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“Circe” selected for NEA Big Read: Wichita 2020

Contact: Sean Jones, Wichita Public Library |

The Wichita Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $15,000 to host the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read in Wichita. An Arts Endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

The Wichita Public Library is one of 84 organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program.

This year’s featured book is “Circe” by Madeline Miller, a novel about the goddess Circe that takes readers on a journey into the world of gods, monsters and mortals. Circe is a strange child – not powerful, like her father, nor alluring like her mother. When she turns to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers she does possess power which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. The novel was selected by a panel of Library staff members and community partners during a meeting last fall.

“We haven’t explored anything like Greek mythology throughout the history of the Big Read Wichita, and it’s exciting to see what programs and special events community partners are able to create based around the novel’s themes,” said Julie Sherwood, Partnership and Community Engagement Manager for the Wichita Public Library.

In its 13th year, the NEA Big Read: Wichita brings together area schools, libraries, cultural organizations, businesses and book clubs to celebrate literacy and learning.

“During this time of social isolation throughout our country, we have become even more aware of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Wichita, the Wichita Public Library and community partners will provide thoughtful and fun programming while also strengthening community bonds.

The NEA Big Read: Wichita runs October 1-November 15. A kickoff party is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Details about Big Read events will be announced during the summer, and will be available at

Wichita Public Library provides collections and services that inform, entertain and enrich the quality of life in Wichita. For more information, visit

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