The Big Read On
Washington, D.C -- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Dana Gioia and Mrs. Laura Bush will appear on the premiere episode of the XM Satellite Radio series The Big Read on XM on September 10 to discuss books, the importance of literacy, the National Book Festival, and the NEA's national reading project, the Big Read. The new series will launch with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, airing nationwide on XM's Sonic Theater channel (Channel 163) Monday through Friday at 2:30 and 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET.
"The launch of the Big Read on XM Satellite Radio is a major literary event. Creating a daily, national, drive-time show devoted to presenting and discussing great American novels is just what we need to revitalize reading in America," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia in the launch announcement. "This is the perfect marriage of art and technology. The NEA's partnership with XM Satellite Radio has helped make the largest literary program in American history even bigger."
The Big Read on XM radio series is a joint production of the NEA and XM, in cooperation with Audible, Inc., the leading provider of audio entertainment and information on the Internet. The new series takes its name from the NEA's national reading initiative the Big Read, which encourages communities to come together to read and discuss a single book. In 2007 nearly 200 cities and towns nationwide will host a Big Read celebration.
A former librarian and an advocate of reading and lifelong learning, Mrs. Laura Bush serves as the honorary chair of the Big Read initiative. "Reading has been so inspirational and influential in my life that I can't imagine a life without reading, and I want other people who may not spend that much time reading to know how beneficial reading can be, in an emotional and spiritual way," Mrs. Bush said in a White House interview with The Big Read on XM host Josephine Reed.
The Big Read on XM will air audio versions of classic novels in 30-minute installments, along with NEA-produced interviews, commentary, and selected readings by authors, actors, and other personalities, including Ray Bradbury, Mary Louise Parker, and Colin Powell. The Fahrenheit 451 episodes of The Big Read on XM will be followed by programs on Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Willa Cather's My Ántonia, and Carson McCuller's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. For a complete schedule, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/ onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=163.
The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. For more information on the Big Read or to find a local Big Read, please visit www.neabigread.org.
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