Quincy Public Library awarded $20,000 Big Read grant by National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest

big read

At left, "The Bear by Andrew Krivan. At right, "I'm With Me" by Ron Kinscherf. | Image courtesy of Quincy Public Library

QUINCY — The Quincy Public Library has been selected as one of 62 organizations nationwide to receive a 2024-25 Big Read grant.

The $20,000 grant will support a community reading program centered on “The Bear” by Andrew Krivak, exploring this year’s theme of “Where We Live.” An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, Big Read broadens our understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves through a shared reading experience.

Quincy Public Library will give away 1,500 copies of “The Bear” and host author Andrew Krivak at the Big Read Kick-Off on Sept. 19 at Washington Park in Quincy. During his visit, Krivak will conduct a Q&A session with local writing students and discuss the creative writing process with aspiring authors.

In a press release, Big Read committee chair Eric Brandhorst said, “Receiving the NEA Big Read grant is a wonderful opportunity for residents of Quincy and the surrounding area. We chose ‘The Bear’ by Andrew Krivak for its themes of perseverance through loss and the value of spending time in nature,”

Big Read 2024 in Quincy is not just about a shared reading experience. Programming from Sept. 19 through Oct. 26 includes a guest ecotherapist who will discuss the health benefits of maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature, four book discussion groups facilitated by library staff, creative writing workshops for all ages and a star-gazing party in collaboration with the Quincy Park District.

Quincy Public Library is partnering with The Art Center for the Our Natural Community in Art exhibition, which invites local artists to submit works interpreting Quincy’s natural landscapes. This is designed to inspire creatives within the community to share their work through photography, collage, painting, sculpture or any other medium. The Art Center will begin accepting submissions by Sept. 4 and will showcase the works at Artfest and at their gallery through Oct. 26.

“The Big Read grant means we have more resources to provide engaging programs to the community, to strengthen our partnerships, and really showcase what Quincy Public Library provides for local residents,” Kathleen Helsabeck, executive director of QPL, said on receiving the NEA Big Read Grant.

For younger readers, the Little Read program will feature “I’m With Me” by local author Ron Kinscherf and illustrator Holly Brogaard. This book emphasizes patience and the power of community. Quincy Public Library is excited to host both the author and illustrator for a discussion and Q&A about their creative process on Oct. 5 at the library.

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens the understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

The National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,800 NEA Big Read programs since 2006, providing more than $25 million to organizations nationwide. NEA Big Read activities have reached every congressional district in the country. Grantees have leveraged more than $57 million in local funding during the past 15-plus years to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than six million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, more than 100,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and more than 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible.

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