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June 23, 2022
Santa Fe Public Library Receives a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant

Community Invited to Read and Celebrate “There, There” by Tommy Orange in Fall 2022

SANTA FE, NM, June 23 – The Santa Fe Public Library (SFPL) is one of 62 organizations nationwide, and the only organization in New  Mexico, selected to receive a 2022-2023 NEA Big Read grant. The grant of $15,000 will support a community-reading program focusing on “There, There” by Tommy Orange from September through November 2022. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens individuals’ understanding of the world, their communities, and themselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

“The Santa Fe Public Library is honored to be selected to host an NEA Big Read program in 2022. We are looking forward to once again coming together as a community to share a good book, conversation, and strengthen our connections through reading and learning,” said Community Services and Library Director Maria Sanchez-Tucker. “The SFPL worked with 28 community partners to provide 44 NEA Big Read programs for all ages during the 2021 program, and we hope that our 2022 program will have an even bigger reach in the community.”

The NEA Big Read offers a range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. 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.

“It is inspiring to see how NEA Big Read grantees like Santa Fe Public Library utilize these books as launchpads for their own programming, often creating opportunities for community conversations, new partnerships, and encouraging participants to incorporate art into their daily lives,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“All across America, in communities small and large, the NEA Big Read connects neighbors and inspires creativity,” said Torrie Allen, President & CEO of Arts Midwest. “We're excited to support grantees like Santa Fe Public Library as they bring the pages of these wonderful books to life through inventive programming.”

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $24 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past 16 years, grantees have leveraged more than $56 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 97,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible.

Stay tuned for announcements about the SFPL’s Big Read programming and offerings later this year!

Above: Participants in the SFPL's 2021 Big Read hold their copies of "Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea


The mission of the Santa Fe Public Library is to inform, enrich and educate the members of the community by creating and promoting access to a diversity of ideas and information, and by supporting lifelong learning and reading. In accomplishing its mission, the library honors the community’s unique cultural heritage and traditions, while preparing its community members for the future. Visit santafelibrary.org to learn more.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

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