Bard College Awarded 2021–22 Big Read Grant from National Endowment for the Arts for Community-Wide Reading Program in Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Kingstonhe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, has awarded Bard College a $19,985 NEA Big Read grant to support the Big Read Hudson Valley: Spanning the Hudson River with Words, a dynamic community-wide reading program offering reading groups, performances, workshops, and events in Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Kingston. Focused on the Big Read selection, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Big Read Hudson Valley, which takes place next March-April, 2022, is a collaboration among Bard College and its Master of Arts in Teaching Program and La Voz magazine, with support from Bard’s Written Arts Program, the Bard Conservatory, and Conjunctions literary journal, along with partner libraries and community organizations, including Radio Kingston, the Kingston Library, the Red Hook Library, Tivoli Library, Starr Library, the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, Ramapo for Children, Oblong Books, and Rough Draft Bar & Books.
“For 15 years the NEA Big Read has supported opportunities for communities to come together around a book, creating a shared experience that encourages openness and conversations around issues central to our lives,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We congratulate all of the new NEA Big Read grantees and look forward to seeing the range of meaningful activities they create for their communities.”
Big Read Hudson Valley is one of 61 grants totaling $1,070,000 supported by NEA Big Read in 2021-2022. The grants, managed by Arts Midwest, will support dynamic community reading programs designed to encourage conversation and discovery, all inspired by a book from the NEA Big Read library. The 2021-2022 NEA Big Read grantees are located in 28 states, with 43 percent of the organizations located in communities with populations under 50,000. Nearly half (44 percent) of the recipients are first-time recipients of an NEA Big Read grant. Each organization is receiving a matching grant ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read
The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $23 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 15 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 90,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. Visit arts.gov/neabigread for more information about the NEA Big Read, including reader resources—such as book overviews, discussion questions, and interviews with the authors—as well as community stories from past NEA Big Read grantees. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in nearly 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 161-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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Bard Press Contact:Darren O'Sullivan
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