The NEA Big Read
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest that offers grants to support innovative literacy and community programs. The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
A great book combines enrichment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us. Whether you’re a regular reader already or making up for lost time, we thank you for joining us for the NEA Big Read.
The NEA Big Read awarded grants totaling more than $1 million to 77 nonprofit organizations between September 2016 and June 2017. The Volusia County Public Library system received a $15,000 grant.
Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said: “I have the opportunity to travel around the country and see the way the arts can inspire, allow for reflection, and create new experiences. I look forward to the creative ways these 77 organizations will bring their communities together around a great work of literature through their participation in the NEA Big Read.”
The NEA Big Read program offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The Volusia County Public Library has selected F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as its NEA Big Read title.
“The Great Gatsby” may be the most popular classic in modern American fiction. Since its publication in 1925, Fitzgerald's masterpiece has become a touchstone for generations of readers and writers, many of whom reread it every few years as a ritual of imaginative renewal. The story of Jay Gatsby's desperate quest to win back his first love reverberates with themes at once characteristically American and universally human, among them the importance of honesty, the temptations of wealth, and the struggle to escape the past. Though “The Great Gatsby” runs to fewer than 200 pages, there is no bigger read in American literature.
The system’s 13 library branches and other venues will host book discussions, author talks, theatrical events and music programs in January and February 2017. The branches also will show the film versions of the book, schedule children’s programs and performances of an original play written by Karen Poulsen, and promote many other community programs.
All NEA Big Read programs are free and open to the public.
For more information visit NEABigRead.org.