INA - Rend Lake College today announced that it has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read in RLC District 521.
RLC is one of 208 libraries, municipalities, and arts, culture, higher education, and science organizations to receive a grant to host The Big Read from September 2008 to June 2009. The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 selections from American and world literature.
The Big Read at RLC will focus on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a novel written in 1917 by one of the world's most-celebrated authors, Mark Twain. Promotional activities for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will take place March through May throughout the district.
The latest Big Read grantees represent 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To date, the NEA has given more than 500 grants to support local Big Read projects.
"Rend Lake College is a partner in this wonderful program for the second consecutive year," said Sandy West, RLC Coordinator of Technical Services and Collection Management. "We are thrilled to welcome The Big Read back to campus and we look forward to introducing this great American novel to the residents of RLC's district. For those who have read it, we offer a great reason to revisit a classic."
"Everything the NEA does we do in partnership. I am delighted to announce our 208 new partners in The Big Read. Some are new to the program, some are returning, but all of them have answered the call to action to get our country reading again," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. According to West, RLC will receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will be matched by the college for a total of $20,000 aimed at getting residents reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader's, Teacher's, and Audio Guides.
"With this latest round of grants, I am proud to say that The Big Read has supported more than 500 public library partnerships," said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the NEA's lead federal partner for The Big Read. "Through this program, public libraries continue to demonstrate their value in communities as centers of engagement, literacy, and lifelong learning. I am particularly delighted by the innovative public programming born out of library and museum collaborations."
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Transportation for The Big Read is provided by Ford.
For more information about The Big Read, please visit www.neabigread.org.
Rend Lake College was created July 1, 1967. It is located in Ina, a small town in Jefferson County, Southern Illinois, and serves all or parts of eight counties. In addition to its main campus in Ina, the college maintains two satellite campuses, the RLC Market Place in Mt. Vernon just north of the main campus, and the RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus in the western section of the district. Thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit; the dedication of its board, administration, faculty and staff; and support from its community, Rend Lake College has experienced record growth in recent years.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts-both new and established-bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. For more information, please visit www.imls.gov.
Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries. 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 www.artsmidwest.org.