NEA Big Read

Application Process

Approximately 75 organizations in communities of varying sizes across the country will be selected to participate in NEA Big Read from September 2017 through June 2018.

Sample Guidelines and Application Instructions Go to sample guidelines*
Online Application Available fall 2016
Application deadline January 2017

*Application guidelines change from year to year. Final guidelines will be available in fall 2016. Please use the current guidelines webpage as a reference only.

Thinking about applying?

Questions about the application process?
Contact Arts Midwest at 612.238.8010 or neabigread@artsmidwest.org.


Applicant organizations for NEA Big Read must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include organizations such as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, humanities councils, literary festivals, and arts organizations. Note: K–12 schools, school districts, boards of education, or other school governing bodies, whether public or private, are not eligible applicants, but may partner with eligible applicants.

NEA Big Read supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. These programs include activities such as author readings, book discussions, art exhibits, lectures, film series, music or dance events, theatrical performances, panel discussions, and other events and activities related to the community's chosen book or poet. Activities focus on one book or poet from the NEA Big Read library.

Use the sign-up form below to receive information about future application cycles and timelines.



The Big Read

Get involved with NEA Big Read!
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