Have you heard of the NEA Big Read? The National Endowment for the Arts recently released the application guidelines for 2017-2018 NEA Big Read grants. The initiative is introducing 13 new titles, including Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a story about a of a young platoon on a battlefield of the Vietnam War. Retuning titles include Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow, and Charles Portis’ True Grit. The recently released guidelines is the first opportunity for organizations to apply for programming around the 13 new titles. In total, applicants can choose from 28 titles, including novels, short stories, memoirs, poetry, and books in translation for their community reading program.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations such as arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, colleges and universities, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, trade associations, and tribal governments. As the NEA Big Read takes a more contemporary direction, the NEA and Arts Midwest are eager to see more organizations join the initiative and work to provide exciting and inspiring programing for all types of backgrounds.

The application deadline is Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 4:00pm CST for NEA Big Read programs taking place between September 2017 and June 2018. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available on the Big Read website at www.neabigread.org.

Join the NEA for a public webinar about the books on November 16, 2016, at 3 pm ET.