The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, has announced support for 62 nonprofit organizations to hold NEA Big Read programming in 2022-2023. Among the grantees is the Lake County Library. In total, the NEA is investing $1,071,140 to support programming centered around one of 15 different contemporary books, with the aim of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities. The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery.
The Lake County Library is a recipient of a $9,500 grant to host the NEA Big Read countywide with dynamic community reading programs, and has selected Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz for 2023 programming. Activities will take place from February 2023 to March 2023.
Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Postcolonial Love Poem is a collection of poetry by Arizona poet Natalie Diaz—who is Mojave, an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe, Latinx, and queer. The poems push against the forces of racism, environmental destruction, addiction, and mental illness with the power of desire, love, and language. From publisher Gray Wolf Press, “Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages—bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers—be touched and held as beloveds.”
Confirmed partners for the 2023 program include the County of Lake Board of Supervisors, Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Mendocino College Lake Center, Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College, County of Lake Special Districts, Lake County Library Genealogy and Local History Group, Museums of Lake County, Lake County Office of Education, Lake County Farmers’ Finest, Lake County Arts Council, Middletown Art Center, andO’Meara Bros. Brewing Company. Organizers expect to add more partners as planning continues.
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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 $24 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 16 years, grantees have leveraged more than $56 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 97,000 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. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information.