About Us

The University of Baltimore received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support programming in February 2019 around the book Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. The NEA Big Read program supports community conversations and collaborations around a common read. 

Rankine’s work uses second-person narratives, poetry, and images to depict the everyday ways white culture dehumanizes people of color, and to express the frustration and exhaustion of living in a racist society. Read more about Citizen: An American Lyric and author Claudia Rankine.

Our month of programming includes a film screening and panel discussion on February 7, 2019 to kickoff the events; an “I am a Citizen” exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum on March 6, 2019 of student and community work related to themes in the book; and a day-long visit by author Claudia Rankine, including a talk and book signing, that concludes our NEA Big Read event on March 7, 2019.

We’ll be hosting a variety of book discussions and creative writing workshops with our partners Enoch Pratt Free Library, DewMore Baltimore and Red Emma’s. We’ve also been working with faculty to integrate themes and excerpts from the book into course content, such as oral history interviews at the Waxter Center, and as course reading material for the Jessup Correctional Institute cohort.

How can you participate?

  • Bring a friend to one of our books discussions or events — they are all free!
  • If you teach, consider using the text or an excerpt as a class reading
  • Create a projects around book themes that could be displayed on March 6 at the “I am a Citizen” exhibition
  • Share connections with Baltimore area organizations or projects

For questions or more information, contact Natalie Burclaff at nburclaff@ubalt.edu

About the NEA:

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

Picture of the University of Baltimore Campus in the evening