Las Vegas To Read and Celebrate “The House on Mango Street”
The city of Las Vegas is one of 61 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2021-2022 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant. A grant of $20,000 will support a community reading program focusing on the book, “The House on Mango Street” by author Sandra Cisneros, Sept. 24, 2021, through May 30, 2022. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts 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. The Clark County School District and Las Vegas-Clark County Library District are partners in the project. To participate, residents should read the book, available to check out at area libraries.
“The city of Las Vegas chose “The House on Mango Street” as the focus of our NEA Big Read proposal due to the way its universal themes of family, coming of age, and cultural identity resonate with the diverse population of Las Vegas,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “As one of the country’s most diverse cities, we believe the themes of the book are emblematic of our core mission to support cultural diversity through excellent programs.”
Opportunities to share and discuss the book will be available at the Oct. 23 Las Vegas Book Festival (with the author), a future StorySLAM at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, a 2022 Rainbow Company Youth Theatre program, Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, and at community gatherings at local libraries.
“For 15 years, the NEA Big Read has supported opportunities for communities to come together around a book, creating a shared experience that encourages openness and conversations around issues central to our lives,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We congratulate Las Vegas for receiving an NEA Big Read grant and look forward to a wide variety of meaningful community events.”
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 NEA Big Read selection.
Since 2006, the NEA has funded more than 1,700 Big Read programs, providing more than $23 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 15 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, over 90,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 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 arts.gov/neabigread.
The city of Las Vegas presents a full season of gallery exhibitions, musical and dance performances, workshops and spring/summer camps, creative arts and humanities education opportunities, live theatre productions, and cultural heritage festivals. Three cultural centers, nine galleries, two amphitheaters, two civic plazas and two mobile stages offer cultural opportunities throughout the city. In addition, the city of Las Vegas played a vital role in the development of the Museum of Law Enforcement and Organized Crime (known as the Mob Museum), the NEON Museum, and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.