Beaufort County Library receives “Big Read” grant

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Beaufort County Library is a recipient of a grant of $16,400 to host the “Big Read” in Beaufort County. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the “Big Read” broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.

Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston

Beaufort County Library is one of 75 non-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a “Big Read” project between September 2015 and June 2016. The “Big Read” in Beaufort County will focus on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This is a 1937 novel and the best known work by African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston. The National Endowment for the Arts website says, “The novel narrates main character Janie Crawford’s “ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.” TIME Magazine included the novel in its 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. The “Big Read” activities will take place in January and February, 2016.

NEA Chair Jane Chu said, “The “Big Read” is a powerful example of how the arts can bring communities together and help us to connect with one another. These 75 organizations, including Beaufort County Library, are creating valuable opportunities for their communities to share wonderful stories and characters and to have meaningful conversations.”

The “Big Read” provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature. These 75 selected organizations will receive “Big Read” grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs and other activities. The NEA has also developed high-quality, free of charge, materials to supplement each title, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and audio programming, all of which are available to the public on www.neabigread.org.