The University of Houston-Victoria's first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts is paying for part of this spring's UHV/American Book Review Reading Series.
The $10,000 grant was awarded in February to help cover the costs of bringing nationally known authors and scholars to Victoria during the 2007-2008 school year, ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn III said.
"The money is tremendously helpful, but it's equally important to receive the NEA's endorsement,” Alcorn said. "A grant from the NEA is proof positive that a nonprofit is making significant cultural contributions to the community it serves."
Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the NEA is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states and U.S. territories, including rural areas, inner cities and military bases, according to the agency's Web site.
"This grant is another piece of evidence that we are experiencing a literary renaissance at this university," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "I'm proud to have the NEA's prestigious stamp of approval on the fine work being done here by Dr. Alcorn and everyone who makes ABR the treasure it is to this university."
Hudson specifically extended thanks to Alcorn and Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Di Leo, who is also the dean of the School of Arts & Sciences.
The UHV/ABR Reading Series brings nationally recognized writers to the Victoria campus of UHV for several days. Scheduled events include author roundtable discussions with UHV students, faculty and community members; consultations with graduate, upper-division and high school students; community lectures; podcasts of Reading Series lectures; and invitation-only readings/lecture receptions.
Earlier this year, the series brought Pulitzer-prize winning historian David Oshinsky and author and music historian Thomas Williams to Victoria. Literary critic and experimental novelist Lance Olsen arrives today and Iranian playwright, poet and author Farnoosh Moshiri on April 24. Last year's series included author and Guggenheim Award winner Dagoberto Gilb.
Earlier this month, ABR applied for another NEA grant to fund next year's lecture series.
"This additional funding will allow us to increase the scope of the lecture series," Alcorn said. Expansion could include hosting lectures in larger venues and inviting speakers with expertise on a wider range of topics.
Right now, the staff at ABR is planning next year's lecture series.
"We're in the process of finalizing the eight 2008-2009 speakers,” Alcorn said. "We'll announce the four fall and four spring speakers in April."
For more information about the ABR, contact Alcorn at (361) 570-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.