WASHINGTON, D.C.—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has announced the recipients of the first round of NEA FY2010 grants, which are the first grants awarded under his leadership. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute $26,968,500 to support 1,207 projects nationwide through the following funding categories: Access to Artistic Excellence, Creative Writing Fellowships in Prose, and Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast Track. In addition, the NEA's New Play Development Project will continue for another year.
“I am thrilled that we are able to help art work in this country through more than 1,200 projects across this country. We are supporting projects that have great works of art at the heart of them; that work to inspire and transport audiences and visitors; and that create and retain opportunities for artists and arts workers to be a part of this country's real economy,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “It is our job at the NEA to support excellence in the arts, and to connect more Americans with more art, more often. This round of grants certainly furthers that mission.”
The NEA’s New Play Development Project will again be administered by Arena Stage in Washington, DC. This initiative helps the nation’s nonprofit theaters bring more new plays to full productions. The program, now in its second year, provides $280,000 in support to theaters for the development of new plays; provides opportunities for audience engagement throughout a play’s development; and highlights information on effective models for the sustained development of new American plays.
In the program’s first year, two projects were named NEA Outstanding New American Play selections: McCarter Theatre's (Princeton, New Jersey) production of Tarell Alvin McCraney's trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays and Center Theatre Group's (Los Angeles, California) production of Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.
Five additional theaters were selected as NEA Distinguished New Play Development Projects: California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, California); The Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota); The Foundry Theatre (New York, New York); Lark Play Development Center (New York, New York); and Rude Mechanicals (Austin, Texas).
Please visit http://www.arenastage.org/npdp/ for more information about the NEA’s New Play Development Project.
Access to Artistic Excellence grants support the creation and presentation of work in the disciplines of dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Projects include commissions, residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions, publications, festivals, and professional development programs.
A significant change this year for the Access to Artistic Excellence category was the addition of “artist communities” to the disciplines. This small but important field – which creates and maintains residency opportunities for artists – has been supported by the NEA in the past, but never as a standalone discipline.
The NEA saw a 22% increase in the number of applications for this round: in March 2009, the NEA received 1,697 eligible applications for this category requesting more than $88 million. This compares with 1,394 applications received in March 2008.
Through the Access to Artistic Excellence category, the NEA
will fund 994 projects with a total of $23,828,500. Examples of projects
*Waco Cultural Arts Fest in Waco, Texas received a $25,000 grant to support the installation of site-specific outdoor sculptures by Patrick Dougherty. The artist will work with community volunteers during a month-long residency to realize three works of woven and twisted tree saplings along a five mile stretch of the Brazos River to include downtown Waco, Baylor University, and the North Waco neighborhood of Cameron Park.
*Artown in Reno, Nevada received a $20,000 grant to support the multidisciplinary Artown Festival. Activities will include performances by local and touring artists, hands-on visual arts programs, and film screenings.
*American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront in Maine received a $30,000 grant to support the Bangor Folk Festival (aka American Folk Festival). The festival, held along the Penobscot River, will feature folk musicians, dancers, and craftspeople who will present numerous performances, workshops, and demonstrations at no cost to attendees
The complete listing of projects receiving Access to Artistic Excellence grant support in this first round of fiscal year 2010 funding can be found here: http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/10AAE.php?CAT=Access&DIS=Artists%20Communities
Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast Track Review Grants Track grants offer support primarily to smaller and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, demographics, economics, or disability.
In this funding round, 170 projects will receive support for
a total of $1,700,000. Examples of projects supported by Challenge America:
Reaching Every Community Fast Track include:
*Art Works in Cincinnati, Ohio received a $10,000 grant to support MuralWorks, a public art program. Created three years ago in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, MuralWorks will pair professional artists with teen apprentices to create murals in Cincinnati neighborhoods.
* Hill City Area Arts Council in Hill City, South Dakota received a $10,000 grant to support All Aboard Hill City, a design symposium featuring architect Sarah Nettleton. The symposium is a component of ongoing efforts to impact the development of the rural community's built environment by encouraging the understanding of architecture and design and their roles in the creation of livable spaces.
The complete listing of projects receiving Challenge America grant support in this first round of fiscal year 2010 funding can be found here: http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/10cham.php?disc=Challenge%20America
Literature Fellowships encourage the production of new works of literature by allowing writers the time and means to write. The fellowships alternate annually between poetry and prose. In this round, the 12 panelists convened by the NEA reviewed 25,000 manuscript pages from the 993 eligible applications submitted. The 42 prose writers who were selected come from 17 states and the District of Columbia. Each will receive a fellowship of $25,000 for a total of $1,050,000. The complete list of 2010 Creative Writing fellows can be found here: http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/litFellows.php
A state-by-state listing of the four categories is also available here: http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/states1/index_states1.html
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit http://www.arts.gov.
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