2023-2024 NEA Big Read: Los Angeles

A Catalyst for Community Participation, Civic Engagement, and a Celebration of  Los Angeles through Art and Literature

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to bring communities together, inspire conversation, and broaden our understanding of our world and ourselves. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), in partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library, marks its 15th year as a recipient of an NEA grant to host DCA’s Big Read: Los Angeles with the 2022-2023 selection of Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown, the story of actor Willis Wu who is doomed to play various generic Asian characters on the screen.

The companion book, American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang will also be read. American Born Chinese is the story about a thirteen-year-old who is dealing with issues fitting in at his new school. The 2022-2023 program will be presented both virtually and in-person, with the books’ themes of: popular culture, identity, and representation; Chinese American history in Los Angeles; and storytelling framing all activities.

Partners include the Los Angeles Public Library, the Los Angeles Unified School District, Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory, Grand Park – The Music Center, Tía Chucha’s Cultural Center, CalArts Community Arts Partnership, Collage: A Place for Art and Culture, Libros Schmibros Lending Library, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Chinese American Museum, Culinary Historians of Southern California, and DCA’s Community Arts Centers including: Art in the Park, Barnsdall Junior Arts Center, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, and Lincoln Heights Youth Arts Center, among others.

All DCA Big Read: Los Angeles programs are free and open to the public.




For more information about the NEA Big Read Program: LA, please contact [email protected] 

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