Write Out Loud Receives $15,000 NEA Grant

Write Out Loud Receives $15,000 NEA Grant

WRITE OUT LOUD is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the NEA Big Read in San Diego. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. WRITE OUT LOUD is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2019 and June 2020. The NEA Big Read in San Diego will focus on A Small Story About the Sky by Alberto Rios. Activities with students will begin in the fall and community wide events will take place through the month of April 2020, including a student awards presentation of THE NEA BIG READ - Read Imagine Create featuring student projects inspired by the book.

Write Out Loud Artistic Director, Veronica Murphy shared "The NEA Big Read grant allows us to put books into the hands of young people and then challenge them to create something inspired by the story. We are honored to receive this grant for the 5th time and very excited about this collection of poetry about the Southwest by Southwest poet, Alberto Rios, the first poet laureate of Arizona. A number of these poems are about borders and fences, something our community navigates, with people crossing the US/Mexico border to attend work, school and do business every day. The plants, trees and animals of the Southwest in many of the poems are those we see around us every day."

"It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book," said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. "We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like WRITE OUT LOUD, explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events."

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

Local partners for this project include: San Diego Public Library, The Book Catapult, Playwright's Project, San Diego Writer's INK, Vocabulary Boutique, Juvenile Court Schools, San Diego Unified School District and other schools throughout the county.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $20 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past twelve years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people's lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit artsmidwest.org.

In addition to overseeing The NEA Big Read in San Diego, Write Out Loud serves over 23,000 people annually with their core programs: A six show season of Story Concerts, Voices of Ireland each March, TwainFest - a free family celebration in August in Old Town, PoeFest - a celebration of Edgar Allan Poe each October, StoryBox Theatre (kamishibai) for elementary students, Poetry Out Loud for high school students, Ripples From Walden Pond - a one-man play about Henry David Thoreau, and Stories for Seniors.



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