Quincy Public Library Receives an NEA Big Read Grant
QPL to Read and Celebrate Five Skies by Ron Carlson
Quincy Public Library is a recipient of a grant award of $9000 to host the NEA Big Read in Quincy. QPL has selected the title Five Skies by Ron Carlson and two additional titles for younger readers: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan.
NEA Big Read activities for all ages will take place in Quincy from September 14 to October 14, 2017. Events will include movies, lectures, story times, and book discussions. Quincy Art Center will host a workshop to create art inspired by Five Skies, and an exhibit of the created work, in conjunction with the NEA Big Read.
Five Skies is a piercing novel about three men working a doomed construction project in the Rocky Mountains in Idaho. Carlson’s lyrical descriptions bring to life the Idaho countryside while weaving a story of courage, strength, and forgiveness.
As in the adult reading selection, both titles for younger readers reflect similar themes of courage, resourcefulness, and the great outdoors.
Carlson has written six novels, several short stories and poetry. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Carlson teaches Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine.
QPL is one of 75 organizations nationwide to receive one of the competitive NEA Big Read grants. “Because of the NEA Big Read grant, and thanks to our local sponsors and partners who provide matching funds, QPL is able to offer book giveaways, discussions, and special events to foster a love of reading in our community,” said Nancy Dolan, Executive Director.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read helps to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
“Through the NEA Big Read we are bringing contemporary works to communities across the country, helping us better understand the diverse voices and perspectives that come with it,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “These 75 organizations have developed unique plans to celebrate these works, including numerous opportunities for exploration and conversation.”
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, which annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection.
Quincy Public Library began offering the NEA Big Read in 2008. Each year, QPL undergoes a competitive grant process, which brings federal dollars to our area. Beginning in 2014, QPL began offering the concurrent Little Read for younger readers. In 2016, more than 3400 Quincy residents received a free book and more than 3000 participated in culturally diverse Big Read activities.
Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million in grants 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 $42 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.8 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 79,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 37,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. Last summer, the NEA announced a new focus for the NEA Big Read Library on contemporary authors and books written since the NEA was founded 50 years ago. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit neabigread.org.
Additional information is available at quincylibrary.org or at neabigread.org, or by calling Quincy Public Library at 217-223-1309.
The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs.
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.