The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read initiative annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection. Each community program that receives an NEA Big Read grant—which ranges between $5,000 and $15,000—is also provided with resources, outreach materials, and training on various aspects such as working with local partners, developing public relations strategies, and leading book discussions and Q&As. The programs last approximately one month and include a kick-off event, often attended by the mayor and other local luminaries; major events devoted specifically to the book (e.g., panel discussions and author reading); events using the book as a point of departure (e.g., film screenings and theatrical readings); and book discussions in diverse locations involving a wide range of audiences.
To apply for this program, read through the links to guidelines and advice starting on this NEA Big Read “How to Apply” page.
Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 12 years, grantees have leveraged more than $44 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 82,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible.