National Endowment for the Arts and National Park Service Host Literary Event
Complete list of guest speakers and schedule available
Washington, D.C. – The Homestead National Monument of America along with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent federal agency and the largest annual arts funder in the United States, will host The Heartland Experience. This one-day literary festival will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Homestead National Monument, four miles west of Beatrice on Highway 4.
The event will celebrate literature as inspired by the great natural landscapes of the American West through the voices of renowned authors, poets, and scholars. The festival is also held as a challenge to the findings of the NEA’s report, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading, which found a dramatic decline nationwide in literary reading. Presentations for adults and children take place in two tents with all events free except the evening reception.
Following is the schedule of major events.
The National Endowment for the Arts issued Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in July 2004. The survey sampled 17,000 households and found that literary reading (includes novels, short stories, poetry, and plays) is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature. The report notes drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups. The report is available free for download at http://www.arts.gov/pub/ReadingAtRisk.pdf or in hard copy by calling 202-682-5400.
The Heartland Experience is made possible by the support of Arts Midwest, Nebraska Humanities Council, Nebraska Arts Council, Southeast Community College, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, John Neihardt State Historic Site, Nebraska Center for the Book, Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum, Peru State College Lincoln City Libraries, and the Beatrice Public Library.
For more information about this event, call 402-223-3514. For more information about the literature programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, please call 202-682-5570
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National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency