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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.

Submitted material

Young readers invited to write to favorite authors

Submission deadline: Friday, Jan. 11, 2019


Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre (fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic) explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s life or view of the world. This is the first year for online submissions. The 26th annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with the South Carolina Center for the Book and the South Carolina State Library with financial support from the South Carolina State Library Foundation. Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The South Carolina Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state.  Their winning letters will be published online at the South Carolina Center for the Book’s website and advance to the national judging. South Carolina winners will receive $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place in each level. For more information, online submissions, and entry forms, please visit www.read.gov/letters. The deadline for submissions is January 11, 2019.

About the S.C. State Library

The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.  For more information, please visit statelibrary.sc.gov or call 803.734.8666.

Introducing third graders to art and history through reading

Richland Library and the Columbia Museum of Art have teamed up to pilot an art and literacy initiative called "All Around the Town: All Around the State." Focusing on at-risk students, the program targets 2,000 third graders in Richland, Fairfield and Orangeburg counties. All Around the Town will provide first-time exposure to public cultural venues in South Carolina and expose children to the work of two South Carolina artists—Dinah Johnson and Richard Samuel Roberts. Through activities built around Johnson’s book and Roberts’ photographs, students will experience what life was like for Columbia’s Africa-American community during the early 20th century. This program is supported by South Carolina State Library, Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina and Claflin University. More information is available from Richland Library and from the Columbia Museum of Art. Read an article about the program in The State newspaper. Photo: Cover of All Around Town, the Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, by Dinah Johnson Via: Richland Library, Columbia Museum of Art