Read City USA kicked off its 2023 one million-hour reading challenge this week with a concert at the Historic Bijou Theater. 

Read City, an initiative launched in 2018 by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs in partnership with the Knox County Public Library to promote literacy, announced its theme for the year: “All Together Now.”

“I’m excited to bring this event to the community as a celebration of reading,” Jacobs said. “We’re working with groups, businesses, schools, and families to illustrate Knox County’s commitment to literacy.”

The concert featured the “Read City Band,” a group composed of UT jazz students performing big band standards, which was led by UT Professor of Music Keith Brown.

A dance team from Go! Contemporary Danceworks performed a classic jazz-style dance throughout the event, and even transformed into dancing elephants for a musical storytime with the mayor. Jacobs read The Elephant’s Music by Monika Filipina.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Daniel Wiseman also joined on stage for an art demonstration. 

“The key to reading is to read a little every day – that’s discipline,” Jacobs said. “And finding books you love; that’s the other key.”

More information and resources about Read City 2023: All Together Now can be found here.

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