Application Process

HomeProgramsNEA Big ReadApplication Process

Approximately 75 organizations in communities of varying sizes across the country will be selected to participate in NEA Big Read from September 2018 through June 2019.

Application timeline

Date(s)
Fall 2017 Guidelines & online application available
January 2018 Application deadline

Sample Guidelines and Application Instructions

*Application guidelines change from year to year. Final guidelines will be available in fall 2017. Please use the current guidelines webpage as a reference only.

Thinking about applying?

Questions about the application process?

Contact Arts Midwest at 612.238.8010 or [email protected].


Applicant organizations for NEA Big Read must be a 501c(3) nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include organizations such as arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, colleges and universities, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments.

Local education agencies, school districts, and state and regional education agencies are eligible. We do not fund individual elementary or secondary schools—charter, private, or public—directly. Schools may participate as partners in projects for which another eligible organization applies. If a single school also is a local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as a local education agency.

NEA Big Read supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. These programs include activities such as author readings, book discussions, art exhibits, lectures, film series, music or dance events, theatrical performances, panel discussions, and other events and activities related to the community’s chosen book. Activities focus on one book from the NEA Big Read library.