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Mercy College Selected by the National Endowment For The Arts Big Read Grant

National Endowment Arts

Mercy College will partner with community organizations to read and celebrate “Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel.

Mercy College will launch its National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read program exploring Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel with a series of yearlong events that will run from September 2022 through June 2023. The NEA Big Read in New York is presented in partnership with Latino U College Access (LUCA), The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), 100 Hispanic Women, the Dobbs Ferry Public Library and the Greenburgh Public Library along with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

“Mercy College is honored to be selected by the National Endowment for the Arts to highlight “Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel for the 2022 Big Read Initiative,” said Irina Ellison, associate dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences and project director for the NEA Grant. “As New York’s largest, private, nonprofit Hispanic-Serving Institution, this amazing story will definitely resonate with our students, many of whom are children of immigrants and are first-generation college students.”

An initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

Mercy College is one of 62 communities nationwide participating in the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read. Beginning in the fall of 2022 our community will celebrate “Infinite Country” with a full calendar of events including book talks, lectures, workshops and cultural activities on themes related to the books. The activities will take place across Mercy’s three campuses located in Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan and the Bronx as well as at partner sites and virtually.

Quotes from community partners include:

“The Big Read Project would allow our Scholars to see themselves represented, and to gain exposure to writing as a potential career path. As a local non-profit organization that empowers first-generation Latino students on their journeys to and through college, it is important to uplift Latinx stories, and support a young Latina author like Patricia Engle.” –  Cosette Gutierrez, Executive Director, Latino U College Access (LUCA)

“This opportunity would allow WHCC to partner with Mercy College in reaching out to our diverse Latino communities in Westchester County. We welcome the opportunity to be part of the Big Read Project. Mercy College has always been at the forefront of our community.” –  Sonia Montano, President, Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (WHCC)

“… the opportunity for Mercy College to share Patricia Engle’s book, Infinite Country….is a wonderful way to provide accessibility to those who are unaware of Engle’s excellent storytelling abilities. HACU hopes that Engel’s book will inspire the next generation of Hispanic college students to follow their dreams and share their stories.” – Ebony King, Student Services Manager, Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU)

“As a national organization that empowers and inspires Latinas to maximize their strength and potential, it is exhilarating to support a young Latina author like Patricia Engle. The prospect of distributing Patricia Engle’s book, Infinite Country for free and hosting author events and presentations is exciting and an opportunity we support and embrace.” –  Nancy Genova, President, 100 Hispanic Women


For more information on this NEA Grant, please contact Irina Ellison at