CELEBRATING LITERACY!

April 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

PBS rolls out “The Great American Read” while Mayor De Blasio’s office rolls out “One Book, One New York”. We have details on both of these wonderful events.

To vote for the one book New York should read together please click here to vote. The winning book will be revealed on May 3rd.

Aired on April 20, 2018. 

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>> WHAT IF EVERYONE IN NEW YORK
WAS LITERALLY ON THE SAME PAGE?
WELL, AFTER THE SUCCESS OF LAST
YEAR'S INAUGURAL ONE BOOK ONE
NEW YORK CAMPAIGN, WHICH
ATTEMPTED TO GET EVERYONE IN NEW
YORK CITY READING THE SAME BOOK
AT THE SAME TIME, THE MAYOR'S
OFFICE OF MEDIA AND
ENTERTAINMENT IS DOING IT AGAIN.
AND EARLIER THIS MONTH IN
COLLABORATION WITH NEW YORK
MAGAZINE AND THE WEBSITE VULT
DWRUR IT ANNOUNCED THE FIVE
BOOKS FROM WHICH THEY CAN READ
ONE BOOK.
TALKING ABOUT ONE BOOK ONE NEW
YORK 2018 IS JULIE MENNEN FROM
THE MAYOR'S OFFICE.
COMMISSIONER WELCOME BACK TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> IT SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY WE
WERE SITTING HERE TALKING ABOUT
ONE BOOK ONE NEW YORK 2017
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESS
OF THAT CAMPAIGN.
>> THANK YOU.
>> LET ME START WITH THIS.
AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION
OBVIOUSLY YOUR IMMEDIATE GOAL IS
GET AS MANY NEW YORKER READING
THE SAME BOOK MORE OR LESS AT
THE SAME TIME.
BUT WHY DO YOU WANT THAT TO
HAPPEN.
>> WE BELIEVE IN SPARKING A
CIVIC CONVERSATION IN THESE
DIFFICULT POLITICAL TIMES.
WE ALL FIND OURSELVES IN THIS
IT'S A WAY TO UNITE PEOPLE.
WHETHER THEY SEE ACROSS THAT
AISLE THAT SOMEONE IS READING
THE SAME BOOK AT THE SAME TIME
IT SPARKS A CIVIC CONVERSATION.
THAT'S IMPORTANT.
IT'S ABOUT SUPPORTING THE
PUBLISHING INDUSTRY WHICH IS
STRUGGLING.
>> IT'S A BIG INDUSTRY IN NEW
YORK.
>> IT IS AND INDEPENDENT BOOK
STORES WHICH SADLY MANY ARE
CLOSING.
LAST YEAR WHEN WE DID THE
CAMPAIGN WE FOUND THAT SALES
INCREASED OF THE WINNING BOOK BY
OVER 400% IN INDEPENDENT BOOK
STORES.
>> WOW.
>> WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE
TO GO TO THE INDEPENDENT BOOK
STORE.
BUT ALSO GO TO THE LOCAL PUBLIC
LIBRARY BRANCH.
WE HAVE OVER 5,000 COPIES OF THE
FIVE BOOKS IN THE 219 PUBLIC
LIBRARY BRANCHES IN THE CITY.
>> THAT'S GREAT.
AS WE SPOKE LAST YEAR SOMETHING
LIKE THIS -- AN INITIATIVE
SIMILAR TO THIS WAS TRIED IN THE
EARLY TWOUSs, 2002 I THINK AND
DIDN'T WORK OUT.
WHAT DID YOU DO THAT WAS RIGHT
LAST YEAR.
>> THE REASON IN 2002 WHY THIS
PROGRAM DIDN'T WORK OUT IS
ACTUALLY THEY HAD A COMMITTEE.
AND THE COMMITTEE COULD NOT
SHOCKINGLY AGREE ON THE BOOK.
AND SO WE LEARNED FROM THAT
EXPERIENCE.
SO IT'S NEW YORK VOTING ON THE
BOOK.
THERE IS NOT A SITUATION WHERE
THEY CAN'T AGREE.
THIS YEAR AGAIN THROUGHOUT THE
MONTH OF APRIL NEW YORKERS CAN
VOTE ON WHICH OF THE FIVE BOOKS
THEY WANT ALL OF NEW YORK CITY
TO READ.
>> SINCE YOU MENTION IT WHAT ARE
THE FIVE BOOKS.
>> THE FIVE BOOKS ARE WHITE
TEARS BY WHICH HARI KUNZRU.
>> ESMERALDA MBUE WHEN I WAS
PUERTO RICAN.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK,
WHICH IS MADE INTO A MOVIE BY
BARRY JENKINS, THE DIRECTOR OF
MOONLIT.
BEHOLD THE DREAMERS.
BY MBUE.
>> AND MANHATTAN BEACH BY
JENNIFER EGAN.
>> A TERRIFIC PERSON AND WRITER.
THERE IS A GENERAL THEME AMONG
THE BOOKS IT'S ABOUT NEW YORK
NEIGHBORHOODS.
TALKED ABOUT THAT.
WHY THAT PARTICULAR THEME?
