Federal-Private Program Focuses on Improving Reading Levels
National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest
Deadline: February 1, 2011
The Big Read
The program is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for
pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read provides participating U.S. communities with grants and comprehensive
resources that support their efforts to read and discuss a single book or the work of a poet.
Grantees will conduct month-long, community-wide reads from September 2011 through June 2012.
Grant size will be determined based on community population, number of activities planned and overall strength of the
application. Grant funds may be used for such expenses as book purchases, speaker fees and travel, salaries,
advertising and venue rental.
Funding: 75 grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 each (a 1:1 match is required)
Insider's Tip: NEA staffers state that successful programs will involve a variety of partnerships with diverse community
organizations to broaden audience outreach and deepen participation. They remind us that each partnership must
include a library, and suggest that a library applicant receive preference. Other key partners include middle and high
schools and the media (local TV, radio, print, etc.) to ensure proper coverage of the event.
Other partners they suggest include: bookstores, museums, arts organizations, local businesses, chambers of commerce,
community service organizations, community centers, youth groups, senior centers, correctional institutions,
neighborhood associations, community colleges, universities, social service organizations, and military installations.
For more information: