I'm really appalled that the government would fund a program for
I am additionally chagrined that they include funding for audiobook
broadcasts of public domain novels read by "famous people",
essentially privatizing words that have passed into the commons and
glomming onto the culture of celebrity... I'm assuming that audible
inc. will then sell these recordings?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paulette Beete
August 29, 2007 202-682-5601
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS AND XM RADIO
LAUNCH THE BIG READ ON XM NATIONAL RADIO SERIES
More than 8 million XM subscribers can join the Big Read
Audible.com partners with NEA and XM to broadcast audiobook versions of
classic novels on Big Read list
August 29, 2007—Washington, DC—Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with XM Radio, announced the launch of The Big Read on XM, a radio series based on the NEA’s national reading program of the same name. The Big Read brings communities together to read and discuss a single book in order to restore reading to the center of American public culture. Building on the literature program’s success, the new series will introduce the Big Read to XM’s more than 8.2 million subscribers nationwide. The Big Read on XM premieres September 10 on Sonic Theater (XM Channel 163), the XM radio channel devoted to audio books and contemporary theater. Hosted by Sonic Theater Program Director Josephine Reed, the series’s first installment will feature Ray Bradbury’s seminal classic, Fahrenheit 451.
“The launch of the Big Read on XM Satellite Radio is a major literary event. Creating a daily, national, drive-time show devoted to presenting and discussing great American novels is just what we need to revitalize reading in America,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. “This is the perfect marriage of art and technology. The NEA’s partnership with XM Satellite Radio has helped make the largest literary program in American history even bigger.”
The Big Read on XM will air audio versions of classic novels in 30-minute installments, courtesy of Audible, Inc., the leader in spoken audio information and entertainment on the internet. Other program highlights will include NEA-produced readings, interviews, and commentary about each novel by some of the nation’s most celebrated authors, actors, and public figures. Just a few of the notable names taking part in the Big Read are actors Robert Duvall, Cheech Marin, and Mary Louise Parker, writers Ray Bradbury, Alice Walker, and Tony Hillerman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
“The Big Read initiative is making a profound difference in communities across the country, encouraging people to embrace the pleasure of books,” said Josephine Reed. “This new radio show fulfills a long-held goal of mine: to bring communities across the country together to listen
to, think about, and discuss literature. I’m thrilled to be working with NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, as well as our partners at Audible, to bring these great books to XM listeners nationwide.”
The Big Read on XM will be broadcast Monday through Friday, with each new installment airing three times a day at 2:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. ET. The Fahrenheit 451 programs will be followed by programs on Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, and Carson McCuller’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. For a complete program schedule for The Big Read on XM, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/ onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=163.
The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Launched in 2006 as a pilot program of ten communities, in 2007, nearly 200 communities nationwide will host Big Read celebrations. For more information on the Big Read, including where to find a local Big Read, visit www.neabigread.org.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
XM is America's number one satellite radio company with more than 8.2 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2007 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information. For more information about XM, please visit http://www.xmradio.com.
Audible, Inc. (www.audible.com) is the leader in spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet. Content from Audible is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady computer-based and wireless mobile devices. Audible has 140,000 hours of audio programs from more than 470 content partners that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store. Among Audible’s key business relationships are Apple, Inc., Amazon.com, Palm, Inc., Creative Labs Inc., SanDisk, and XM Satellite Radio. Audible has approximately 170 employees with headquarters in Newark, NJ, and an office in London, England. Audible, audible.com, AudibleListener, and AudibleReady are registered trademarks of Audible, Inc. and all are part of the family of Audible, Inc. trademarks. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.