Announcing the NEA Big Read in Denver

Lighthouse Writers Workshop will launch its NEA Big Read program in celebration of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez with a Kickoff Party at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Friday, September 27. The NEA Big Read in Denver is presented in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues and the Denver Public Library, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The celebration, from 5:00 to 7:30 PM, will include readings, musical performances, and presentations from our partnering organizations across the city. They include: Art Students League of Denver, Biennial of the Americas, Black Actors Guild, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Colorado Humanities, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver Art Museum, Denver Film Society, Interfest, Latino Cultural Arts Center, Museo de las Americas, RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Stories on Stage, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Think 360 Arts for Learning, University of Denver, Youth on Record, and others.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Denver is one of 78 communities nationwide participating this year. This fall will be our third time participating, following Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping in 2013 and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen in 2017.

“After the success of our citywide efforts with Citizen, we’re thrilled to bring the NEA Big Read back to Denver and bring people together to read and engage with this timely and insightful book,” says Michael Henry, executive director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. “By collaborating with arts organization across the city, we’re looking forward to starting a community-wide conversation about the book and its themes of family, finding your voice, and fighting injustice on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in print.”

After the Kickoff Party on September 27, our community partners will offer a full calendar of events, including book discussions, writing workshops, art-making sessions, live performances, and more. These events culminate with Julia Alvarez’s visit to Denver on Wednesday, November 6, for Inside the Writer’s Studio, an on-stage reading and interview with Denver author Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina) at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM. The following day, November 7, Alvarez will visit with students at East High School in the morning and give a craft talk at Lighthouse in the afternoon.

View a full calendar of events at