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National Endowment for the Arts: Big Read

Deadline: January 29, 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read broadens understanding of the world, communities, and people through the joy of sharing a good book. It supports community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary books that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. Organizations selected to participate in NEA Big Read receive a grant and access to online training resources and opportunities, digital resources, and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement.

NEA Big Read applicants submit proposals to host a series of community events presented at a variety of locations over the course of one month or longer. Events use the same NEA Big Read book as a point of departure and encourage participants to engage both with the book and fellow community members. Each NEA Big Read program includes: a kick-off event, often attended by high-profile leaders and other local luminaries; major events inspired by the content and themes from the book (e.g., panel discussions and author readings); artistic events related to the book (e.g., art/writing contests, film screenings, and theatrical performances); and book discussions in diverse locations involving a wide range of audiences.

Amount: Approximately 75 organizations will be selected for grants from $5,000-$15,000.

Eligibility: An applicant organization must:

  • Be a 501c(3) nonprofit organization; a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community or tribe.
  • Partner with a library (if the applicant organization itself is not a library).
  • University and college applicants must partner with a library that is not directly affiliated with their educational institution.
  • Choose one of the 32 available reading selections. Applicants that have received an NEA Big Read grant in the past must choose a different reading selection from their previous award.
  • Have a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number.
  • Have and maintain an “active” SAM registration (sam.gov).
  • Be able to comply with the federal policies and legal requirements, statutes, and regulations in the Assurance of Compliance.

Local education agencies, school districts, and state and regional education agencies are eligible. NEA does not fund individual elementary or secondary schools—charter, private, or public—directly. Schools may participate as partners in projects for which another eligible organization applies. If a single school also is a local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as a local education agency.

Link: https://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/neabigread/guidelines

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