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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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NEA Initiatives
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The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest, the Big Read aims to bring the power of reading into the lives of Americans. The Big Read will work with multiple partners across the country to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. More information about The Big Read is available at:

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience is a program for U.S. military personnel and their families. This unique literary program is aimed at preserving the stories and reflections of American troops who have served our nation on the frontlines –– as in Afghanistan and Iraq –– and stateside defending the homeland. For more information, visit:

Poetry Out Loud. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, this program encourages high school students to memorize and perform great poems. For more information, visit:;; or North Dakota Poetry Out Loud information is available via this link.

The NEA Jazz Masters program confers the nation's highest honor for this uniquely American art on living artists. Newly named NEA Jazz Masters receive their nation's recognition at an awards ceremony and concert and are provided with a one-time fellowship of $25,000. The program also includes a touring program, television and radio broadcasts, compact disc recordings, and a new publication. For more information, visit:

American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Genius will consist of three components - touring, local presentations, and arts education. Programs presenting acknowledged masterpieces selected from a wide variety of art forms will tour to large and small communities in all 50 states. For more information, visit:

The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes focus on improving arts criticism in classical music, opera, theater and dance. The institutes will be designed for journalists who cover the arts for print and broadcast outlets located outside the country's largest media markets. For more information, visit:

Shakespeare in American Communities is the largest theatrical tour of Shakespeare in our nation's history. The tour will bring professional productions of Shakespeare to more than 100 small and mid-sized communities in all 50 states and 16 military bases. For more information, visit:

Great American Voices Military Base Tour. From October 2005 through August 2006, Great American Voices will feature 24 professional opera companies performing at 39 military bases across the country. For more information, visit:

For more information on the National Endowment for the Arts Initiatives, visit

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