Friends of Dallas Public Library and D Magazine Recipients of One of The Big Read’s 78 Nationwide Grants

July 10, 2012—Dallas, TX — The Friends of the Dallas Public Library (FoDPL) and D Magazine’s new leadership group, D Academy, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to host The Big Read during the month of April 2013. The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is in partnership with the NEA and Arts Midwest.

“I’m so pleased that out of 1,500 cities that applied Dallas is one of the 78 recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read grant,” says Pam Meyercord, FoDPL board chairman. “It is an enormous honor and will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to unite by reading a great book in April 2013. We are proud to bring The Big Read back to Dallas.”

Fahrenheit 451, written by the late Ray Bradbury, was selected because its themes of courage, censorship, free access to information, and the value of literature are still relevant in modern society. The book was published in October 1953, making 2013 the 60th anniversary of its publishing.

“At the NEA, we know that the arts can help to create strong, vibrant communities by bringing people together,” says NEA chairman Rocco Landesman. “Through The Big Read, these 78 organizations are giving their communities the opportunity to share both great works of literature and memorable experiences.”

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 78 selected organizations will receive The Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as street festivals, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including readers’, teachers’, and audio guides, which also are available for download on For more information about The Big Read, please visit

Friends of the Dallas Public Library is a membership-based 501(c)3 founded in 1950 and exists to support the mission of the Dallas Public Library system in its delivery of resources, services, and information to the Dallas community. Visit for more information.

D Academy is a leadership development program underwritten by D Magazine to create informed, experienced stewards for the city of Dallas. Through an intensive program of lectures, coursework, and a large-scale community project, participants are schooled in the workings of the city—past, present, and future.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit


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