Write Out Loud Receives NEA Funding For NEA BIG READ

Write Out Loud Receives NEA Funding For NEA BIG READWRITE OUT LOUD is a recipient of a $15,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in San Diego. A national 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 79 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2018 and June 2019. The NEA Big Read in San Diego will focus on Emily St. John Mandel's speculative fiction novel, Station Eleven. Activities will take place throughout the month of April 2019 with the student presentation of The BIG READ - Read Imagine Create scheduled for April 16th.

Write Out Loud Artistic Director, Veronica Murphy shared "We are thrilled to receive the NEA Big Read grant for the 4th time. We are passionate about literature, and the role it plays in connecting people to each other. We are also excited to be bringing author Emily St. John Mandel to San Diego to participate in our program next year. 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."

Local partners for this project include: San Diego Public Library, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Playwright's Project, Grossmont College Theatre Department, San Diego Writer's INK, Vocabulary Boutique, Juvenile Court Schools, San Diego Unified School District and other schools throughout the county.

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for communities across the nation, both small and large, to take part in the NEA Big Read," said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. "This program encourages people to not only discuss a book together, but be introduced to new perspectives, discuss the issues at the forefront of our own lives, and connect with one another at events."

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of contemporary 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 NEA Big Read selection.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past eleven years, grantees have leveraged more than $44 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 82,000 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 NEA 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 about NEA.

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 provides the community seven core programs serving over 18,000 people annual. Programs include a six show season of Story Concerts, TwainFest - a free literary celebration each August in Old Town State Park, Stories for Seniors, StoryBox Theatre (kamishibai) for elementary students, NEA BIG READ - Read Imagine Create for teens, Poetry Out Loud and Ripples From Walden Pond, a one-man play for high school students.

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