NEA Big Read: AADS Hosts Community Read

NEA Big Read: AADS Hosts Community Read

Posted on June 25, 2020


NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


(GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA)—The African American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) program at UNC Greensboro received a $15,000 Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to host a community read of the novel “Silver Sparrow” by Tayari Jones. The community read will include free panel discussions, speakers and family-oriented activities taking place between September 2020 – May 2021.

“I am pleased to work with Gerald Holmes of UNCG Libraries to organize programming in support of families in our area,” said Dr. Tara T. Green, an African American literature professor at UNCG and an organizer of the community read. “The book and activities are designed to bring people and families together.”

Named a “Most Anticipated Book for 2020” by The Guardian and other news outlets, “Silver Sparrow” is a novel told from the perspectives of two maturing daughters of a man who has two families—one public, one private. UNCG is partnering with Greensboro Public Library, UNCG’s Libraries, the Arts and Letters Committee of the Greensboro Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum to offer programming for adults to school-aged children 

Due to the COVID-19 virus, most events will be hosted online. Books will be available in Greensboro public libraries, and discussions will be sponsored by several book clubs. Details about the activites—including the kick-off event, art contest, and major speaker—can be found at beginning September 1, 2020.

The AADS program at UNCG is one of 84 organizations nationwide to receive a grant from NEA Big Read, an initiative that aims to bring communities together through sharing a good book. 

“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. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Greensboro, the African American and African Diaspora Studies at UNCG will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.”

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Upcoming Events:

Kick off Event

  • September 15th at 6:30 pm
Community Book Discussions by Zoom
  • October 20th at 7 pm
  • November  17th at 12 pm
  • January 19th at 7 pm
  • February 16th at 12 pm
Panel Discussions: “Preserving Girlhood” by Zoom
  • November 10th at 7 pm
Keynote Speaker: Erica Armstrong Dunbar by Zoom
  • February  23rd at 7 pm
Other panel discussions and family-oriented events TBA

For more information on the NEA: Big Read hosted by UNCG’s AADS. Please see HERE