Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest announced the 2014-15 Big Read grants, which includes a $9,700 grant to the Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast in Laurinburg.
Jan Schmidt, Executive Director of the Storytelling Center, is also interviewed about how Laurinburg embraced the Big Read program. You can read the blog post here.
Seventy-seven nonprofit organizations will receive grants totaling more than $1 million to host a Big Read project between September 2014 and June 2015. To see the full list of 2014-2015 Big Read grant recipients by organization name, state, and book, please visit neabigread.org.
Managed by Arts Midwest, The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. Each organization will develop unique programming that will provide their communities with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature. For more information on the Big Read grants click here.
Here’s a highlight of the blog interview:
NEA: Why do you think it’s important to host the Big Read?
JAN SCHMIDT: It’s built our partnerships with the library, with parks and rec, with housing authority, and the university…. We’ve had somebody each year from UNCP [the University of North Carolina at Pembroke] who has been involved in the book project. So it brings that into our community too, that intellectual discussion of the book but on a level that everybody loves…. It’s been really great for the elderly in this community as well.
NEA: Does it help the elderly in any particular way?
SCHMIDT: It excites their minds. One of the most important things as you get older is not to let your mind atrophy by watching TV or just sitting there without having really stimulating conversations. A lot of times when you get older, people think that you don’t care.