National Endowment for the Arts  
National Initiatives
The Big Read

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens.

Operation Homecoming

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience is a program for U.S. military personnel and their families. This unique literary program is aimed at preserving the stories and reflections of American troops who have served our nation on the frontlines –– as in Afghanistan and Iraq –– and stateside defending the homeland.

Poetry Out Loud

Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, this program encourages high school students to memorize and perform great poems.

National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowships

The NEA Jazz Masters program confers the nation's highest honor for this uniquely American art on living artists. Newly named NEA Jazz Masters receive their nation's recognition at an awards ceremony and concert and are provided with a one-time fellowship of $25,000. The program also includes a touring program, television and radio broadcasts, compact disc recordings, and a new publication.

American Masterpieces

American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Genius will consist of three components - touring, local presentations, and arts education. Programs presenting acknowledged masterpieces selected from a wide variety of art forms will tour to large and small communities in all 50 states.

NEA Arts Journalism Institutes

The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes focus on improving arts criticism in classical music, opera, theater and dance. The institutes will be designed for journalists who cover the arts for print and broadcast outlets located outside the country's largest media markets.

Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities is the largest theatrical tour of Shakespeare in our nation's history. The tour will bring professional productions of Shakespeare to more than 100 small and mid-sized communities in all 50 states and 16 military bases.

NEA Arts Journalism Institutes

From October 2005 through August 2006, Great American Voices will feature 24 professional opera companies performing at 39 military bases across the country.