WUMB Radio One of 76 Organizations to Receive a Big Read Grant
August 29, 2011
Office of Communications
The University of Massachusetts Boston’s public radio station, WUMB-FM has been selected to receive a $17,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to again bring The Big Read to Boston residents.
This is the fourth year WUMB Radio has hosted The Big Read, an initiative of the NEA designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. WUMB is one of only 76 not-for-profit organizations and schools nationwide, to receive a grant for the 2011- 2012 cycle.
The Big Read will focus on Julia Alvarez’s historical novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, a tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship.
“The Dominican community is growing in the greater Boston area,” WUMB general manager Patricia Monteith said. “This book draws upon the rich heritage of that culture, and gives readers a deep appreciation for the political struggles endured by some of their neighbors, just weeks after we elected John F. Kennedy as President.”
This year WUMB Radio will work with the Hispanic Writers Week project, run by the Institute for Learning & Teaching at UMass Boston, along with the Adams Branch of the Boston Public Library and more than two dozen Boston organizations, schools, and libraries to offer activities and events, including book clubs, lectures, author visits, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Activities will take place from February through May, 2012.
"This is a story about three of four sisters who gave their lives for their country. People should have the opportunity to realize that heroes can be normal people,” said Patty Domeniconi, who is one of the organizers of this year’s Big Read program.”
Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader’s, Teacher’s, and Audio Guides.
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “Since 2006, nearly three million Americans have attended a Big Read event, more than 39,000 volunteers have participated locally, and nearly 27,000 community partner organizations have been involved. The Big Read’s success depends on these commitments of time, energy, and enthusiasm and I look forward to seeing these 76 communities come together in celebration of a great work of literature.”
About WUMB Radio
The primary organizer of The Big Read:Boston is WUMB-FM 91.9 at the University of Massachusetts, Boston's National Public Radio (NPR) music station which has been on the air since 1982. Broadcasting over a network of five radio stations in Eastern Massachusetts with a reach of 1.6 million people, the station maintains a worldwide presence via the Internet.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve more than 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.