Local Library Partner Receives NEA Grant

Congratulations to the Poughkeepsie Public Library District for receiving the NEA Big Read Grant earlier this month! The NEA Big Read is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, which broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. A list of all of this year’s Big Read recipients can be found at arts.gov.  “This program encourages people to not only discuss a book together, but be introduced to new perspectives, discuss the issues at the forefront of our own lives, and connect with one another at events,” commented NEA Acting Chair Mary Anne Carter. “We are thrilled to once again receive an NEA grant for the Big Read,” says Library Director Tom Lawrence. “But this is really a grant to our entire community since our local Big Read would not be possible without the enthusiastic involvement of so many partner organizations.”  The National Endowment for the Arts announced Big Read grants totaling $1 million that will be distributed to 79 communities across the country in 2018-2019. Poughkeepsie Public Library District will receive $15,000 to coordinate the community-wide reading program this Fall. One of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s community partners for this Big Read is The Art Effect, a non-profit organization focused on supporting personal growth, fostering self-expression, and enhancing human services through the arts to build a shared sense of community. The Art Effect has a strong history of collaboration with the libraries of the Hudson Valley thanks to its Mobile Media Lab programming, media and arts workshops that reinforce digital and visual literacy while patrons engage in art and media-making. These two-hour, 10-15 person, contract workshops facilitated by a professional teaching artist are booked and paid for by the library and are free to the public. Sometimes for more intensive programming, libraries have booked two back to back for a 4 hour session, or scheduled multiple sessions over a series of weeks for longer projects. Thanks to the NEA Big Read grant, The Art Effect has 10 two-hour workshops available to book free of cost for libraries looking into offerings and activities for their patrons that can dovetail with the Big Read’s book selections. Workshops can also be custom-made to suit a library’s particular needs and specific requests. Get your library on the list and reach out to us to book a workshop today! Email maryellen@thearteffect.org if you are interested in bringing us in or for more information about our offerings.