John Green’s Next Bestseller

John Green, author of bestsellers The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska, has returned with an all-new novel called Turtles All The Way Down, and according to The New York Times, it is his “most difficult to read” but also his “most astonishing.”

John Green is an author, vlogger, writer, producer, editor, and actor who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. (He attended Indian Springs School, right outside of Birmingham, and graduated in 1995.) In 2006, Green won the Printz Award for his first novel Looking For Alaska, and in January 2012, his sixth novel The Fault In Our Stars made it to number one on The New York Times Bestseller List.

The story in Turtles All the Way Down revolves around sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes, who suffers from anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She strives to find an Indianapolis billionaire, who is on the run after being accused of bribery and fraud, with the help of her best friend Daisy. If they are able to obtain information on where he is and turn it into the authorities, they stand to claim a $100,000 reward!

Turtles All The Way Down is different from Green’s previous books. Multiple themes are present in this novel, Some but not all have been seen in his other books. This novel is darker than anything he’ has written before, not because of the themes, but because of the way he decided to write it, and that’s what makes it so amazing!

To see a video John Green read the first chapter of his new novel, click here.

Turtles All the Way Down is available in hardcover and e-book editions from Dutton Books.

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ASCA’s Visual Arts Program

Have you ever wondered when, where, and how museums, festivals, and communities get their funding? Some people know, or maybe don’t, or just don’t bother finding out. Many of the art programs and events in Alabama are funded by the Visual Arts program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

According to its mission statement, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) is an organization dedicated to identifying, preserving, and supporting a diverse variety of art forms. Their visual arts program ensures excellence in visual programming for diverse audiences by supporting a wide range of programs across the state. Visual art includes the disciplines of painting, sculpture, crafts, printmaking, photography, film, and design.

ASCA is a monetary life-line to many arts programs in Alabama. I recently had the opportunity to interview the ASCA’s Visual Arts Program Manager Elliot Knight. He told me that, in 2016 alone, ASCA has provided operating grants totaling $417,400 to major art museums throughout the state, and those museums were visited by 353,818 individuals in that year! Thousands of Alabamians gained access to the visual arts as a result of the funding provided by ASCA.

ASCA also supports Alabama’s art festivals, like the Kentuck Art Festival of the Arts, as well as public art displays, and individual artist fellowships. These outlets are a critical part of the continuance of art appreciation within our society. Art stimulates thought, and the visual arts have the ability to teach skills like thoughtful observation and critical thinking. ASCA’s funding helps plant these seeds in the individuals who benefit from their participation in and observance of visual arts.

Public art is becoming very popular in Alabama, and ASCA has been able to support a number of projects this year that bring sculptures, murals and mosaics into museums. With the assistance of ASCA funding, the City of Anniston, Walker County Arts Alliance, Main Street Mobile,the Jackson Hospital Foundation, and the Wiregrass Museum were able to bring all types of art into museums and other public spaces for Alabamians to enjoy.

To learn more about the Visual Arts program, visit their website.