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UTRGV one of 77 organizations nationwide to receive NEA Big Read Grant

The NEA Big Read in the Rio Grande Valley will focus on the novel ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ by Julia Alvarez. Holding copies of the book are Leticia Leija, the director of the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library and Dr. Steven Schneider, professor of Creative Writing in the College of Fine Arts at UTRGV. This is the fourth successfully funded NEA Big Read grant written by Schneider.

The NEA Big Read in the Rio Grande Valley will focus on the novel ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ by Julia Alvarez. Holding copies of the book are Leticia Leija, the director of the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library and Dr. Steven Schneider, professor of Creative Writing in the College of Fine Arts at UTRGV. This is the fourth successfully funded NEA Big Read grant written by Schneider.

By Letty Fernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JAN 31, 2017 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a recipient of a $16,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in the Rio Grande Valley.

UTRGV is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2016 and June 2017. The NEA Big Read in the Rio Grande Valley will focus on the novel In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Big Read broadens our understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

This is the fourth successfully funded NEA Big Read grant written by Dr. Steven Schneider, professor of Creative Writing in the College of Fine Arts at UTRGV.

“This is an exciting program,” Schneider said. “It will be launched during FESTIBA and continue through the month of March. Our Big Read will offer an opportunity to engage with an important novel through a variety of creative programs.”

FESTIBA – the annual Festival of International Books and Arts – promotes the importance of literacy, culture and the arts to students, parents, educators and community members throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Highlights of this year’s Big Read include a lecture and reading by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera at noon March 2 in the Performing Arts Center on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. Herrera’s trip to the Rio Grande Valley is made possible by the NEA Big Read grant.

Other activities include Valleywide book discussions coordinated by the Dustin Michael Sekula Library, and a theatrical performance of the novel at the FESTIBA community festival on the evening of March 3.

Managed by Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The program supports organizations across the country in developing community reading programs, which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Organizations selected to participate in the NEA Big Read receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, and educational and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement.

For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit neabigread.org.

ABOUT FESTIBA 2017
This year’s FESTIBA will be held Feb. 27 through March 5, with events on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses. To celebrate the UTRGV School of Medicine, the theme and focus is “The Healing Arts: Arte y Salud – Una Buena Alianza!”

For more information about FESTIBA, please visit http://www.utrgv.edu/festiba/

EVENT CONTACT

Steven.Schneider@utrgv.edu
UTRGV Professor of Creative Writing / 956-665-8775

MEDIA CONTACTS
Letty.Fernandez@utrgv.edu
UTRGV Community Relations Liaison / 956-882-6535

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742