Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants and In-Kind Support to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes, and IHEs for Community Events that Promote Reading

NEA Big Read


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Arts Midwest Inc
and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
LOI Date: 01/17/24
Deadline: 01/24/24 11:59 PM Central Time Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $20,000 and in-kind support to USA nonprofit and faith-based organizations, government agencies, tribal entities, IHEs, school districts, libraries, and museums for community programs to promote reading. Applicants must submit an intent to apply prior to applying. The goal of the funding program is to bring communities together around the shared activity of reading and discussing the same book. Funded activities may be in-person or virtual.

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is a program that awards grants to organizations. These grants support community reading programs designed around a single NEA Big Read book. The goal of this program is to inspire meaningful conversations, celebrate local creativity, elevate a wide variety of voices and perspectives, and build stronger connections in each community.  

NEA Big Read programs vary and can be as short as a week or as long as several months. Beyond discussions of the book, organizations may choose to include a kick-off event, invite the author for a visit, or have other events inspired by the content and themes of the book, including panel discussions, lectures, film screenings, art exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, poetry slams, writing workshops and contests, and community storytelling events.

Programming for the 2024-2025 grant cycle will center around the theme WHERE WE LIVE. Using a book selection as inspiration, applicants will choose one or more aspects of this theme as it relates to their own communities. For example, a community may explore its physical environment, people, industry and culture, history, and/or imagine an alternate reality.

Applicants will facilitate book discussions, writing workshops, and creative programming that celebrates the unique aspects of their communities. Activities will seek to include local artists and welcome participation from a wide range of audiences.

For additional project requirements, see page 2 of the Guidelines document in Supporting Documents.

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses are those that directly relate to conducting your community-wide program, such as speaker fees, artist stipends, book purchases, supplies, promotional and marketing fees, project staff salaries, and venue rentals. Contact Arts Midwest with inquiries about other potential expenses.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The NEA Big Read welcomes applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and organizations with small, medium or large operating budgets.

As an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, NEA Big Read grants are open to organizations across the nation.

Eligible applicants:
- 501c3 non-profit organizations and other federally tax-exempt entities including, but not limited to: universities/colleges, school districts, public libraries, tribal organizations, museums, and community service organizations.
- Organizations located within the United States, US Territories, and the Native Nations that share this geography.
- Arts and cultural organizations in any arts discipline (literature, performing arts, visual arts, traditional arts, multidisciplinary arts, etc.) or nonprofit organizations that provide arts programming (social service agencies, etc.)
- Organizations that do not have overdue reports or funding moratoria with Arts Midwest.
- Organizations with or without a UEI number from

Examples of eligible applicants include:
- Arts centers, arts councils, and arts organizations
- Colleges and universities
- Libraries and literary centers
- Community service organizations, environmental organizations, and faith-based organizations
- Museums and historical societies
- School districts and local education agencies
- Tribal governments and non-profits

Applicant organizations for NEA Big Read must be a 501c3 nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include organizations such as arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, colleges and universities, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, libraries, literary centers, museums, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments.

Schools may participate as partners in projects for which another eligible organization applies. If a single school is also a local education agency, as is the case with some charter schools, the school may apply with documentation that supports its status as a local education agency.

Ineligible applicants:
- Individual elementary or secondary schools
- For-profit business or organizations
- Individual artists, ensembles, and artist’s agents
- Applicants using fiscal sponsorship

Examples of ineligible projects:
- A project that exclusively focuses on literacy. Literacy may be a component of an NEA Big Read but it is not the mission of the program.
- A project that exclusively focuses on a book that is not on the NEA Big Read book list. Applicants must select an NEA Big Read book but may include related titles for their programming.
- Projects funded by another federal source.
- Projects with a total budget less than $10,000.

As a Federally funded program, unallowable uses of funds include, but are not limited to:
- Refreshments, concessions, food, and alcohol
- Fellowships or cash prizes
- Payment for facilities, purchase of capital equipment, or non-project related administrative expenses.
- Overlapping project costs between federal awards, whether received directly from a federal agency or indirectly, such as through a state agency or other entity.
- Entertainment costs, such as opening parties, receptions, or fundraisers designed to raise funds for your own organization and on behalf of another person, organization, or cause.
- Programs restricted to any organization’s membership; programs must be promoted and available to the general public.

For a list of costs that cannot appear in budgets for federally funded programs, see

Pre-Application Information
- Intent to Apply Deadline: January 17, 2024 at 11:59p.m. Central time
- Application Deadline: January 24, 2024 at 11:59p.m. Central time

- Apply: There is a two-step application process: Submit an intent to apply by January 17. Submit a complete application by January 24. Arts Midwest staff will review eligibility and completeness. We will follow up with any questions or corrections before applications proceed to the panel stage.
- Review: All complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel between February 2024 and April 2024.
- Award: All applicants will receive an email notification of award decisions in April 2024.
- Engage: New grantees will participate in an online orientation in June 2024. Funded project activities occur between September 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025. Any changes or updates to planned activities should be communicated to Arts Midwest staff as early as possible.

Applicants must demonstrate matching funds on a one-to-one basis for the grant.

Arts Midwest is offering 15-minute consultations by request up to one week prior to the intent to apply deadline.

Applicants will need to have a UEI number on file by late April 2024 in order to receive grant funds. Apply for a free UEI at (

More Information:

SmartSimple information:

Federal Eligibility Requirements:


Estimated Size of Grant
Applicants may request grant awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

In addition to funding for purchasing the books themselves, each grant recipient is provided with resources to help them succeed. That includes outreach materials to gather people from all walks of life and training on how to work with local partners, how to develop public relations strategies, and how to lead meaningful book discussions.

- The National Endowment for the Arts offers online content for each reading selection.
- Prior to starting their projects, NEA Big Read grant recipients participate in a series of online activities to prepare them to host and promote the NEA Big Read in their communities. Online presentations include grant award management, strategies for hosting effective book discussions, and question-and-answer sessions featuring past NEA Big Read grantees and experts on a wide variety of topics.
- NEA Big Read grantees also have access to a special website with resources to help them conduct a successful NEA Big Read program and downloadable public relations templates and design elements. Grant recipients also receive publicity materials such as banners and bookmarks.

Term of Contract
This round of NEA Big Read grants is for activities taking place between September 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For any questions, please email or call 612.238.8024.

Request a consultation:

To discuss application accessibility, please contact John Kaiser, grants specialist, at or 612.238.8024.

Arts Midwest
3033 Excelsior Boulevard #380
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Grant News
Live Chat Chat Now