The Ferguson Library Awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Grant to Support its NEA Big Read Project Focused on Toni Morrison’s Beloved

STAMFORD, July 29, 2021 – The Ferguson Library is pleased to announce it was awarded a $12,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to participate in the NEA Big Read this October. The grant will support community-wide reading, programming and conversation inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved by Toni Morrison.

The Ferguson Library, which is among 61 grant recipients nationwide, has participated in the NEA Big Read twice before: in 2017 with Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, and in 2019 with Kevin Young’s book of poetry, Book of Hours.

In Stamford, the NEA Big Read will kick off with a book giveaway and the first of three family workshops where participants will create squares for a community quilt that will be unveiled at the end of the month. Also in the works are a keynote address by Swarthmore College President Valerie Smith, author of Toni Morrison: Writing the Moral Imagination; book discussions for adults and teens at all library locations and area parks as well as in the virtual space; a storytelling event; a screening of the 2019 documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am; an organic gardening workshop; and more.

The NEA Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Published in 1987, Beloved was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. An examination of the destructive legacy of slavery, the book tells tale of Sethe, a slave in Kentucky who escapes to freedom in Ohio but instead discovers she is imprisoned by haunting memories of the trauma she suffered as a slave.

For more information, call 203-351-8231.

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