Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Monthly Archives: February 2016

My new book of poetry has a cover!!!! 

I feel so lucky, tan feliz tambien!! IMG_4694

Robinson Jeffers & The Big Read in Athens, GA

360px-Robinson_Jeffers_Hawk_Tower,_Tor_House,_Carmel,_CA_2008_Photo_by_Celeste_DavisonRobinson Jeffers “Tor House” in Carmel, CA

I am so happy to have the opportunity to host a Big Read event featuring the poetry of RobinsonJeffers(7.2015)Big-Read-Seal-Artwork [click to read more about Jeffers]

Big Read events in April, May, & June are all listed here at this website:

Athens GA Big Read Events Listing (UGA)


Big Read Jeffers in Athens, GA (events)

Join us for the public kick-off, April 7 at the State Botanical Gardens 7pm!


FullSizeRender.jpgWhat is the National Endowment for the Arts?

  • The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the federal government whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.


What is Arts Midwest?

  • Arts Midwest, a non-profit regional arts organization headquartered in Minneapolis, serves audiences, arts organizations and artists throughout the nine state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. Arts Midwest works in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts to manage The Big Read.


What is The Big Read?

  • The Big Read is one of the NEA’s partnerships which provides opportunities for thousands of Americans to experience quality arts programming throughout the country.


  • The Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.


  • Managed by Arts Midwest, the NEA initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.


What is the impact of The Big Read?

  • Reaching new audiences: The Big Read encourages widespread community involvement through an array of programming designed to attract diverse audiences.


  • Partnerships: Since 2006, more than 34,000 partner organizations have taken part in Big Read programming. These partnerships are key to growing the audiences for The Big Read while also providing the opportunity for community organizations to form lasting and meaningful partnerships with local businesses, libraries, artists, etc. that continue beyond the scope of the program.


  • New Experiences: By providing a diverse selection of books to choose from, The Big Read encourages the understanding of different viewpoints and cultures and encourages engagement between different groups of people that otherwise might not have occurred.


What does the NEA’s research say about reading among Americans?

  • The 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts revealed that more than half of American adults read a work of literature or a book (fiction or nonfiction) not required for work or school. However, adults’ rates of literary reading (novels or short stories, poetry, and plays) dropped back to 2002 levels (from 50 percent in 2008 to 47 percent in 2012).


  • The NEA’s 2006 study The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life shows that literary reading strongly correlates to other forms of active civic participation. Literary readers are more likely than non-literary readers to perform volunteer and charity work, visit art museums, attend performing arts events, and even attend sporting events.


  • The NEA will continue to encourage communities to read and discuss a diverse range of books by awarding Big Read grants.


  • In addition, the NEA’s 2012 report When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance​ revealed that among American’s top motivations for attending the arts are socializing with friends or family members (73 percent); learning new things (64 percent); and supporting the community (51 percent). The Big Read provides audiences with all of these opportunities which encourage arts participation.





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