Carson Center Receives NEA Big Read Grant | The Carson Center
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Carson Center Receives NEA Big Read Grant

The Carson Center received a $15,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in PADUCAH.  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 Carson Center 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 Paducah will focus on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Activities will take place from December 2019 – February 2020.

Josh Morehead, Director of Education and Outreach at The Carson Center states, “Our intent is to promote and increase reading and improve literacy in our community, as well as reading pleasure among adults and youth in our region.  The goal is that conversations around this book title between community members will expand beyond words on a page and help create a more informed community through events in multiple locations, with multiple community partnerships, and widespread participation.”  

“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 The Carson Center, 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. The Carson Center looks forward to working with event partners such as the McCracken County Public Library and Maiden Alley Cinema, among others.

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

The Carson Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit performing arts center, serves the people of the Four Rivers Region. Almost 2 million people from all 50 states and several other nations have visited The Carson Center to date for performances and events.  The mission of The Carson Center for the Performing Arts is to enhance the quality of life in the Four Rivers region as a leader in presenting exceptional live performances and cultural experiences that are entertaining, educational, and economically beneficial for our community.

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 25 years. For more information, please visit

Release Date 
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 12:25pm
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