Cowboy Tea at Highlands March 7 for Big Read Program

February 20, 2020

Photo of Gina Centineo

Gina Centineo

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents a free Cowboy Tea March 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. as part of its Big Read program, which aims to foster a love of reading in Las Vegas.

The Cowboy Tea will be in the Margaret Kennedy Alumni Hall at 905 University Ave.

“Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages are invited to join us for a cowboy tea party,” said Gina Centineo, library associate of external programs at the Highlands Donnelly Library. “Dress up for a wild Old West adventure and enjoy cowboy-themed snacks and activities.”

The family-oriented tea features cowboy arts and crafts projects, a photo booth and more.

“Bring your appetite to this taste of the Old West,” Centineo said.

Highlands is hosting a number of Big Read activities for the public in February, March and April with an Old West theme. A webpage for the Big Read events is online at

Another upcoming Big Read event is the free screening of the 2010 Coen brother’s film, “True Grit,” March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium at 900 University Ave.

American author Charles Portis wrote the classic Old West novel True Grit in 1968. The events for the Big Read connect with True Grit.  Free copies of the book are available at Donnelly Library, 802 National Ave.

The “True Grit, True Culture, True Place” reading and discussion group begins Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Donnelly Library. Eric Romero, faculty member in the Native American and Hispano Cultural Studies program at Highlands, will lead the group.

The books in the free reading group are Feb. 27 True Grit; March 26 So Far from God by Ana Castillo; and April 16 The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday. All the books are available at Donnelly Library. More details are online at

“The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant program is an excellent opportunity for the Highlands community and the greater Las Vegas community to come together to discuss True Grit,” said April Kent, a librarian and head of public services at Donnelly Library. “The series of events surrounding the book are varied and everyone should find something interesting to read, watch and discuss.”

Kent took the lead in writing the competitive National Endowment for the Arts grant proposal for the Highlands Big Read program and is coordinating the events. English faculty members Lauren Fath and Benjamin Villarreal also helped with the grant, along with Donnelly librarian Josephine Sena.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Las Vegas is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read program.

For more information about the Big Read program in Las Vegas, contact Kent at