Goddard Riverside Launches The Big Read and Introduces Community-Wide Reading Initiative to the Upper West Side

Goddard Riverside Community Center is the recipient of grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and will host The Big Read on the Upper West Side. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. Goddard Riverside is one of 77 nonprofit organizations across the country, and one of three in New York to receive a grant to host a Big Read project through June 2015. The Big Read on the Upper West Side will focus on The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, a novel by Dinaw Mengestu. Discussions and activities will take place beginning in January, 2015.

NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "While the act of reading is usually a solitary one, through the Big Read it will become a social one. This year’s Big Read grant recipients are not only playing an important role in encouraging reading but are also developing creative opportunities to involve all members of their communities  to come together to discuss and celebrate these great works on literature."

Goddard Riverside will host its kick-off event on Saturday, January 24 at the Bernie Wohl Center. The event will feature a special reading by author Dinaw Mengestu, in addition to a live Ethiopian music performance.

For more information on Goddard Riverside’s The Big Read and to view a full schedule of events, click here.