ABINGDON, Va. - Barter Theatre, along with the Washington County Public Library System, announced that it has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read in Washington County, Va.
Barter Theatre is one of 208 libraries, municipalities, and arts, culture, higher education, and science organizations to receive a grant to host The Big Read from September 2008-June 2009. The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 selections from American and world literature. The Big Read in Washington County will focus on Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Activities will take place from February to April 2009.
The latest Big Read grantees represent 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To date, the NEA has given more than 500 grants to support local Big Read projects.
"Everything the NEA does, we do in partnership. I am delighted to announce our 208 new partners in The Big Read. Some are new to the program, some are returning, but all of them have answered the call to action to get our country reading again," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader's, Teacher's, and Audio Guides.
"With this latest round of grants, I am proud to say that The Big Read has supported more than 500 public library partnerships," said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the NEA's lead federal partner for The Big Read. "Through this program, public libraries continue to demonstrate their value in communities as centers of engagement, literacy, and lifelong learning. I am particularly delighted by the innovative public programming born out of library and museum collaborations."
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
For more information about The Big Read, visit www.neabigread.org.