Rock, Walworth and Jefferson County Communities to Read and Celebrate
THE LATEHOMECOMER by KAO KALIA YANG. – Events Start APRIL 3, 2021
In a Press Release issued by Young Auditorium – September 17, 2020—Young Auditorium is a recipient of a full grant of $15,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Whitewater and its neighboring communities. An Arts Endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Young Auditorium is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between September 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in Whitewater will focus on THE LATEHOMECOMER by KAO KALIA YANG. In addition to the featured title, Young Auditorium also selects a companion novel to help involve youth in this innovative reading program. The featured youth title will be A MAP INTO THE WORLD, also by Kao Kalia Yang. Local ‘Big Read’ activities will start with a kick-off event on April 3, 2021, and continue taking place throughout the remainder of April.
Young Auditorium Director Shannon Dozoryst is thrilled for Young Auditorium to have been awarded this grant for the 9th time. Dozoryst explains, “Throughout the years, we have been able to connect and engage with community members, libraries and other community based organizations in a genuine and meaningful way via the NEA Big Read program. We look forward to facilitating a full month of activities that will include thought provoking discussion, hands-on arts experiences, lectures, and family events”.
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.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts on this incredible program,” said Torrie Allen, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “For more than 14 years this national effort has invested in communities as they gather to discuss the stories and ideas that connect us to one another. We are especially inspired by the projects and organizations that are finding new, virtual ways of creating those connections with their communities and are thrilled to support them at this critical time.”
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. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit arts.gov/neabigread.
In addition to working with partners on a national and regional level, Young Auditorium is enthusiastic about working with multiple campus and community partners on the Big Read project. Confirmed partners for the Big Read include: UW-Whitewater’s Office of Continuing Education, UW-Whitewater College of Arts and Communications, UW-Whitewater Office of Diversity, Student Engagement and Success, UW-Whitewater Andersen Library, UW-Whitewater Children’s Center, Old World Wisconsin, UW-Whitewater at Rock County, Whitewater LEADS, UW-Whitewater College of Education and Professional Studies/Early Childhood Conference, The Hoard Historical Museum, Irvin L. Young Memorial Library, Hedberg Public Library (Janesville), Dwight Foster Public Library (Fort Atkinson), American Association of University Women (AAUW) Geneva Lakes Branch, among others.
There’s still time to partner with Young Auditorium for an amazing Big Read event! With opportunities ranging from book and t-shirt giveaways, to book discussions, dance events, luncheons, dramatic readings and more…there’s no shortage of ways to get involved. While we are planning for live, in-person Big Read events, we are closely monitoring information in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. If safety regulations limit us in any way, Young Auditorium will be able to pivot to digital-based or hybrid format events.
Community libraries, businesses and organizations that are interested in working with Young Auditorium for The Big Read should contact Keriann Kirkeng (262-472-1432/ email@example.com) for more information. A calendar of events and more detailed information about our community programs will be posted to – https://youngauditorium.wordpress.com/ as information becomes available. New information can always be found by visiting youngauditorium.com.
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 http://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.