Coastal Georgia Reads IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

When The National Endowment for the Arts selected In the Heart of the Sea to be part of their NEA Big Read program, it created the opportunity for libraries, community groups, and non-profits across the country to apply for grants to build community-wide programming around my book. That’s just what Golden isles Arts & Humanities in Glynn County, GA, did. Their programming kicks off on Thursday, February 6, 2020.

I’ll be visiting the Historic Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, GA, on February 6th to deliver the keynote address to the community about In the Heart of the Sea. The month of Big Read events officially kicks off the next day during the First Friday festivities in downtown Bruswick, GA, with an environmental fair.

The weeks that follow will include discussions, performances, films, art exhibits and school programs that are designed to get everyone in the community reading, discussing and thinking about In the Heart of the Sea and to consider the relationship that we have with the natural world and how we can best protect and nurture it.

Golden Isles Arts & Humanities has partnered with The College of Coastal Georgia, Marshes of Glynn Library System, Three Rivers Regional Library System, The Literary Guild of St Simons Island, Brunswick News Publishing, and hello/Goodbuy to bring a wide variety of cultural activities to the community.

Check out all they have in store:

Companion Children’s Books:
As part of the Middle and Little Big Reads program, they’ve chosen companion books for young and middle grade readers. The Middle Big Read selection is The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence and for The Little Big Read, How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long. Copies of In the Heart of the Sea and these two children’s books have been distributed to schools in Glynn, Camden and McIntosh counties.

Keynote Address:
I will deliver the keynote address on Thursday February 6th at the Historic Ritz Theatre at 7 pm.  Attendees may make a reservation and a $10/donation is requested per person at the door.  Students with ID are free.

Environmental Fair:
The NEA Big Read will officially kick off on February 7th during the First Friday festivities in downtown Brunswick with an Environmental Fair featuring Green Scene of Coastal Georgia, One Hundred Miles, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Altamaha Riverkeeper and others along with the opening of the Big Read Art Exhibits, and more.

A wide variety of lectures focusing on the history, inspirations and themes of Philbrick’s book including a talk on Herman Melville and the Legacies of the Essex by Emory University professor Dr. Cody Marrs, The Psychology of Survival by CCGA professors Dr. Aurora Nunez and Dr. Neda Moinolmolki, and panelists from Golden Isles Fund for Trees sharing the historical role of local live oaks in the shipbuilding industry.

The 8th annual Green Screen Environmental Film Festival presents two short films and a feature film: Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future. The festival takes place Saturday February 8 from 2-5 pm at the Historic Ritz Theatre.   Also at the Ritz, Cinema Gourmet screens John Huston’s classic adaptation of Moby Dick on February 13 and the film adaptation of In the Heart of the Sea will screen February 24.

Whaling and Sailing Songs from the Days of Moby Dick
Performed by Adam Miller
February 18 – 6:30 pm @ The Brunswick Library

How I Became A Pirate
Brunswick High Theatre presents the musical adaptation of the Little Read Book.
February 21 – 23 – Fri & Sat 7:30 pm & Sun @ The Historic Ritz Theatre

Staged Readings of Moby Dick
A 60-minute adaptation of Melville’s classic tale
February 29 – March 1 Sat -7 pm Sun – 3 pm @ The Historic Ritz Theatre

Most activities are free and all are open to the public.  A complete Big Read calendar is available at and an online resource guide is available at

For additional information, contact Golden Isles Arts & Humanities at 912-262-6934 or visit