What is La Crosse Reads?

La Crosse Reads is a community-driven effort to promote reading as a means of exploring what matters most, build community through conversation and dialogue, and explore complex cultural issues and envision creative change.

Our goals are to:

  1. Increase opportunities for engaged, respectful dialogue around systemic social disparities in our community;
  2. Reflect on the connection(s) between reading literature and advocating for social justice;
  3. Engage under-served populations—those who are incarcerated, homeless or disabled—with opportunities for increased literacy;
  4. Build lasting community relationships and partnerships through open and inclusive conversations around literary works.

Events are planned, promoted, and hosted collaboratively by community partners.

2018-2019 Selection: The Latehomecomer

  • Confirmed Partners to Date: University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (English, Institute for Social Justice, College of Liberal Studies); La Crosse Public Library; Cia Siab, Inc.; Ho-Chunk Nation Three Rivers House;  Hear Here; City of La Crosse Arts Board; Downtown Mainstreet, Inc.; Viterbo University; UWL’s Murphy Library; People’s Food Co-op.
  • New Community Partners Invited: Would you or your organization like to be a part of La Crosse Reads? Please contact Natalie Eschenbaum.
  • Funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

2017-2018 Selection: Station Eleven

  • Community Partners: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; Gundersen Health Systems; The Pump House Regional Arts Center; The People’s Food Co-op; Grow La Crosse; The City of La Crosse Planning and Development department; New Horizons; The Alternative Truth Project; The La Crosse County Jail
  • Learn more about La Crosse Reads 2018.

2016-2017 Selection: A Lesson Before Dying

  • Community Partners: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (College of Liberal Studies, Murphy Library); La Crosse Public Library; Western Technical College; City of La Crosse; La Crosse County Jail; Wisconsin Humanities Council; Downtown Mainstreet; Metre; People’s Food Co-Op; Todd Wehr Memorial Library, Viterbo University
  • The first annual community read was supported by the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Our 2017 selection was A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.
  • Learn more about La Crosse Reads 2017.