Santa Fe Public Library

NEA Big Read

Information coming soon about SANTA FE READS Fall 2022!

NEA Big Read

SANTA FE READS Spring 2021

Santa Fe community members holding their copy of Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.

In 2021 the Library received a $15,000 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant. The NEA Big Read books were Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and youth companion book, Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. The Library partnered with 28 community organizations and provided 44 NEA Big Read programs for all ages. There were 16 Big Read Book Clubs with 161 participants, including a book club with incarcerated men at Penitentiary of New Mexico. Over 600 Santa Fe students participated in a program with author Yuyi Morales and over 1,000 new books were provided to Santa Fe students. Into the Beautiful North was borrowed 555 times from the Library. The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library and local sponsors provided an additional $20,000 to support the community-wide reading program.

2021 Program Guide

The Santa Fe Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in the Santa Fe area. An Arts Endowment initiative 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. SFPL is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between September 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in Santa Fe County will focus on Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. We plan to hold this Big Read and its surrounding events/activities March through June 2021. Community partners throughout Santa Fe will collaborate on the project.

“We are honored to receive this exciting grant and be able to engage our community in a collective sharing of Urrea’s important novel in these difficult and uncertain times,” said Maria Sanchez-Tucker, Santa Fe Public Library Division Director, “I look forward to sharing a meaningful dialogue with our Santa Fe community and escape together into this great work and share in the joy of reading”.

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These 84 organizations leading NEA Big Reads will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.”


The NEA Big Read offers a 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.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past thirteen 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, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

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 non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 35 years. For more information, please visit

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