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WAUKESHA PUBLIC LIBRARY ONE OF 77 ORGANIZATIONS NATIONWIDE TO RECEIVE AN NEA BIG READ GRANT

Waukesha to Read and Celebrate To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee During Waukesha Reads – NEA Big Read

May 11, 2016—Waukesha, WI—Waukesha Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $20,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Waukesha. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Waukesha Public Library is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2016 and June 2017. The NEA Big Read in Waukesha will focus on To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Activities will take place September 30-November 13, 2016.

Grant Lynch, Executive Director of Waukesha Public Library, responds to news of the award, “The management and execution of Waukesha Reads – NEA Big Read over the past nine years has elevated the Waukesha Public Library as a national leader of pro-literacy community-based programs, while solidifying a strong partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The ten-year anniversary is a mark of excellence both for our Library and for that of our city: Waukesha Reads is a testament to the power of volunteerism, of overwhelming civic interest in support of literature and of determination to create something extraordinary for the betterment of our community. There are so many distractions in our world that work to remove us from one another, but Waukesha Reads does the opposite, and it does it well: it truly unites the community through the study of great literature, and I can think of nothing more positive and beneficial to all of us.”

Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said, “I have the opportunity to travel around the country and see the way the arts can inspire, allow for reflection, and create new experiences. I look forward to the creative ways these 77 organizations will bring their communities together around a great work of literature through their participation in the NEA Big Read.”

Managed by Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The program supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Organizations selected to participate in the NEA Big Read receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, and educational and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement.

Waukesha Public Library is proud to collaborate with more than 40 partners, including educational institutions, arts and recreation organizations and area business, to bring this program to our community. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit neabigread.org.

It is the vision of Waukesha Public Library to be the community’s best source for inspiration, ideas and information. The Library staff is committed to serving the public in a customer centered and pro-active manner, providing a wide variety of materials, resources, and services. For more information about the Library, please visit waukeshapubliclibrary.org.

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. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.

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.