Lincoln library one of 78 nationwide to receive NEA grant

Published 7:07 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019


Press release

STANFORD — Lincoln County Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Lincoln County. 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. Lincoln County Public Library 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 Lincoln County will focus on ”Burning Bright” by Ron Rash.

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Activities will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 20. 

“The Lincoln County Public Library works to connect members of our community in a variety of ways.  The Big Read provides an opportunity to connect to and broaden our understanding of our world, our community and ourselves,” said Library Director, Amanda Gearhart.  “This year’s selection, ‘Burning Bright’ by Ron Rash, is a collection of 12 short stories that tells a story about Appalachia and the human struggle over the ages.”

Featured activities include an Appalachian Fall Festival, Hillbilly film screening, discussion with the author and Arts in Appalachia event.  Lincoln County Public Library has partnered with Lincoln County School District to provide the opportunity for students to participate in the Big Read.     

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like Lincoln County Public Library, 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 program will explore the culture of Appalachia, including foods, music and arts. Community partners for the grant include Lincoln County High School and Lincoln County Middle School.

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

For more information about the Lincoln County Public Library, visit