The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center is a recipient of a grant of $13,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Spearfish, SD. A national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts 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. The Matthews is one of 79 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2018 and June 2019. The NEA Big Read in Spearfish will focus on “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. Activities will take place January 12 through March 30, 2019.
Along with The Matthews, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, and the Black Hills State University School of Arts and Humanities are project partners offering many Big Read events from January through March 2019.
“We are thrilled to receive our third Big Read grant. The first in 2014 revolved around the Jhumpa Lahiri novel, “The Namesake.” The second Big Read in 2016 was “The Maltese Falcon.” Both were very successful,” says Sian Young, executive director of The Matthews. “Station Eleven” will reach audiences of all ages. Our previous Big Read programming experiences have opened up even more event ideas to engage our book audiences. We are beyond excited to introduce the event list in upcoming weeks,“ Young continues.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for communities across the nation, both small and large, to take part in the NEA Big Read,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “This program encourages people to not only discuss a book together, but be introduced to new perspectives, discuss the issues at the forefront of our own lives, and connect with one another at events.”
The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of contemporary 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 NEA Big Read selection.
Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past eleven years, grantees have leveraged more than $44 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 82,000 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, please visit arts.gov/neabigread
The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center is a non-profit organization located at 612 N. Main Street in Spearfish, South Dakota. To learn more about The Matthews either contact by phone, at 605.642.7973 or their website at www.MatthewsOpera.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 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. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.
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.