7 Stages Theatre receives grant from National Endowment for the Arts

7 Stages Theatre was one of 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2023-2024 Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $20,000 grant will support a community reading program in 2023-2024, focusing on the poetry book Deaf Republic by Ukrainian-American writer Ilya Kaminsky. 

In collaboration with DeKalb County Public Library and Decatur’s Georgia Center for the Book, 7 Stages Theatre will organize and promote a series of literary and artistic outreach events in response to the poetry collection. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program plays a huge role in our education programs, including in-school residencies, workshops and our summer training program, Youth Creates,” Marketing Coordinator Devi Wells told ArtsATL. “The themes in works like Deaf Republic make their way into every art of activism conversation, curate the art in our lobby and even provide the backbone of our recurring Curious Encounters festivals. The Big Read sparks vital conversations, which is a driving force for our organization and our community.”

“What an honor to be awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant! It has truly shaped our yearly programming and given us new aspirations as we focus on the various themes within the literature,” said 7 Stages Education Director Destiny Renee in a press release. 

“Hundreds of students, community members and artists have found a space to think creatively as they connect their own lives to the text. To say the least, it has provided 7 Stages with a wonderful tool for collaboration while forming valuable new relationships,” she added.

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