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Irving Public Library

Posted on: September 15, 2020

NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read new NF

white boxNEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.



Irving Wins NEA Big Read Award to Present "A Small Story About the Sky"


Iralberto rios with bookving Public Library has been awarded a grant of $10,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Irving. Irving Public Library will present readings, talks, and a multitude of other interactive activities focused on A Small Story About the Sky by renowned poet Alberto Ríos, from January 23 – February 27, 2021.

“We believe that A Small Story about the Sky will offer all residents of our community the chance to see their own lives and experiences simply and beautifully expressed in poetry,” said Cary Siegfried, Irving Public Library Director. “The NEA Big Read program gives the Irving Public Library the opportunity to continue telling great stories that reflect the experiences, challenges and hope that bind us together.”

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Irving, Irving Public Library will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.”

The NEA Big Read offers a 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.

Irving Public Library will kick-off its NEA Big Read on January 23, 2021 with a Fiesta in Senter Park. Over the following five weeks, IPL will celebrate themes from A Small Story About the Sky with activities that will help the public learn about and appreciate poetry, explore the environment of the desert Southwest and our own North Texas environment, and celebrate the Hispanic culture. Activities will include workshops, craft activities, films, poetry readings, an art contest, and a poetry slam event hosted by program partner Dallas Poetry Slam. Other partners include Irving Independent School District, City of Irving Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Irving Public Library, and Grand Prairie Library System, among many more.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past thirteen years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit arts.gov/neabigread.

The City of Irving ranks #8 nationally in the number of corporate headquarters located here and ranks #1 among cities with a population less than 300,000. Centrally located, Irving continues to attract top talent from around the world. Quality jobs. Nationally ranked schools. Endless recreation and entertainment. Irving has it all!

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 35 years. For more information, please visit artsmidwest.org.

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