National Endowment For The Arts Awards More Than $66 Million In Grants
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)has announced that it will award more than $66 million through 902 grants in the second round of Fiscal Year 2003 grants.
The Arts Endowment will distribute $66,027,860 to nonprofit national, regional, state, and local organizations across the country, funding 838 projects in the Access, Arts Learning, Heritage/Preservation and Leadership Initiative categories, as well as 64 partnership agreements with state and regional arts councils.
“I have a simple philosophy for the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Dana Gioia, Chairman of the Arts Endowment. “A great nation deserves great art. From providing preschool children with arts instruction, to encouraging a higher level of arts criticism, to funding a new public television show that will teach viewers about classical music, these projects will further the NEA’s mission to bring the best possible art to the greatest number of Americans.”
Access, the category designed to fund a broad range of projects that make the arts more widely available, includes 315 grants for a total of $8.36 million. Access projects often seek to reach underserved populations or citizens whose opportunities to participate in the arts may be limited by age, disability, language or economic constraints.
Examples of projects supported by Access grants include:
–National Poetry Month, coordinated by the Academy of American Poets, is a project that brings poetry to schools, libraries, bookstores, cultural organizations, and communities across the country in new and imaginative ways.
–Pier Walk, the annual Chicago International Sculpture Exhibition, is the biggest display of large-scale outdoor sculpture in the world, featuring work by approximately 40 sculptors.
–The Louisiana ArtWorks ArtsReach Project, designed to provide audiences access to the creative process of visual arts by attracting artists of diverse backgrounds to conduct residencies in the New Orleans arts facility. The project also includes a traveling, interactive exhibit based on the 2002 residency of master artist John Scott.
In the Arts Learning category, 258 projects are being funded for a total of $8,842,000. These grants assist projects that help children and youth to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of the arts. In addition, projects are funded that extend the arts to underserved adult populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.
Examples of projects supported by Arts Learning grants include:
–The stART smart program, created by the Vienna, Va.-based Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, is designed to integrate the performing arts into lessons for preschool children using children’s books as the springboard for developmentally appropriate arts activities.
–The Sloss Furnace Association’s Summer Youth Apprenticeship program gives high school students from the Birmingham, Ala. area the opportunity to work with professional artists to create cast-metal sculptures.
–Classics for Kids, an innovative program produced by Cincinnati Classical Public Radio, will include radio broadcasts, a multimedia Web site, lesson plan materials for teachers and CD recordings.
Heritage/Preservation grants preserve those forms of artistic expression and practice that reflect our nation’s many cultural traditions. Funding in this category is being awarded to 172 projects for a total of $4.02 million.
Examples of projects supported by Heritage/Preservation grants include:
–The American Dance Festival’s Dance Critics Workshop–a three-week event in Durham, N.C. for journalists–will focus on the history of dance and dance criticism, as well as the function and responsibility of dance critics today.
–Philadelphia’s Sedgwick Cultural Center will produce a touring exhibition of the Germantown Eyedazzler style of Navajo weaving, documenting the evolution, adaptation and preservation of three interwoven traditions during more than two centuries of social change.
–Valor, Agravio, y Mujer, a 17th century feminist version of the Don Juan tale, will be staged by Washington D.C.’s Grupo de Artistas Latinamericanos. The project will include bilingual educational materials including information about the play’s author, Ana Caro, one of the few women playwrights of Spain’s Golden Age.
Through its Leadership Initiatives, the Arts Endowment takes an active role in developing and implementing hallmark projects of national significance in the arts. This category includes $3.85 million to fund 50 Arts on Radio and TV projects, as well as 43 grants totaling $1.24 million to support Folk Arts Infrastructure initiatives.
Leadership Initiatives in the area of Arts on Radio and TV include:
–A public television series, The Music Show, featuring Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, is designed to help a national audience appreciate the power and relevance of classical music in contemporary life.
–The production of Turtle Island Storytellers, a series of traditional storytelling segments will be featured weekly on the Portland, Ore.-based Native American radio program, Wisdom of the Elders.
–Piano in the Background: The Story of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, a documentary produced by Robert Levi Films in conjunction with the New York Foundation on the Arts, will chronicle Strayhorn’s career as composer and arranger for the Ellington Orchestra as well as his relationship with the maestro.
Leadership Initiatives in the area of Folk Arts Infrastructure include support for:
–The creation of Arizona Commission on the Arts’ statewide Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program providing four apprenticeship teams, a time-honored way for master artists to pass their skills on to apprentices within their community.
–The creation of Washington State Arts Commission’s statewide Latino Infrastructure Initiative to include fieldwork and community meetings around the state, identification of artists and the establishment of support networks.
State Partnership Agreements provide support for state arts agencies’ basic state plan to address local priorities, as well as funds earmarked for arts education, fostering the arts in underserved communities and local Challenge America initiatives.
Regional Partnership Agreements provide basic support for regional arts organizations’ regional plans, in addition to regional touring initiatives. In this round, 57 state partnerships will receive $33.34 million and seven regional partnerships will be funded for a total of $6.4 million.
This round of grantmaking, the second of Fiscal Year 2003, awards 67.83% of the year’s funding. About four percent remains to be allocated by the conclusion of FY 2003 on September 30.