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Posts Tagged ‘The National Endowment for the Arts’

“The Big Read” Goes to XM Radio

In a press release issued yesterday, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with XM Radio, announced the launch of The Big Read on XM, a radio series based on the NEA’s national reading program of the same name. The Big Read brings communities together to read and discuss a single book in order to restore reading to the center of American public culture. Building on the literature program’s success, the new series will introduce the Big Read to XM’s more than 8.2 subscribers nationwide. The Big Read on XM premieres September 10 on Sonic Theater (XM Channel 163), the XM radio channel devoted to audio books and contemporary theater. Hosted by Sonic Theater Program Director Josephine Reed, the series’s first installment will feature FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury.

The Big Read on XM will air audio versions of classic novels in 30-minute installments, courtesy of Audible. Other program highlights will include NEA-produced readings, interviews, and commentary about each novel by some of the nation’s most celebrated authors, actors, and public figures. Just a few of the notable names taking part in the Big Read are actors Robert Duvall, Cheech Marin, and Mary Louise Parker, writers Ray Bradbury, Alice Walker, and Tony Hillerman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

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NEA Announces Cycle 2 Big Read Grants to 117 Communities

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced yesterday that more than doubled the number of communities taking part in its nationwide reading program, the Big Read. One hundred seventeen cities were awarded grants to produce celebrations of American literature from September through December 2007. The Big Read, launched nationally in October 2006 by the NEA, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Arts Midwest, encourages literary reading by asking communities to come together to read and discuss one book. Laura Bush is the honorary chair of the Big Read.

“By joining the Big Read, these cities and towns are showing that reading is necessary to the cultural, civic, even economic fabric of their communities. They understand the benefit of having people from different generations and walks of life reading and discussing a great book,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. “Yes, this is about reading, but it’s also about getting people to leave their homes and offices, unplug themselves for a few hours, and enjoy the pleasures of literature with their neighbors.”