BIG News for KHC

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KHC has BIG news to share.

KHC recently received a grant of $7,200 to host The Big Read in six Kansas communities: Coffeyville, Harper, La Cygne, Lansing, Manhattan, and Wamego. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. The Kansas Humanities Council is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2014 and June 2015.

The Big Read in Coffeyville, Harper, La Cygne, Lansing, Manhattan, and Wamego will focus on The Things They Carried  by Tim O’Brien, a novel in stories about a young platoon in the Vietnam War. The Big Read partner libraries include:

“From the beginning, KHC saw The Big Read as an opportunity to have a statewide conversation about the important and timely topic of veterans and the aftermath of war,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “We’re so pleased that Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts supported our vision to extend The Big Read to six communities and we look forward to Kansans’ rich and lively humanities discussions using Tim O’Brien’s novel as the common text.”

NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, “While the act of reading is usually a solitary one, through the Big Read it will become a social one. This year’s Big Read grant recipients are not only playing an important role in encouraging reading but are also developing creative opportunities to involve all members of their communities to come together to discuss and celebrate these great works on literature.”

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 77 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. The NEA has also developed high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and audio programming, all of which are available to the public on neabigread.org.

KHC joins fellow Kansas organizations the Independence Public Library and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in receiving a Big Read grant. Click here for a full list of   the 2014-2015 The Big Read grantees.

Follow KHC on Twitter and Facebook and check the KHC Calendar of Events in the upcoming months for information about The Big Read events in Coffeyville, Harper, La Cygne, Lansing, Manhattan, and Wamego.