Grant applications available for Issac Bashevis Singer centennial programs

Contact: Laura Hayes


For Immediate Release

October 31, 2003

Grant applications available for Isaac Bashevis Singer centennial programs

Applications are available for Assimilating America: The Life and Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer, a new initiative that provides grants to libraries that present public programs on the life and work of the Nobel Prize-winning writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991).
Libraries of all types are invited to apply.
To obtain a grant application, please visit
The receipt deadline for applications is December 15, 2003.

The centennial celebration, Assimilating America, will provide funding for a variety of public programs, including scholar or teacher-led book discussion groups, discussions of the differences and similarities between the book and film versions of one of Singer’s works, readings of Singer’s stories by local performers or community leaders, lectures by scholars and others knowledgeable about Singer and his work, panel discussions featuring scholars or writers familiar with the themes portrayed in Singer’s works, screenings of films based on Singer’s works or documentaries on the writer, or dramatizations based on Singer’s works.
Libraries applying for a grant are asked to develop a program for a public audience based on one of the aforementioned program ideas or a new idea that explores Singer’s life and work.

Fifty selected libraries will receive a $450 grant to cover programming costs and support materials, including the authoritative three-volume hardcover collection “Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories,” which will be published by The Library of America in July 2004; a reading group guide; the “How to Organize a Singer Program” leader’s guide; and access to an extensive Singer Centennial Web site that contains a national calendar of events, biographical and critical writings on Singer, continuously updated resources, and relevant links to other sites.
Grant recipients also are invited to attend an orientation workshop at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., on June 27, 2004.

Isaac Bashevis Singer, the most famous Yiddish writer of the 20th century,
was an immigrant writer who gained recognition as a renowned American writer. His writings include “The Family Moskat” (1950), “The Magician of Lublin” (1961), “In My Father’s Court” (1966), The Manor” (1967), and “The Estate” (1969).

Assimilating America is an initiative of The Library of America in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

For questions regarding the Assimilating America program please contact the Library of America,, or (212) 308-3360, or the ALA Public Programs Office,, or (312) 280-5045.

The Library of America helps to foster greater appreciation and pride in our nation’s literary heritage by publishing and keeping permanently in print authoritative editions of America’s best and most significant writing. With seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, The Library of America was created in 1979, and since then has published over 140 volumes and constitutes what is, in effect, a national library of great American writing.

The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries.
Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide to develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members, and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.