Ottenheimer Library receives $13k grant to create community reading program

ottenheimer library

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Ottenheimer Library has received $13,000 from the National Endowment of the Arts to create a community-wide reading program. 

The NEA Big Read Program, in partnership with Arts Midwest, encourages communities to engage in reading programs and events that broaden their understanding of the world and region. Ottenheimer Library is the only library in Arkansas to receive the grant this year.

The program will run from Tuesday, Sept. 19, to Friday, Nov. 3, and feature presentations, book discussions, film screenings, and related arts programming. The program will coincide with local events celebrating Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16.

Library project members chose the book, ‘Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urea, according to Carol Macheak, research and scholarly communications coordinator at the library. The book was selected to encourage dialogue on the Mexican heritage experience. Facilitators will introduce contextual topics such as a history of Hispanic civil rights in Little Rock.

“This is a fictional book that explores the complex lives of several individuals along the Mexican border in a dramatic, yet sometimes humorous, fashion,” Macheak said.

Ottenheimer Library is partnering with the Central Arkansas Library System, UA-Pulaski Technical College, the Little Rock School District, the Mexican Consulate of Little Rock, the Clinton Presidential Center, and El Zocalo Immigrant Resource Center.

The UA Little Rock departments of world languages, music, English, history, and sociology as well as KLRE/KUAR will also contribute to the program.

For more information, contact Carol Macheak at or 501.569.8809.

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