November 13, 2009

Application Deadline: February 2, 2010

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and in cooperation with Arts Midwest, announces the 2010 deadline for The Big Read, a program to revitalize the role of literature in American culture. Organizations may apply for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 with the grant size determined by community population, number of activities planned, and artistic excellence and merit. Selected communities will participate in The Big Read from September 2010 – June 2011.

Communities across the country have strengthened their Big Read projects by enlisting the support of art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as aquaria, arboreta, botanical gardens, nature centers, and zoos. Since 2006, more than 800 awards have been made to communities across the country.  Learn more about Big Read events and access free online versions of Reader’s, Teacher’s, and Audio Guides at Applicants must choose one of 31 available Big Read selections, including this year’s new title In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

Big Read grants require the participation of a library as a lead applicant or a partner. Grant funds, which must be matched with nonfederal funds, may be used for such expenses as book purchases, speaker fees and travel, salaries, advertising, and venue rental.

Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read will receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, educational and promotional materials to support community involvement, an organizer’s guide for developing and managing Big Read activities, inclusion of the organization and its activities on The Big Read Web site, and the prestige of participating in a national program.

The application can be downloaded at The proposal deadline is February 2, 2010. Questions should be directed to Arts Midwest at 612-238-8010 or