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Reading Together: The Big Read Program from the National Endowment for the Arts

Nov 09, 2020 at 11:48 am by katecaccavaio

Grant Opportunity: Despite social distancing measures that limit the ways we can directly connect with our local communities, there remain many creative ways to come together in small ways. The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read project is designed for local libraries to develop and implement community reading programs around a series of pre-selected books. Click here for the Big Read FAQ page and learn more about the program’s guidelines.

Community reading programs will be conducted from September 2021 – June 2022 and will use the following texts for programming:

  • An American Sunrise: A collection of poems by Joy Harjo, 2020 US Poet Laurate.
  • Beloved: A novel by Toni Morrison, winner of 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The Best We Could Do; An Illustrated Memoir: Graphic autobiography by Thi Bui, winner of 2018 American Book Award.
  • The Call of the Wild, White Fang, & Other Stories: Novels and stories by Jack London.
  • The Grapes of Wrath: A novel by John Steinbeck, winner of 1940 Pulitzer Prize.
  • The House on Mango Street: A novel by Sandra Cisneros, winner of 1985 American Book Award.

According to Mary Anne Carter, NEA Chair, “These books all provide insights into different aspects of our history and we look forward to seeing the creative ways organizations find to explore their selected book with their community." NEA will also provide instructional content (e.g., author interviews, audio/visual resources) and teaching guides for all of the selected books.

Eligibility: Organizations registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofits; a division of local, state or tribal agencies; or tax-exempt libraries.  Federally recognized tribes, local/ municipal governments, and educational institutions. “Eligible applicants include organizations such as arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, colleges and universities, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments” according to Arts Midwest.

Grant Amount: Awards range $5,000-$20,000

Grant Period: September 2021 – June 2022

Important Dates: An online informal information session will be conducted on Thursday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Click here to register for the event.

The deadline for applications is January 27, 2021.

For more information: Click here to review the application guidelines and information submitting an Intent to Apply letter to ArtsMidwest.

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