Beaufort County Library is Recipient of Big Read Grant

big read logo

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.

Beaufort County Library is one of 75 nonprofit 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. 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. The 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

A kick-off event will occur on January 9, 2016 with keynote speaker Dr. Lemuel Watson, Dean, USC College of Education, In Her Own Words: The Love of Her People, Culture and Language.

A major partner on this project is The Writing Improvement Network and the S.C. Center for Educational Partnership that is housed at the College of Education at the University of South Carolina.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information about The Big Read please visit

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit