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Jason Rapp

Applications open for NEA’s ‘Big Read’ program

Arts orgs eligible for $20,000 grants

Application deadline: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2021

Arts Midwest is now accepting applications for the 2021/2022 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program.

pile of books on a wooden stoolThe NEA Big Read is a community engagement opportunity with grants of up to $20,000 for community-wide reading programs (virtual and/or in-person). Organizations can choose one of six available books. They can also tie in thematically-related books of their choice to expand the program's potential and reach a wider audience. Eligible organizations include arts organizations, but also:
  • community service organizations,
  • institutions of higher education,
  • libraries and literary centers,
  • museums,
  • school districts,
  • tribal governments, and more!
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. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure has positive impacts on one’s health and this program can also provide entertainment and connection to community members in a time of isolation. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2021. Learn more about the NEA Big Read via the attached grant guidelines and at this link: https://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/neabigread/about If you have any questions, please contact Arts Midwest at neabigread@artsmidwest.org or 612.238.8010.

Jason Rapp

NEA, Arts Midwest make NEA Big Read guidelines public

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with Arts Midwest, announced today that guidelines are now available for nonprofit organizations interested in applying for a grant to hold an NEA Big Read project between September 2021 and June 2022.

Since 2006, more than 1,600 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read programs have taken place throughout the nation, giving communities the opportunity to come together to read, take part in meaningful discussions, and enjoy book-inspired events. The deadline for grant applications is January 27, 2021. The books available for the 2021-2022 NEA Big Read are designed to provide communities and readers with insights into aspects of our nation’s history and culture. Applicant organizations are encouraged to collaborate with a broad range of partners to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. Eligible applicants and partners include, but are not limited to: arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete application details. “This selection of books for the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read will offer a platform to launch meaningful discussions about our nation’s past, present, and our hopes for its future,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “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.” The books available for 2021-2022 programming are:
  • An American Sunrise—A collection of poems by Joy Harjo—current U.S. poet laureate and member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation—that revisits the homeland from which her ancestors were uprooted in 1830 as a result of the Indian Removal Act.
  • Beloved—A novel by Toni Morrison set in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio, about one woman’s struggle to raise her daughter while coping with the memories of her life as an enslaved person in pre-Civil War Kentucky.
  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir—Thi Bui’s memoir about the lasting effects of one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s to a new life in America and the universal challenges of becoming a new parent.
  • The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories—A collection of short and long tales of heroism and hardship by Jack London featuring canine protagonists and set in the Pacific Northwest amidst the backdrop of the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s.
  • The Grapes of Wrath—A novel by John Steinbeck published in 1939 that chronicles the harrowing westward migration from Oklahoma to California during the time of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
  • The House on Mango Street—A series of interconnected vignettes by Sandra Cisneros published in 1984 about a year in the life of a young Mexican-American girl growing up in Chicago in the 1980s.
Resources for each book, such as readers’ guides and teachers’ guides will be available in Spring 2021. In order to broaden participation, applicants may also choose to develop certain events and/or activities around other literary titles that relate in some way (thematically, historically, etc.) to their selected NEA Big Read book. “For nearly 15 years, NEA Big Read has inspired communities to come together over the joy of a good book,” shared Joshua Feist, director of grantmaking at Arts Midwest. “We look forward to supporting organizations as they test innovative ways to connect their audiences—which includes events in virtual spaces and socially distant programs—to ensure that communities have access to creativity, literature, and the important stories and ideas embedded in these books.” A webinar for potential applicants will be held on November 12, 2020 at 1pm ET. Click here to register.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

Since the program began in 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 14 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local matching funds to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout our region and the nation. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 35 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

Reminder: Big Read grants available for community reading programs

Application deadline is Jan. 28, 2015. The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2015 and June 2016. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enrichment. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Funding ranges from $2,500 to $20,000. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected to read, discuss, and celebrate with their communities one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature. In addition, The Big Read provides comprehensive information about the authors and their works in the Books & Guides section of The Big Read website. Find the complete guidelines and application instructions online. For more information, contact Arts Midwest at (612) 238-8010 or email thebigread@artsmidwest.org Via: Arts Midwest

Get your community on the same page! Big Read grants available

The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2015 and June 2016. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enrichment. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Funding ranges from $2,500 to $20,000. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected to read, discuss, and celebrate with their communities one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature. In addition, The Big Read provides comprehensive information about the authors and their works in the Books & Guides section of The Big Read website. A new title has been added to The Big Read catalog this year: Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat. The author grew up in Haiti, raised by her uncle, then moved to the United States with parents and siblings she hardly knew. This poignant memoir explores the contrasting lives of her uncle in Haiti and her father in America, and delves deep into themes of family, home and tradition. The application deadline is Jan. 28, 2015 by 4 p.m. Central Standard Time. Find the complete guidelines and application instructions online. For more information, contact Arts Midwest at (612) 238-8010 or email thebigread@artsmidwest.org. Follow @NEABigRead on Twitter for all the latest info and news. Via: Arts Midwest

Join a nation of readers with The Big Read!

The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2014 and June 2015. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. The application deadline is Jan. 28, 2014 by 4 p.m. CST. Two new titles are available this year: Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine, bringing the Big Read library to 36 selections from American and world literature. Eligible organizations may apply for a grant ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. In addition to the grant, organizations selected to participate receive educational and promotional materials and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. Visit The Big Read website to review the guidelines and application instructions and to view the list of books and other communities that have participated. Applications must be submitted electronically via eGrant on or before 4 p.m. CST on Tuesday, January 28, 2014. The Big Read is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Via: The Big Read

Milly

The Big Read wants you!

Do you enjoy reading? Would you like to present or participate in a community-wide reading program? The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofits to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2013 and June 2014.  Eligible applicants include such organizations as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, local governments, humanities councils, literary festivals and arts organizations. Organizations selected to participate receive a grant, educational and promotional materials and online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. The Big Read is a national program designed to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. Participating communities read and discuss a single book. Each community event lasts approximately one month and includes a kick-off event, major events devoted specifically to the book (panel discussions, author reading, and the like); events using the book as a point of departure (film screenings, theatrical readings, and so forth); and book discussions in diverse locations and aimed at a wide range of audiences. Individuals can get involved by sharing Big Read information and encouraging their local library, museum or other arts organization to apply. In fact, there are Ten Ways To Get Involved. To review the guidelines and application instructions, visit The Big Read website. The application deadline is Feb. 5, 2013. Think about taking the lead for The Big Read! Note: Allen University in Columbia is South Carolina's only current Big Read participant. Find out about their activities, scheduled for March 2013.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Via: The Big Read