story Time
    11:00 am at Blue Marble Books | 1356 S. Fort Thomas Ave, Ft Thomas, KY 41075
    Bring the littles in your world for a story time reading of Ali and the Sea Stars by Ali Stroker, an NEA Big Read: Greater Cincinnati companion title, do some shopping, and learn more about Blue Marble’s efforts to become an accessible small business located in a historic building.
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – Book Discussion
    10:00 am at Campbell County Library Cold Spring Branch | 3920 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY 41076
    Join others who have read Sitting Pretty for a facilitated conversation about its themes and topics.
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023 – Book Discussion
    7:00 pm at Campbell County Library Newport Branch | 901 E. Sixth St, Newport, KY 41071
    Join others who have read Sitting Pretty for a facilitated conversation about its themes and topics.
  • Saturday, June 3, 2023 – TALL Institute Performance Screening
    12:00 pm at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati | 1127 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
    See a screening of the filmed creative response to Sitting Pretty developed by our partners at TALL Institute and stay for a brief reception and discussion to follow.
    Friday, June 9, 2023 – NEA Big Read: Greater Cincinnati Culminating Celebration
    6:00 pm at Cincinnati Library Walnut Hills Branch | 961 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206
    Celebrate the conclusion of the NEA Big Read programming with an author visit from Rebekah Taussig, a visual art exhibition of creative responses to Sitting Pretty from Visionaries + Voices artists, and V+V Artist Night creative opportunities for kids.


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

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich, and inspire our audiences.


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