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Montgomery County Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), Montgomery Community Media, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival.  


The Big Read goal is to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and spread the transformative power of literature into lives. The featured book, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu, tells the story of the immigrant experience in Montgomery County and the Washington metropolitan area. The book is available at your local MCPL libraries in print and downloadable formats and for purchase at the FOLMC bookstores.


“We are honored to receive this prestigious grant and we look forward to working with our partners on this project,” said MCPL Acting Director Anita Vassallo.  “Bringing this title through The Big Read to Montgomery County provides the opportunity to celebrate the diverse immigrant experiences of many of our residents. These experiences enrich and benefit our County in so many ways.”


Big Read community events will be held from April to June 2018. A full calendar will be available at at a later date.


For more information about the Big Read, contact Mary Ellen Icaza at 240-777-0006 or email at



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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240.777.6507