Big Read

Lighthouse periodically partners with the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the NEA Big Read to Denver. This program features a full calendar of events including community conversations, performances, workshops, and more, all with the purpose of broadening our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

From the City of Denver, Denver Arts & Venues, and the Denver Public Library, to the Arts Students League of Denver, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Film, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, and Youth on Record, our partners have included over 40 arts and culture organizations across the city.


2019: "In the Time of the Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez

We partnered with Denver Arts & Venues and the Denver Public Library to bring the Big Read to Denver in 2019, selecting In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Across six weeks, we hosted art-making sessions, book talks, live performances, and more, culminating in an on-stage Inside the Writer’s Studio event with Julia Alvarez and Kali Fajardo-Anstine at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on November 6, 2019.

2017: "Citizen" by Claudia Rankine

In partnership with the city and county of Denver, we brought the Big Read (also called Denver Talks) to town in 2017 for a citywide conversation about race and social justice centered on Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. After months of writing sessions, arts and cultural events, and other activities, Denver Talks concluded with an on-stage conversation between Rankine and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock at the Boettcher Concert Hall on November 15, 2017.

2014: "Housekeeping" by Marilynne Robinson

We took on the mantle of the One Book, One Denver program and partnered with Denver Arts & Venues to bring the first Big Read to Denver in 2014 for a series of discussions and events tied to Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.