NEA Big Read Nacogdoches

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.”


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 Stone Fort Museum, Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Whole Again Counseling and Wellness, Nac Historic Sites, SFA Steen Library, Nacogdoches Police, Nacogdoches Fire, Nacogdoches Recreation,  Nacogdoches Friends of the Library, Nacogdoches Farmers Market, Bosslight Bookstore, and others.

4. 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