The second annual Ripley County Reads is underway, reports Terri Trowbridge, Ripley County Tourism Bureau executive director.
This year’s "One Giant Leap" theme is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and will focus on the history of flight, outer space, NASA and more. These topics will be examined through the lens of various humanities fields including literature, history, philosophy and ethics.
Ripley County Reads is a collaborative event between the Batesville Memorial Public Library, Osgood Public Library, Ripley County Tourism Bureau and Tyson Library.
Four free movies start next week. Most offer discussions, too:
• "First Man," Thursday, June 6, 9 p.m., Bel-Air Drive In, 337 N. U.S. 421 near Versailles
• "Guardians of the Galaxy Friday, June 7, 9 p.m., Pangburn Park, Versailles. This Movie in the Park is sponsored by Main Street Versailles.
• "Independence Day," Wednesday, July 3, 7 p.m., Gibson Theatre, 107 N Main St., Batesville
• "The Martian," Saturday, July 27, 1 p.m., Damm Theater, 117 N. Buckeye St., Osgood
That last movie is based on the 2019 Ripley County Reads book selection. "The Martian" by Andy Weir is the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded alone on Mars. Did this make him the first Martian? How does it feel to be the only person alive on an entire planet?
Copies of "The Martian" will be made available at each library July 1. Book discussions at each library facilitated by Nancy Durham will start at 6 p.m.: Thursday, Aug. 1, Osgood; Tuesday, Aug. 13, Batesville; and Wednesday, Aug. 14, Tyson, Versailles.
Three special programs will keep the theme alive all summer. A Future Moon Mobile Planetarium will be at the Milan Branch Library Thursday, June 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The 20-minute presentation will take attendees back in time to the Apollo missions to witness human’s first step on the Moon and a theoretical lunar colony.
Other activities range from crafts, Kids Discovery Factory fun and storytimes to games and refreshments. Persons may register at their libraries for time slots starting June 1.
"Milan to Mars" is Saturday, July 20, at 3 p.m. at the Milan Branch Library. As a young boy, Micah Johnson dreamed of working for NASA. After graduating from Milan High School, his dream came true. Johnson works at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Projects include the SAM (Sample Analysis Mars) unit of the Mars Rover. Trowbridge says, "Join us as we explore his journey presented with the assistance of his father, Gary Johnson."
A Space Poetry Slam interactive discussion facilitated by Adam Henze is Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 12:30 p.m. at Tyson Public Library for ages 13 and up. The teaching artist and poet lectures and performs across the U.S. and in Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland and England. Henze is also an organizer in the poetry slam community, teaches a yearly summer writing series at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and is the director of a poetry writing and performance camp for high school youth.
The Batesville Memorial Public Library children's department assistant Emily Gerwe has planned "One Giant Leap" crafts programs for kids in grades 3-8 Thursdays from 11 a.m.-noon and 1-2 p.m. in the annex: June 13, galaxy lava lamps; June 20, exploding Jupiters; July 11, galaxy night light; July 18, galaxy potion necklace and tea light holder; and July 25, galaxy bath bombs.
In addition, "Professor Steve's Space & Flight Show" is July 25 from 2-3 p.m.
Limited space is available for that program and crafts and registration is required. Go to https://ebatesville.com/summer-reading-program/ and click on the program/craft or call 812-934-4706 to register.
Ripley County Reads: One Giant Leap has been made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information, contact Trowbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-689-7431; or visit the Facebook page RipleyCountyIndianaTourism/events.