City of Reading, Pennsylvania
The NEA grant will support public art installations and "This Is Reading," an exhibition that celebrates the diverse residents of Reading, Pennsylvania. "This is Reading" will be a multimedia art exhibition that blends live performance, audio, and visual media that explores the stories of Reading residents. Accessible and free to the public, the exhibition will be complemented by a play set in Reading that will travel to other cities, extending the local stories to a national audience. In addition, City of Reading, GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and Downtown Improvement District will conduct a call for public art and manage a juried competition to select pieces for installation along the main street. Designated in 2011 as the poorest city in the nation, this project will enable Reading residents to reassert their identity as a city with cultural and community pride. The population of Reading is 88,000, with 43% of residents living in poverty.