NEA Big Read Our Town Program

Anaheim explores history as community reads ’Our Town’

A story that discusses the unique stages of life as the city comes together to read Thornton Wilders’ “Our Town.”

From March 14 to April 11, Anaheim Public Library will lead a community-wide reading and exploration of the play, which celebrates the cultural diversity of Anaheim’s residents, both past and present.  

Throughout the month, Anaheim Library will give out copies of “Our Town,” lead book and panel discussions and host a series of local history events.

It’s all part of the National Endowment of the Arts Big Read program, a national program to promote reading across America.

“Our Town” is set in 1901 in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, Nh. The classic story provides an interesting perspective on time, companionship, and life through the perspective of two families.

Anaheim Library will bring the story to life with programs for all ages and community presentations led by the Anaheim Heritage Center, Anaheim Brewery, and many more at your neighborhood branch.

For a full list of programs visit

NEA Big Read kickoff event

Big Retro Disneyland Presentation with Charles Phoenix

Take a step back in time and join Anaheim Public Library as we kick off the month-long celebration!

Be prepared for your local pride to swell! Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, takes you back in time to the granddaddy of all theme parks.

With his unbridled enthusiasm, keen expertise, and spectacular selection of mid-century era Kodachrome images, Charles shares the backstories and glories of the Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland in the 1950s and 60s.

Charles Phoenix

See long-gone attractions including the Phantom Boats, Flying Saucers, Indian Village, Stage Coaches, People Mover, Carousel of Progress and more. Experience the original Tomorrowland when it was promoted as ‘The World of 1986, and the all-new Tomorrowland in 1967.

This is your time-travel trip to the gold standard of all theme parks, when it was new! You will never experience Disneyland the same way again! Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar!

You’ll also have an opportunity to explore hands-on historical activities from Victorian games to butter making with the Anaheim Heritage Center.

Kick off details:

When: Saturday, March 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Anaheim Central Library, 500 W. Broadway

Thank you for supporting Anaheim Public Library

The Anaheim Public Library is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive the NEA Big Read grant. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read aims to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of reading one book.

National Endowment for the Arts

The NEA Big Read program is generously funded by Altrusa International of Anaheim, Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim, the Anaheim Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Anaheim Public Library, and the Friends of the Canyon Hills Public Library.

Altrusa International of Anaheim      Kiwanis of Greater AnaheimAnaheim Public Library Foundation 

Friends      Focal