The Morongo Basin to Read and Celebrate Station Eleven Sept. 7 – Oct. 20
Morongo Basin – Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County is a recipient of a grant to host the NEA Big Read in the Morongo Basin. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Arts Connection is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2019 and June 2020.
The NEA Big Read in the Morongo Basin will focus on Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Activities will take place from September 7 through October 20, 2019.
Arts Connection’s Executive Director, Jennifer Kane shared “the Morongo Basin-wide community partners that came together to create the inventive programming and events for this project is inspiring and reminds me why I love this kind of work. The Morongo Basin, in particular, is a special place, with a diverse terrain and range of interests. The Big Read is weaving together that tapestry of voices for a full month of experiences inspired by this one book, Station Eleven.”
“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like Arts Connection, explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events.”
The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.
Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County is the lead organization for the NEA Big Read in the Morongo Basin. Local NEA Big Read partners include the Beatnik Lounge, Cholla Needles, Copper Mountain College, Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology, Joshua Tree National Park Council for the Arts, Mil-Tree, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Pioneertown Wild West Theater, Space Cowboy Bookstore, Spark Growth, Theatre 29, Tumbleweed Art Gallery, Yucca Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center, the libraries of Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Yucca Valley High School, Copper Mountain College, the Military Combat Center Library and Shadow Mountain Children’s Library. The Morongo Basin’s NEA Big Read media sponsor is Z107.7.
The NEA Big Read will kick-off at the Mojave Desert Land Trust on September 7, 2019, with an open-house celebration where community members can pick-up free copies of the book, learn about the wide variety of programming from partner organizations, and participate in art-making activities.
NEA Big Read programs throughout the month will include three art exhibitions, a spoken word event, a science fiction panel discussion, theatrical performances, little read companion book readings, an assemblage community project, book discussions as well as food foraging from native plants, emergency preparedness and reading the landscape workshops.
Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $20 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past twelve years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.
Arts Connection – the Arts Council of San Bernardino County, is dedicated to serving artists, arts organizations, and administrators, art patrons, community residents and businesses, and work in collaboration with city, state, and county partners to elevate arts and culture in San Bernardino County. Arts Connection envisions a county that invests in each creative community, supporting initiatives that engage, encourage and advocate community building through the arts.
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 Arts Endowment 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. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
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 artsmidwest.org.