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The Maltese Falcon

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest.  SPEARFISH is one of 75 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read from September 2015-June 2016. From January 2016-March 2016 Spearfish will celebrate “The Maltese Falcon” with a full calendar of events.

What is The Big Read?

  • BR-EVENTS-badgeThe Big Read is one of the NEA’s partnerships which provides opportunities for thousands of Americans to experience quality arts programming throughout the country.
  • The Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
  • Managed by Arts Midwest, the NEA initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.

Spearfish is this only SD town to be awarded the Big Read grant

The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center is a recipient of a grant of $12,500 to host The Big Read in Spearfish. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The Matthews is one of 75 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. The Big Read in Spearfish will focus on “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett.

Activities will take place in Spearfish January 2016-March 2016.

“We are thrilled to receive our second Big Read grant,” Sian Young, executive director of the Matthews Opera House and Arts Center, said. “The first Big Read in 2014 revolved around the Jhumpa Lahiri novel, ‘The Namesake,’ and was very successful. ‘The Maltese Falcon’ came out in 1930 and was the premier detective novel of the era.There are many themes we and our Big Read project partners will be incorporating into our events.”

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The Big Read is a powerful example of how the arts can bring communities together and help us to connect with one another. These 75 organizations, including The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, are creating valuable opportunities for their communities to share wonderful stories and characters and to have meaningful conversations.”

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 75 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs. The NEA has also developed high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and audio programming, all of which are available to the public on neabigread.org.

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. For more information, visit arts.gov.

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 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 artsmidwest.org.