National Endowment for the Arts Announces More Than $3.7 Million in Grants for the Big Read
268 grantees include arts groups, libraries, science organizations, colleges, and municipalities
June 23, 2009
Washington, DC - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) just may have to change the name of its literature program The Big Read to The Biggest Read. Today the NEA announced that 268 nonprofits, including arts, culture, and science organizations; libraries; and municipalities will receive grants totaling $3,742,765 to host Big Read celebrations between September 2009 and June 2010. The Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 2009-2010 Big Read grantees represent 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the 2006 pilot program with ten participating organizations, the NEA has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects.
Please see the complete listing of grants.
"The Big Read highlights not only literature, but also what can be accomplished in partnership," said NEA Acting Chairman Patrice Walker Powell. "I'm grateful to IMLS, Arts Midwest, and the many, many nonprofits, local governments, and media outlets around the country that have partnered with the NEA to present hundreds of Big Read projects nationwide. We welcome our new community partners to The Big Read family and look forward to continuing this transformative dialogue between neighbors and across borders."
"The Institute is pleased to support The Big Read, which brings communities together to enjoy literature in their public libraries," said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the NEA's lead federal partner for The Big Read. "Libraries are community anchors that serve as centers of engagement, literacy, and lifelong learning. There is nothing better than to read a great book and to share your delight and insights with others."
The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based programs. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title. Reader's Guides include features such as author biographies, historical context for the book, and discussion questions. Teacher's Guides are developed with National Council of Teachers of English and State Language Arts standards in mind and include lesson plans, essay topics, and classroom handouts. The Big Read Audio Guides feature readings from the novel along with commentary from renowned artists, educators, and public figures such as Sam Waterston and Aimee Mann, and Big Read authors such as Cynthia Ozick and Tobias Wolff.
Each community's Big Read includes a kick-off event to launch the program; activities devoted specifically to its Big Read book or poet (e.g., panel discussions, lectures, public readings); events using the selection as a point of departure (e.g., film screenings, theatrical readings, exhibits); and book discussions in diverse locations aimed at a wide range of audiences.
The Big Read Debuts New Films
This fall, the NEA also premieres four films about The Big Read authors Rudolfo Anaya, Ernest J. Gaines, Cynthia Ozick, and Tobias Wolff. Produced by Red Car Productions, the educational films offer intimate portraits of each author, including their writing philosophies, work spaces, and favorite books. Each film will be available at on The Big Read website in 20-minute and five-minute versions. The Big Read film series debuted last fall, featuring conversations with Ray Bradbury and Amy Tan.
About The Big Read Partners
The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Transportation for The Big Read is provided by Ford.
To learn more about The Big Read, please visit the The Big Read website.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. For more information please visit www.imls.gov.
The National Endowment for the Artsis a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, www.arts.gov.
The Institute of Museum and Library Servicesis the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. For more information please visit www.imls.gov.
Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries. Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit www.artsmidwest.org.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency