Texas Wesleyan University has been awarded an $11,700 grant to participate in The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Wesleyan is one of four grant recipients in Texas.
The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. In Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the book that will be spotlighted throughout The Big Read is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, a classic novel about the Great Depression. The NEA presents The Big Read in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
Texas Wesleyan’s community partners are the Fort Worth Public Library, City of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Fort Worth Independent School District, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Friends of the Fort Worth Library, Texas Christian University, Tarrant County College, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, The Reading Connection, Stage West Allied Theater Group, Dallas Model A Club, and Barnes & Noble. Other partners include area high schools and media outlets.
The local kickoff event for The Big Read will be at the Tarrant Area Food Bank in February 2012. Events will continue until late May – both on the Texas Wesleyan University campus and around town. Book discussions, food drives, speakers, and play adaption of The Grapes of Wrath are among the planned events.