The Big Read Blog (Archive)

General

Well friends, it's time once again for the Big Read Blog to take its annual summer hiatus. We'll be back in September---with three new titles to boot!---but in the meantime, we hope you'll keep in touch through our Art Works and Blue Star Museums blogs, and through Facebook and Twitter...
As we get ready to announce our new Shakespeare in American Communities grantees, we thought it was an opportune time to reflect on the continued importance of teaching, reading, and performing Shakespeare. And who better to explain this than those who have been personally touched, influenced, and...
“I don’t want people to be invisible. People have a right to see themselves in literature.” --- Jacqueline Woodson Reading a book by Jackie Woodson is a breath of fresh air. In her work, Woodson often includes characters who are on the margins---characters of color, gay characters...
If a picture's worth a thousand words, then the cover image of the new issue of NEA Arts --- Engaged and Empowered: The Power of Arts Education ---is priceless! The issue's cover is by Inocente, a young artist who came to national attention as the subject of the eponymous short documentary by Sean...
On this day in 1819, Walt Whitman was born into the world. But what if May 31, 1819, never occurred? What would a world without Walt look like? To pay tribute to the "Bard of Democracy," we're imaging what would be lost in a world sans Whitman---and it "ain't" (as Uncle...
Today you can engage with the NEA not just through arts.gov , but also on the Art Works, Blue Star Museums , and Big Read blogs, and on Twitter , Facebook , and YouTube . Back in 2007, however, it was---we can admit now---with great trepidation that we first dipped a quivering toe into the social...
Shel Silverstein’s poem, Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out , captivated me as a scrappy ten-year-old tomboy. Silverstein’s cautionary tale about sloth, wrapped in vivid descriptions of fanciful narrative, fastened the poem to my developing psyche, and made me always rather...
“All children, except one, grow up.” So begins one of the world’s great works of children’s literature, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I first read the novel as an adult for a college course, and was immediately enchanted by the adventure, fantasy, and wry observations about that terrifying realm known...
A few weeks ago, a colleague passed along a link to a new series of postage stamps dedicated to the birth of modern art in America. As I browsed the miniature tributes to Georgia O'Keeffe, Man Ray, and Joseph Stella, I wondered how many stamps the United States Postal Service has dedicated to...
William Shakespeare is the most-produced playwright in the English-speaking world. It's been said that every single day, at least one of his plays is being performed. Obviously, this means his plays are studied by almost anyone involved with the theater, from directors to actors to designers. Add...

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