ACC’s Big Read Wraps Up Nov. 1 with Day of the Dead Celebration

Austin Community College and the Mexican American Cultural Center are co-hosting The Big Read Closing Ceremony and Day of the Dead Celebration on Sunday, November 1, from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC), 600 River St.

The all-ages celebration features live entertainment from the ACC Dance Department as well as exhibits of children’s artwork and Day of the Dead altars inspired by the featured Big Read book, “Sun, Stone, and Shadows,” a Mexican short story collection. The event is free and open to the public.

“We hope readers of all ages who joined us for all or part of this unforgettable experience will come out for this last big celebration,” says Lyman Grant, dean of the ACC Arts and Humanities Division, which partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring The Big Read to Austin.

The Big Read is a national initiative to encourage reading for pleasure.

ACC began The Big Read of “Sun, Stone, and Shadows” on Mexican Independence Day, September 16, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. The book is a collection of short stories by Mexican authors and speaks to the college’s awareness of and commitment to the region’s growing Hispanic community.

“Everyone is aware on some level of Mexico’s powerful contribution to Austin’s cultural life. With The Big Read, and this book in particular, we want to emphasize the depth and breadth Mexico’s literary richness and its importance to all Austin citizens,” Grant says.

ACC hosted 55 different Big Read events over seven weeks, according to Spanish Professor Rosa Dávila, who coordinated the program for the college.

“Our main goal was to encourage people to read,” Dávila says. “Our partners, our students at ACC, and the general public have welcomed with open arms our program and the message that we are promoting.”

People of all ages participated in The Big Read, with events held at the MACC, the Austin Public Library, and area schools and bookstores.

“I believe that our greatest accomplishment has been the interest and excitement that this program has created in the community,” Dávila says. “It has crossed barriers of race, generation, and language.”

Dávila gives special thanks to the partners, volunteers, and participants for making The Big Read an unforgettable experience.

“It is a great feeling to know that Austin’s community has embraced our mission of bringing culture and reading closer to them,” she says.


About the Austin Community College District (

ACC, Central Texas’ community college, is the primary gateway to higher education and career training for residents in eight counties. The college provides access to affordable, quality education. ACC enrolls more than 40,000 credit students, offering university transfer courses, two-year associate degrees, certificates, Early College Start, access programs that get students “college-ready,” and continuing education. At ACC you can “Start here. Get there.”

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