Vail Public Library receives a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant |

Vail Public Library receives a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant

Eagle County to read and celebrate “Lab Girl” as One Book One Valley celebrates its 10th anniversary

The Big Read in Eagle County will focus on “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren.
Promo photo

Vail Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $9,150 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Eagle County. An arts endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens how the community understands the world, different communities and fellow humans through the joy of sharing a good book.

Vail Public Library is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between October 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in Eagle County will focus on “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. Activities will take place as part of the county’s One Book One Valley community reading initiative celebrating its 10th year in 2021.

“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 in a news release. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Eagle County, Colorado, Vail Public Library will provide thoughtful and fun programming while also strengthening community bonds.”

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 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

“We are honored to continue our partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts on this incredible program,” said Torrie Allen, president and CEO of Arts Midwest. “For more than 14 years this national effort has invested in communities as they gather to discuss the stories and ideas that connect us to one another. We are especially inspired by the projects and organizations that are finding new, virtual ways of creating those connections with their communities and are thrilled to support them at this critical time.”

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this NEA Big Read Grant, especially during these challenging times,” said Lori A. Barnes, Vail Public Library’s director of Library Services. “Community reads inspire conversation, promote literacy and community, and bring readers and writers together through civic discourse and intellectual discussion.OBOV supports thought-provoking ideas and conversation among diverse populations within the community,”

One Book One Valley is a community reading initiative in Eagle County hosted by the partnering organizations: Vail Public Library, The Bookworm of Edwards, Colorado Mountain College and Eagle County Schools. It is a collaborative effort designed to unite and uplift hundreds of citizens by encouraging reading and promoting a sense of community by sharing a common topic for conversation. New partners this year for the NEA Big Read are the town of Vail’s Department of Environmental Sustainability, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Walking Mountains Science Center.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past 13 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 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, including book and author information, podcasts and videos, visit

Support Local Journalism