A! Magazine for the Arts

The Big Read: Grants & Films for 2009-2010

July 6, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) just may have to change the name of its literature program The Big Read to The Biggest Read.

The NEA recently announced that 269 nonprofits, including arts, culture, and science organizations; libraries; and municipalities will receive grants totaling $3,742,765 to host Big Read celebrations between September 2009 and June 2010.

his fall, the NEA will also premiere four films about The Big Read authors Rudolfo Anaya, Ernest J. Gaines, Cynthia Ozick, and Tobias Wolff. Produced by Red Car Productions, the educational films offer intimate portraits of each author, including their writing philosophies, work spaces, and favorite books. Each film will be available at on The Big Read website in 20-minute and five-minute versions.

The Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 2009-2010 Big Read grantees represent 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the 2006 pilot program with 10 participating organizations, the NEA has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects.

"The Big Read highlights not only literature, but also what can be accomplished in partnership," said NEA Acting Chairman Patrice Walker Powell. "I grateful to IMLS, Arts Midwest, and the many, many nonprofits, local governments, and media outlets around the country that have partnered with the NEA to present hundreds of Big Read projects nationwide. We welcome our new community partners to The Big Read family and look forward to continuing this transformative dialogue between neighbors and across borders."

For a list of grants, or more information, click here.