NEA Big Read Grants

National Endowment for the Arts
Deadline: 1/18/2023

Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. An initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community.

For their project, applicants will choose one of 15 books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. More information on the books and authors, as well as discussion questions and videos, are available at

The NEA Big Read welcomes applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and organizations with small, medium or large operating budgets. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:

  • Arts centers, arts councils, and arts organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Libraries and literary centers
  • Community service organizations, environmental organizations, and faith-based organizations
  • Museums and historical societies
  • School districts and local education agencies
  • Tribal governments and non-profits

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community.

Potential applicants may sign up for 15-minute consultations with Arts Midwest staff and review sample applications—access the guidelines for more details. Stories about past NEA Big Read projects can be found on Arts Midwest’s website.

Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each. The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023.