IMLS Joins the NEA in Celebrating the Fifth Year of The Big Read with $1 Million in Grants

by | Jul 14, 2010 | 0 comments

Seventy-five Grantees Include Libraries, Arts Groups, Colleges, and Municipalities

Kicking off the program’s fifth year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) joins the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in announcing that 75 not-for-profits – including arts and cultural organizations, libraries, and universities – will receive grants totaling $1 million to host a Big Read project between September 2010 and June 2011. The Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from United States and world literature, which for the first time will include Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies. Since the 2006 pilot program with 10 participating organizations, the NEA, in partnership with IMLS and in cooperation with Arts Midwest, has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects. Please see the complete listing of grants at

The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based programs. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, which also are available for download on Reader’s Guides include features such as author biographies, historical context for the book, and discussion questions. Teacher’s Guides are developed with the National Council of Teachers of English and State Language Arts standards in mind and include lesson plans, essay topics, and classroom handouts. The Big Read Audio Guides feature readings from the novel along with commentary from renowned artists, educators, and public figures such as Junot Diaz and Aimee Mann, and Big Read authors such as Cynthia Ozick and Ernest J. Gaines.

For more information about The Big Read please visit

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