Mechanics' Institute to Host 2022-23 NEA Big Read: San Francisco | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Mechanics' Institute to Host 2022-23 NEA Big Read: San Francisco




For immediate release: June 16, 2022

Contact: Kimberly Scrafano, [email protected], 415-393-0117


Announcing the 2022-2023 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Communities


Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, is announcing support for 62 nonprofit organizations to hold NEA Big Read programming in 2022-2023. In total, the NEA is investing $1,071,140 to support programming centered around one of 15 different contemporary books, with the aim of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities.


“It is inspiring to see how NEA Big Read grantees utilize these books as launchpads for their own programming, often creating opportunities for community conversations, new partnerships, and encouraging participants to incorporate art into their daily lives,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.



“All across America, in communities small and large, the NEA Big Read connects neighbors and inspires creativity,” said Torrie Allen, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “We're excited to support this year’s grantees as they bring the pages of these wonderful books to life through inventive programming.”


Mechanics’ Institute is receiving a matching grant of $20,000 to support programming around Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu from September 2022 through June 2023. Planned programs include:


  • Big Read: San Francisco Opening Night Celebration with special guests
  • Several walking tours, film screenings, and exhibit tours in partnership with local organizations whose work is centered on the Asian American experience
  • Dim Sum Book Group, welcoming Asian American authors in several book group meetings to discuss the themes of Interior Chinatown
  • Big Read: San Francisco Grand Finale with special guests and happy hour refreshments


Mechanics’ Institute will add several copies of Interior Chinatown to our collection for checkout. Throughout the program series, there will be book giveaways, opportunities to discuss the work and get to know fellow community members, occasions to visit and explore the work of organizations serving the interests of Chinese American individuals, and printed materials to guide your reading and find other books that grapple with the subjects raised in Interior Chinatown.


About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Since 2006, the National


Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $24 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 16 years, grantees have leveraged more than $56 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, over 97,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible.


Visit for more information about the NEA Big Read. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information.


Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit to learn more.


Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit

# # #