Menomonee Falls Public Library one of 84 organizations nationwide to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant

Menomonee Falls to read and celebrate Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea In February and March, 2021

Menomonee Falls Public Library is a recipient of a $15,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in Menomonee Falls. An Arts Endowment initiative 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. Menomonee Falls Public Library is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in Menomonee Falls will focus on Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. Activities will take place in February and March, 2021.

“It is such a thrill for our library to receive an NEA Big Read grant again this year,” said Menomonee Falls Librarian Leah Gentry. “We are excited for the opportunity to work with our many partners to build on our previous NEA Big Read success and share this reading experience with the community.”

“During this time of social isolation throughout our country, we have become even more aware of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Menomonee Falls, the Library will provide thoughtful and fun programming while also strengthening community bonds.”

The NEA Big Read offers a 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.

“We are honored to continue our partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts on this incredible program,” said Torrie Allen, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “For more than 14 years this national effort has invested in communities as they gather to discuss the stories and ideas that connect us to one another. We are especially inspired by the projects and organizations that are finding new, virtual ways of creating those connections with their communities and are thrilled to support them at this critical time.”

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past thirteen 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, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit

Menomonee Falls Public Library enriches the community by providing a welcoming and dynamic environment where all can explore, learn, grow and connect. Since 1906, the Library has been a constant source of informational, educational and recreational services for the community. Visit for more information.

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 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 35 years. For more information, please visit

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