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Big Read Big News for Mendocino County Library!

Big Read Big News for Mendocino County Library!

Related imageMendocino County Library is the proud recipient of a grant of $10,000 to host the NEA Big Read in communities throughout Mendocino County. A national 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. Mendocino County Library is one of 79 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2018 and June 2019.

Image result for nea big read PRETTY MONSTERSThe NEA Big Read in Mendocino County will focus on the short story collection Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. Activities will take place October 1st through November 17th.

Fort Bragg Library Schedule of Big Read Events

Read Aloud 15 Minutes—Under the Sea  

Join us for fishy stories and a mermaid craft inspired by the NEA Big Read book, Pretty Monsters, sponsored by Fort Bragg Rotary.

FREE Event

Saturday, October 6, 2018, 10:30 am to 12 pm

NEA Big Read Event with author Jody Gehrman

Author & Mendocino College professor, Jody Gehrman, will be discussing the short story The Faery Handbag from the book Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link.

FREE Event

Saturday, October 6, 2018 3-4 pm

Tales of Transformations and Dreams—Readings and discussion

Performer, Darryl Hasten, will celebrate the tradition of “fantastic tales” as shown in Pretty Monsters with readings from various collections

FREE Event

Thursday, October 25, 2018 6-7 pm

Adult Book Club

Join us for a discussion of the NEA Big Read book, Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link.

FREE Event

Thursday, October 25, 2018 7-8 pm

Teen Poetry Burial Craft and Book Discussion

“Who are you and what are you doing in my grave?” Teen will discuss the story The Wrong Grave, from the NEA Big Read book, Pretty Monsters, then make a casket-shaped craft based on the same story.

FREE Event

Friday, October 26, 2018, 4-5 pm

Ongoing: Adult Library Display “Poems for the Departed”

The display will run from October 15-November 15, incorporating handwritten note cards, calligraphy, teen crafts, and some graveyard motifs. Contributors: Open Mic Poetry poets, Poetry Workshop participants, Fort Bragg Teens and the Friends of Hospice (Day of the Dead Offrenda Altars).

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for communities across the nation, both small and large, to take part in the NEA Big Read,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “This program encourages people to not only discuss a book together, but be introduced to new perspectives, discuss the issues at the forefront of our own lives, and connect with one another at events.”

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of contemporary 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.

Mendocino County Library will partner with local groups such as The Mendocino County Museum, The Arts Council of Mendocino County, the National Parks Service Natural Landmarks Program of the Pacific West Region, and Mendocino County Parks. The library will also feature book discussions led by local author Jody Gehrman, as well as craft, poetry, and writing workshops.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past eleven years, grantees have leveraged more than $44 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 82,000 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, please visit

The Mendocino County Library is a free public library committed to providing open access to all its collections and services through its five branches, bookmobile, and online at which is available 24-hours a day. The library branches are fantastic community resources providing books and other materials, as well as gathering places featuring educational, thought provoking, and creative program for all ages.

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 NEA 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 about NEA.

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