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NEA Big Read 2019 in Cleveland will celebrate Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine in February 2019

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning receives NEA Big Read grant for 2018-’19

Celebration of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine expands to include all of Cuyahoga County

For the second consecutive year, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) has been selected as one of 79 nonprofit organizations to host a NEA Big Read program. A grant award of $15,000 for the 2018-’19 program year, combined with expanded community partnerships and programming options, will give residents throughout Cuyahoga County the chance to participate in Cleveland’s NEA Big Read celebration of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Programming will take place during the month of February 2019.

“We are excited for the opportunity to grow our audience to include not only the city of Cleveland – but all of Cuyahoga County – in our NEA Big Read celebration,” said CAL Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski. “Thanks to our growing list of community partners, this year’s read is truly a BIG read. It is our hope that residents throughout the county will engage with Citizen and find meaningful connections to their daily lives.”

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. The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. In choosing Citizen as the book selection for its community read, CAL intends to facilitate healthy, respectful, and potentially uncomfortable dialogue with the goal of encouraging self reflection while helping break down negative racial stereotypes and exposing their impact on the local community.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for communities across the nation, both small and large, to take part in the NEA Big Read,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “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.”

The 2019 NEA Big Read in Cleveland is presented in partnership with Cleveland Cinemas, Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Euclid Public Library, Heights Libraries, Lake Erie Ink, Literary Cleveland, Music and Art at Trinity Cathedral, Rocky River Public Library, Shaker Heights Public Library, and the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland. Program events will include book discussions, movie screenings, poetry and creative writing workshops, and a county-wide poetry slam presented by Lake Erie Ink.

LEARN MORE

To learn about becoming a community partner, please contact CAL’s Special Projects Manager Megan Thompson at megan@arts-inspiredlearning.org. For a calendar of events for the NEA Big Read in Cleveland visit arts-inspiredlearning.org/NEABigRead2019.

Community members can also participate in Cleveland’s NEA Big Read 2019 via social media by following #BigReadCLE and #CitizenCLE or joining the conversation @CenterforArtsInspiredLearning on Facebook and @artsinspiredCAL on Twitter.

For more information about this announcement, please read the press release.

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