NATIONAL STEINBECK CENTER
The National Steinbeck Center has
a robust history of programming
that embraces its mission—“to tell the story of
John Steinbeck’s rich legacy and to present, create,
and explore stories of the human
condition.” This is more important than ever as U.S. public schools are become further distanced from
a literary curriculum.
It's exciting to know that under the direction of the National Steinbeck Center, The Steinbeck Institute for
Arts and Culture (formerly known
as Sherwood Hall) is now hosting arts events. The Institute aims to unite Monterey county residents and
its guests by providing a space
and opportunity to experience arts,
culture, and entertainment.
The Steinbeck Festival is always a wonderful experience, and I hope the May 2012 Festival with the theme of "A Voice" will be a great success!
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As a local English teacher, I've had the privilege of working with the National Steinbeck Center for over 10 years in their literacy outreach program to our city's middle school students. Their "Steinbeck Young Authors" program has inspired thousands of students to not only appreciate the power of Steinbeck's writing, but to feel empowered to see themselves as writers. Thanks to its grand vision, the Steinbeck Center plays a vital role in enhancing the cultural and literary strengths of Salinas, which struggles greatly against gang violence and low literacy rates. We're fortunate to have this jewel in our city.
The National Steinbeck Center is a wonderful organization that brings many diverse groups together from a local, regional and at times national level to study the works of John Steinbeck and to learn how these groups can work together to make a richer world to live in. The diverse number of social groups that are featured for study and gatherings at this faciltiy make it a one of a kind for our Region.
There are a number of events annually that highlight the many ethnic groups within our region. These are deisgned for most age groups. Specifically there is a day of writing specifically for children up to high school that can increase their written skill set with adult input. The Steinbeck Festival is probably the highlight of the year to celebrate John Steinbecks life and stories.
The Center also includes a section devoted to local agriculture and how that history impacted Stinebecks writtings.
The facility is also a community focal point for various gatherings.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have been to some of the largest events sponsored by the Center where as many as 1000 people to listen to authors, or to visit new additions to the museum.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would like to see it expand its base by developing more repeat visitors. Some visitors come one time and are not drawn back for additional visits.