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Book giveaways for the Northeast-NEA Big Read project begin Feb. 1

Book giveaways for the Northeast-NEA Big Read project begin Feb. 1

NORFOLK, Neb. - Northeast Community College will begin its National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read project with a book giveaway campaign beginning next week. Northeast is one of 62 organizations nationwide that has been selected to receive a 2022-23 NEA Big Read grant. This spring, a shared reading experience in the Norfolk area will focus on the book Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig.

Copies of the book and companion titles, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (grades 9-12) and Can You See Me? by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott (grades 5-8) will be given away at the Northeast Library in Union 73 and at partnering locations throughout the community, including the Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk Arts Center, and Elkhorn Valley Museum, beginning Wed., Feb. 1, while supplies last. Copies may also be checked out from the Norfolk Public Library and the Northeast Library. Multiple formats are available.

“Our team selected Taussig’s memoir as the center of our programming because we appreciate the honest and intimate rendering of her experiences, which inspires caring and connection,” said Jennifer Ippensen, director of library services and project director of NEA Big Read: Northeast Nebraska. “Our focus is on disability, disability services, accessibility, and inclusion and we aim to promote open dialogue leading to a deeper understanding of how best to respect and serve one another.” 

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read is designed to broaden one’s understanding of the world, its communities, and themselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

The NEA Big Read in northeast Nebraska is presented in partnership with the Norfolk Public Library, Elkhorn Valley Museum, Norfolk Arts Center, League of Human Dignity, and other local and state organizations with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Local sponsors include Healthy Blue, Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau and Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund.

“At Northeast, we aspire to create an inclusive, diverse culture where every person is heard, engaged, and feels valued, and we believe one way we can make progress toward achieving that goal is by heightening awareness around disability and related services,” Ippensen said. “We are excited to offer activities for people of all ages and abilities through the NEA Big Read.”

The NEA Big Read surrounding Taussig’s book includes a full calendar of events this spring including a kick-off event later in February, a read aloud event for children ages 3 through 3rd grade, listening sessions, educational series, theatre workshops, slam poetry event, art activities, panel discussions, book clubs, and more.

The calendar may be viewed on the Northeast website at