>> WELL YOU WILL ALL OF THE
AUTHORS, FOUR LIVING AUTHORS
THEY'RE ALL WORKING RIGHT NOW IN
NEW YORK LIVING IN NEW YORK.
AND ALL FIVE OF THE BOOKS REALLY
PROFILE DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS
THROUGHOUT THE CITY.
SO WHETHER IT'S MANHATTAN BEACH
WHICH OBVIOUSLY MANHATTAN BEACH
IT TALKS ABOUT AND ALSO THE
BROOKLYN NAVY YARD IN THE WORLD
WAR II PERIOD.
OR WHETHER IT'S THE BEALE STREET
COULD TALK, WHICH TALKS ABOUT
HARLEM AND THE LOWER EAST SIDE,
ALL OF THESE FIVE BOOKS PROFILE
DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS IN NEW
YORK CITY AND ALSO THEMES THAT
ARE INDEMIC TO NEW YORK CITY.
THEMES ABOUT IMMIGRATION, ABOUT
EXCLUSION AND INCLUSION.
DIFFERENT THEMES ABOUT
INEQUALITY AND STRUGGLES
DIFFERENT NEW YORKERS FACE.
>> IN THIS CAMPAIGN YOU ARE
PARTNERING WITH NEW YORK
MAGAZINE AND VULT YUR.
WHAT ARE THEY BRINGING TO THE
TABLE.
>> THEY HAVE BEEN SUCH TERRIFIC
PARTNERS WITH US IN TERMS OF
PROMOTING THE ONE BOOK ONE NEW
YORK PROGRAM THROUGHOUT THE
CITY, IN TERMS OF ADVERTISING
WHEN WE ANNOUNCED THE WINNING
BOOK WHICH WE'LL ANNOUNCE ON MAY
3rd.
THEY'RE DOING EVENTS TO PROMOTE
THE ONE BOOK AS WILL OUR OFFICE.
LAST YEAR WHEN AMERICANA WON THE
PUBLIC VOTE WE HAD EVENTS AROUND
THE CITY, FREE EVENTS
CELEBRATING AMERICANA.
WE DID A READING GROUP AT RIKERS
ISLAND WITH WOMEN INMATES.
IT WAS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL.
WE PARTNERED WITH COLUMBIA,
TEACHERS COLLEGE TO DEVELOP A
CURRICULUM AROUND THE WINNING
BOOK.
WE'LL DO A LOT OF EVENTS
CELEBRATING THE THEMES THAT COME
UP FROM WHICHEVER BOOK ENDS UP
WINNING THE PUBLIC VOTE.
>> HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
HOW CAN NEW YORKERS FINE THE
BOOK.
>> GO TO OUR WEBSITE.
NYC.GOV.
YOU CAN REACH US.
THROUGH BOTH SITES YOU CAN VOTE
IMPORTANTLY.
BUT WE HAVE A LIST OF ALL THE
PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES AND A
MAP SHOWS YOU WHERE THE CLOSEST
LIBRARY BRANCH IS.
>> AND PEOPLE CAN VOTE ONLY ON
THE WEBSITE.
>> ONLY ON THE WEBSITE.
>> AND HOW CAN YOU MAKE SURE
THEY'VE READ ALL THE FIVE BOOKS
BEFORE THEY VOTE.
>> WE CAN'T.
WE DO DO A TEST.
>> IT'S THE HONOR SYSTEM.
IF PEOPLE CAN'T GET THROUGH ALL
FIVE IF THEY READ ONE BOOK AND
WANT TO VOTE THAT'S GREAT.
WHAT WE ARE TRAG TO DO IS
ENCOURAGE LITERACY SUPPORT THE
PUBLISHING INDUSTRIES AND PARK A
COMMON CONVERSATION.
>> WHEN WILL THE WIN ARE BE
ANNOUNCED.
>> THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED
MAY 3rd AND VOTING IS THROUGHOUT
THE MONTH.
>> THAT'S ONLY THE BEGINNING.
>> ONLY THE BEGINNING BECAUSE
ONCE WE ANNOUNCE THE WINNER WE
DO EVENTS AROUND THE CITY
CELEBRATING THAT BOOK AND REALLY
CIVIC CONVERSATIONS WITH THE
AUTHOR.
I MEAN WE'RE REALLY LUCKY AND
FORTUNATE TO HAVE FOUR AUTHORS
HERE WHO ARE VERY INVOLVED IN
THIS PROCESS.
AND THEN WE ALSO HAVE BARRY
JENKINS, THE FILM DIRECTOR
DIRECTING THE MOVIE IF BEALE
STREET COULD TAKE.
>> IT LOOKS LIKE THIS HAS BECOME
NOW A NEW YORK STAPLE EVERY YEAR
WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK AND TALK
ABOUT THE BOOKS.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>>> TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ONE
BOOK ONE NEW YORK AND HOW YOU
CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE TITLE
BEFORE THE WINNERS ANNOUNCED ON
MAY 3rd YOU CAN VISIT OR WEBSITE
AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, and Judy and Josh Weston.

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