Young Auditorium Awarded NEA Big Read Grant for 2015 Project

Young Auditorium was recently added as a grant recipient for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read community reading project. Seventy-five nonprofit organizations will receive grants totaling more than $1 million to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. This is Young Auditorium’s seventh Big Read project, serving community members in Rock, Walworth, and Jefferson counties.

A program of the NEA, The Big Read is designed to broaden the understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. Each organization will develop unique programming that will provide their communities with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature.

Young Auditorium’s project will focus on integrating art and literature using the novel My Ántonia by American novelist, Willa Cather for inspiration. Cather’s book is revered as a classic novel of the American immigrant experience. Early American life will be a central theme in all of Young Auditorium’s Big Read events, and the project will include opportunities for all ages to participate in activities taking place between November 2 and December 4, 2015. The official calendar of events and information on how to participate will be announced in the next several weeks. For more information, visit and join the 2015 Big Read event on Young Auditorium’s Facebook page to receive updates.

The NEA inaugurated The Big Read as a pilot project in 2006 with 10 communities featuring four books. The Big Read continues to expand to include more communities and additional books. To date, more than 1,100 grants have been awarded to communities in the U.S. to host Big Read events since the program’s 2007 national launch.



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