NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle Public Library has received a $15,000 grant to participate in The Big Read in the fall. The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature.
“It develops a sense of community,” said librarian archivist Larry Sheldon. “All types of people are doing the same thing.”
New Rochelle will focus on the book "Sun, Stone, and Shadows: Twenty Great Mexican Short Stories."
“The Big Read of 'Sun, Stone, and Shadows' will provide an excellent opportunity for the entire New Rochelle community to read and discuss the outstanding stories, while also exploring the fascinating history and culture of Mexico. We look forward to working with the schools, colleges and other partners in engaging New Rochelle residents in a host of related Big Read programs,” Greg Varian, president of the New Rochelle Public Library Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
An official announcement will be made at a dance performance by the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the library’s Ossie Davis Theater.
Big Read activities will begin Sept. 16, when the project is launched with a Fiesta Grande for Mexican Independence Day. The project culminates Nov. 3, when New Rochelle High School will host a Day of the Dead exhibition and a concluding program, the library said.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture, the library said. The initiative is managed by nonprofit regional arts organization Arts Midwest.
The New Rochelle Public Library is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive grants to host the project in 2012-2013, the library said.
“We are pleased and excited that NRPL has again been selected for this prestigious grant,” Varian said.
The Big Read will be the fifth “One City, One Book” project conducted by the library since 2007.
Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, is also looking forward to the benefits of The Big Read.
“At the NEA we know that the arts can help to create strong, vibrant communities by bringing people together,” he said in a statement. “Through The Big Read, these 78 organizations are giving their communities the opportunity to share both great works of literature and memorable experiences."
Selected organizations receive the funds to market and carry out reading programs with the community. These include read-athons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings and performing arts events.
Participating communities also receive high-quality educational materials to supplement each title, including audio guides and guides for readers and teachers. The guides are available for download at neabigread.org.
The NEA, a federally funded independent agency, has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The organization extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and organizations that focus on serving their communities.