Home Programs National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program activities for the 2019-2020 year have been extended until December 31, 2020. Grantees are encouraged to contact Arts Midwest about changes to their planned activities.

Bringing communities together around the shared activity of reading and discussing a book.

How do we do this?

Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. Annually, the program supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book.

How to Apply

Arts Midwest accepts requests for proposals annually starting around mid-October with a deadline in late January. Proposals accepted during this time represent programs that would take place the following year anytime from September through June. The next grant opportunity will be available in October 2020 for NEA Big Read programs to take place between September 2021 – June 2022.

Submit your intent to apply!


Program impact

  • Learn more about the mission and history of the NEA Big Read.
  • Read the latest community stories and reflections from grantees on the NEA Big Read blog.

Learn more about the application process.


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National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is supported by the Endowment in partnership with Arts Midwest.