Art Works Blog

The Big Read

If you drew a Venn diagram to illustrate the myriad overlapping connections between NEA Jazz Masters —who played with who when—there’d be at least one unexpected artist floating somewhere in the center: guitarist, Bill Frisell . He’s collaborated with so many NEA Jazz Masters it’s almost impossible...
Summer is fast approaching and so we're winding things down on the Big Read blog. Two more posts to go and then we close up shop 'til the fall. Fare the well breezy spring days of 75 degree temps (all three of them), and hello swamp-heat, which so graciously suffocates the District like a wool...
How do you live in a place that might be completely alien to you? - Manil Suri Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel and Big Read selection, The Namesake , further explores an issue near and dear to the author's heart: what it feels like to be an immigrant. Though Gogol Ganguli is the protagonist, it's his...
Actor Tony Plans reads "My Life with the Wave" by Nobel Prize laureate and NEA Big Read author, Octavio Paz.
School is back in session. For you Big Readers out there, the end of summer means the return of our Big Read-focused blog posts. Hooray! Ok. Now for some Housekeeping . (Anyone? That's a sly Big Read reference and this author's favorite Big Read novel). For anyone who missed the...
We're pretty proud of our generous and excellent cadre of Big Read audio guide contributors. Elie Wiesel, Annette Bening, Martin Amis, Aimee Mann...I could go on for days. For example, Robert Redford offered to read excerpts for the NEA from Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Some...
March is one day away, so to kick off National Women's Month we're shining a light on Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of Charles Portis's novel, True Grit . Though fictional, young Mattie leaps off the pages with her unwavering conviction and outsize personality. This wonderful...
A little over ten years ago, in September of 2003, Jhumpa Lahiri's debut novel, The Namesake, entered the world. A poignant novel and new Big Read selection, The Namesake further explores themes Lahiri has mined throughout her writing career; identity, self-acceptance, and the trials and...
Today you can engage with the NEA not just through arts.gov , but also on the Art Works, Blue Star Museums , and Big Read blogs, and on Twitter , Facebook , and YouTube . Back in 2007, however, it was---we can admit now---with great trepidation that we first dipped a quivering toe into the social...
As I look back on the past year, I can’t help but think of what a whirlwind it’s been. A constant balancing act between friends, school papers, work commitments, and internship deadlines, it’s hard to believe I’ve only been in DC since August---and even harder to believe my...

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