Pasadena Public Library One of 75 Organizations Nationwide to Receive an NEA Big Read Grant


Christine Reeder, Senior Librarian, Adult Services (626) 744-7076,

Catherine Haskett Hany, Communications (626) 744-4207,

PASADENA, Calif. — Pasadena Public Library has been awarded a $14,000 NEA Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host a community reading of When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, with activities taking place in 2018. “Pasadena is thrilled to be a recipient,” said Library Director Michelle Perera. “We look forward to engaging the community in dialog around this special book.”


In partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read is meant to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Pasadena Public Library is one of 75 nonprofit organizations to receive funding to host a community reading program between September 2017 and June 2018.


“Through the NEA Big Read we are bringing contemporary works to communities across the country, helping us better understand the diverse voices and perspectives that come with it,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “These 75 organizations have developed unique plans to celebrate these works, including numerous opportunities for exploration and conversation.”


Since 2006, the NEA has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million in grants to organizations nationwide. Over the past 11 years, grantees have leveraged more than $42 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.8 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 79,000 volunteers have participated, and 37,000 community organizations have lent their support. Last summer, the NEA announced a new focus on contemporary authors and books written since the NEA was founded 50 years ago. For more information, visit


Founded in 1882, Pasadena Public Library is the community’s information center, preserving and encouraging the free expression of ideas essential to an informed citizenry. To learn more, visit us at


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. 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. One of six non-profit 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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