Big Read Tucson will kick-off with a free, outdoor celebration at Mission Garden emphasizing the power of storytelling and poetry to transmit national histories and spark imagination. Youth and families are especially welcome! University of Arizona scholars team with Mission Garden staff and volunteers to present great books, speakers, readings, book signings, and activities for youth. There will be book giveaways! There will be presentations by the Mayor’s Office, City Council member Lane Santa Cruz; Mission Garden’s Outreach Coordinator, and members of the Santa Cruz Heritage Project; Bookworm Path, Garden Exploring and Treasure Hunt, and readings related to the theme of water. After this short opening, attendees will be invited to explore 4 activities: 1) a book collection with picture books centered on water; 2) a book collection with picture books, young adult novels, adult fiction, and poetry by Indigenous authors; 3) an artistic invitation/response to We Are Water Protectors (watercolor art and painting); 4) magnetic poetry in response to Postcolonial Love Poem (English and Spanish poetry magnetic poetry sets). Attendees will also be invited to participate in a treasure hunt and the bookworm path.