NEA Big Read Nacogdoches

Register for Big Read events here!
(*not all programs require registration)

Big Read Kickoff with Nac Snack Friday! (NEA Big Read: Nacogdoches), all ages, Sept 24, 4:00pm
Special Maker Camp Event: Magic Treehouse, ages 7+ years, Sept 30, 5:30pm
Name Jewelry, ages 10-19 years, Oct 6, 5:30pm
Special Maker Pro Event: Miniature Houses, ages 10-19 years, Oct 7, 5:30pm
“I Am From” Poetry Writing Workshop at Cosmic Debris Gallery, ages 7+ years, Oct 9, 12:00pm, Cosmic Debris Gallery, 329 E Main Street
Seed Swap, all ages, Oct 9, 2:00pm
Learn to Make: Mango Salsa, ages 18+ years, Oct 11, 5:30pm
Buying Your Home (Comprar Su Casa) Workshop, ages 18+ years, Oct 12, 5:30pm
Special Virtual Book Discussion with Author Sandra Cisneros, ages 18+ years, Oct 13, 6:00pm
Special Maker Pro Event: Miniature Houses, ages 10-19 years, Oct 14, 5:30pm
The American Dream Book Discussion,ages 18+ years, Oct 14, 6:00pm
Movie in the Park: Coco, all ages, Oct 15, 6:00pm, Festival Park
Shoebox Altars, all ages, Oct 16, 1:00pm
The Women in the Window: The House on Mango Street, ages 18+ years, Oct 18, 6:00pm
Book Discussion & Wine Glass Painting at The Cottage Wine Bar, ages 18+ years, Oct 19, 5:30pm
Learn to Make: Food Fusion, ages 18+ years, Oct 20, 5:30pm
Pottery Painting & Book Discussion, ages 18+ years, Oct 21, 5:00pm
Trivia at Fredonia Brewery, ages 21+ years, Oct 21, 6:30pm
Special Maker Pro Event: Miniature Houses, ages 10-19 years, Thursdays in October, 5:30pm
Doodle and Washi Tape Name Art, ages 10-19 years, Oct 23, 1:00pm
Clothing Swap, all ages, Oct 23, 2:00pm
Neighborhood & Identity in The House on Mango Street, ages 18+ years, Oct 25, 6:00pm
Panel Book Discussion on The House on Mango Street, ages 18+ years, Oct 26, 5:30pm
Special Maker Pro Event: Miniature Houses, ages 10-19 years, Oct 28, 5:30pm

BR 2019 no NEA redo v.5_Rectangle 2021

“NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.”

Downtown Story Walk


1. What is the NEA Big Read? 

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. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection.

2. How was Nacogdoches selected to participate in the NEA Big Read?

Eligible organizations apply to Arts Midwest for NEA Big Read grants and the applications are reviewed by a panel of outside experts on the basis of artistic excellence and merit. Competitive applications demonstrate strong literary programming, experience in building effective local partnerships, reaching and engaging new and diverse audiences, working with educators, involving local and state public officials, and working with media. More information on the application and guidelines are available on Arts Midwest’s website.

3. Which organizations in our community are participating in the NEA Big Read?

Nacogdoches Public Library is the lead organization for the NEA Big Read in Nacogdoches. Our NEA Big Read partners include Nac Historic Sites, SFA Steen Library, Nacogdoches ISD, Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation,  Nacogdoches Friends of the Library, Nacogdoches Farmers Market, and others.

4. Why did our community choose to read The House on Mango Street?

The House on Mango Street was chosen for the community-wide reading program because of its appeal to a wide range of audiences and the experiences of the main character continue to resonate to anyone who has felt out of place and feeling their way in the world. The book also lends itself to a wide variety of programs both at the library and in the community.

The availability of the book in Spanish was also a plus as we seek to include more people in the events.

5. When will the NEA Big Read in Nacogdoches take place?

The NEA Big Read in Nacogdoches kicks off September 24, 2021 and will conclude with the Dia de los Muertos Festival on November 6th.

6. What types of events will take place during the NEA Big Read in Nacogdoches?

The NEA Big Read Nacogdoches will kicks off at Nac Snack Friday in historical downtown Nacogdoches! Other events include cooking classes and demonstrations, writing workshops, book discussions in English and Spanish, home ownership workshop, jewelry making, a story walk downtown, and more!

7. How are books selected for the NEA Big Read library?

Suggestions for new titles are collected from a variety of sources, including the public, NEA Big Read grantees, and past Big Read panelists. The National Endowment for the Arts narrows the list of suggestions based on criteria including diversity of genre, diversity and stature of authors, a focus on living authors and contemporary work, the universal appeal of themes, capacity to incite lively and deep discussion, and a focus on expanding the range of voices and stories currently represented in the NEA Big Read library. A committee of outside readers representing a range of voices (including librarians, students, teachers, writers, booksellers, and publishers) review the books and make the final recommendations. You can suggest a new NEA Big Read title at