NEA ‘Big Read’ applications open

Up to $20k for community-wide reading programs

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Bring the NEA Big Read to your community!

Fifteen books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives are available for organizations interested in applying for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant to hold a project between September 2022 and June 2023. An initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports programs held around the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community.

  • What?  The NEA Big Read is a community engagement opportunity with grants of up $20,000 for community-wide reading programs (in-person and/or virtual).  Organizations can choose one of 15 available books—see the attached book descriptions for additional information.  The majority of these selections are new to the NEA Big Read program!
  • Who? Eligible organizations include arts organizations, humanities councils, community service organizations, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, school districts, theater companies, museums, tribal governments, and more.
  • Why? Past grantees have a proven track record of successfully engaging their audiences through the power of literature and stirring up a passion for reading that persists year after year.  They’ve also developed meaningful and lasting partnerships with other organizations in their community, and program participants have the opportunity to meaningfully connect in-person and/or virtually.
  • When? The deadline to apply is January 26, 2022.
  • Where? Learn more about the NEA Big Read application process at this link: