MADISON, Wis. (Wednesday, June 10, 2020) – For the second year in a row, the Wisconsin Book Festival earned a prestigious $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant, part of the organization’s Art Works II category, will support the festival’s efforts to offer award-winning author programming. The festival hosts a broad spectrum of authors, poets and spoken word artists for free, year-round events, which recently transitioned to an online format due to COVID-19. The festival is presented by Madison Public Library, in partnership with Madison Public Library Foundation.

“The growing enthusiasm for Wisconsin Book Festival events is surely tied to our ability to book nationally and globally acclaimed authors, and we’re incredibly grateful for NEA’s support,” festival Director Conor Moran said. “It has helped our festival become Wisconsin’s premier literary event. We’re committed to continuing thought-provoking conversations that are reaching even more people with our new live-stream format.” 

The festival has hosted dozens of best-selling authors and poets over the years, including Ruth Reichl, Atul Gawande, Lois Lowry, Celeste Ng, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, James Patterson and Bryan Collier.  During the 2020-21 season, the festival plans to host 25 to 30 writers who have won elite literary awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Newbery Award, the Caldecott Medal, the Hugo Award and the National Book Award, Moran said.

Art Works is NEA’s Arts Endowment’s largest category, with projects supported in 13 artistic disciplines and fields that range from arts education to visual arts.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like the Wisconsin Book Festival for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

About the Wisconsin Book Festival
The Wisconsin Book Festival presents more than 100 local, national and international authors to diverse audiences each year through its four-day celebration and year-round event series. Founded by the Wisconsin Humanities Council in 2002, responsibility for the festival was assumed by Madison Public Library in partnership with Madison Public Library Foundation in 2013. All programs are live streamed via Crowdcast during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn about upcoming events at, on the festival’s Facebook page, @wibookfestival on Twitter, or @wibookfest on Instagram.

About National Endowment for the Arts

NEA is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. Learn more at

Jamel Brinkley, whose story collection A Lucky Man (pictured above) was a 2018 National Book Award in Fiction Finalist, spoke at the 2018 Wisconsin Book Festival.