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Jason Rapp

Fourth time a charm for new S.C. Poetry Out Loud champion

Persistence rewarded in final attempt

for immediate release 22 May 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – She earned her way to the state finals every year of her high school career and in the fourth and final attempt, the payoff finally arrived for a Lancaster student.

Judges selected Andrew Jackson High School senior Taylor Wade as state finals competition champion in the national recitation contest Poetry Out Loud, administered in South Carolina by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Seven other South Carolina high school students competed with Wade in a virtual state finals. The annual competition was scheduled to be held in Columbia on March 14, but was canceled by the SCAC to conform with guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bonita Peeples, Poetry Out Loud coordinator for the SCAC, arranged for a virtual competition. The eight finalists sent videos to be reviewed by the judges: Paul Kaufmann, Darion McCloud, Kimberly Simms, and Dr. Nancy D. Tolson. Wade recited “Dead Butterfly” by Ellen Bass and Edgar Allan Poe’s “Israfel” in preliminary rounds. She and two other students advanced to the final round, where she recited “Adam’s Curse” by William Butler Years and received the four judges’ highest score. In a typical year, Wade would have joined finalists from the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico in Washington to compete for a $20,000 cash prize at the national finals. In lieu of that competition, the champion of each state that held or will hold a state finals will receive a $1,000 prize. In states where the finals were canceled, the state arts agency will receive $1,000 to either award to a state champion named at a later date or divide among the students who advanced to the state finals.

About Poetry Out Loud

Now in its 14th year, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

David Platts

Announcing SCAC Arts Emergency Relief grants

Applications open, April 29

Application deadline: Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET


This is a critical update with vital information on assisting South Carolina arts and culture organizations and individual artists during, and as we emerge from, this time of crisis. First, I am happy to announce that as a result of tireless work by our team, South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Emergency Relief grants for organizations and individual artists will launch next week. The guidelines are available for review on our website now. Simply click here to access them. The application to apply for the Arts Emergency Relief grant will be open from Wednesday, April 29 through Friday, May 15. There will be a single user-friendly application which will ask which of the three eligible categories applies to you:
  • Arts organizations who ARE current (FY20) operating support grantees (General Operating Support, Operating Support for Small Organizations, and Statewide Operating Support)
  • Arts organizations who are NOT current (FY20) operating support grantees
  • Individual artists
Funding for organizations will be determined by their budget size. Individual artists are eligible to receive up to $1,000. I would like to express thanks to the South Carolina Arts Foundation and the donors to its South Carolina Artist Relief Fund campaign, which is helping to support the grants to artists. The recently-passed CARES Act provides funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and supports aid to arts and culture organizations nationwide. This relief may support salaries and administrative costs to the nonprofit arts sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes salary/fringe, rent/mortgage, and other operating expenses, but you may not duplicate emergency funds (for example, if you have received other emergency funds to cover rent, you may not also use this grant to cover rent). Again, I invite you to review the guidelines for our new Arts Emergency Relief grants here.
Second, the result of work with our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is a free webinar series for South Carolina arts and culture organizations focused on financial best practices for moving beyond COVID-19. Thanks to our funding partners, leading nonprofit financial consulting firm FMA Consultants will lead these webinars beginning next week. Each 90-minute webinar will be hosted twice, with space limited to allow for manageable groups and Q&A. Session topics and dates:
  1. Understanding Financial Heath & Planning Ahead in a Time of Uncertainty Wednesday, April 29 (2:30 p.m.) OR Tuesday, May 5 (2 p.m.)
  2. Scenario Building & Contingency Planning Tuesday, May 12 (1 p.m.) OR Friday, May 15 (1 p.m.)
Learn more and register for these wonderful opportunities on the South Carolina Arts Alliance website by clicking here.
Today’s update marks significant progress toward helping practitioners of arts and culture find themselves as strong as possible when we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. We at the S.C. Arts Commission have been strongly encouraged by your determination and innovation in finding ways to share through technology.  As always, we stand ready to assist you as we can.  

David Platts

Constituent updates on arts relief aid, Part II

Artist Relief and more on CARES Act relief


(Last week's update, Part I, is available here.) This week’s update includes a major announcement about relief for artists and clarification about recovery funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artist Relief Fund

You might have read here yesterday that Americans for the Arts and a consortium of funders introduced the new $10 million Artist Relief Fund for artists facing dire financial circumstances due to COVID-19. The fund launches with $5 million in seed funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation matched with $5 million in initial contributions from an array of foundations across the United States. Each week through September, Artist Relief will provide grants to 100 artists from multiple disciplines. It relies on the support of a growing number of foundations and individual donors and will continue to evolve over the coming months as the needs of artists shift. Organizers will continue to raise funds to assist with the rapidly escalating needs of the country's artists. Applications are now open, and the deadline to apply for the first funding cycle is April 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Subsequent deadlines are:
  • Cycle II: April 24-May 21 (closes 11:59 p.m. ET)
  • Cycle III: May 22-June 18 (closes 11:59 p.m. ET)
  • Cycle IV: June 19-July 23 (closes 11:59 p.m. ET)
  • Cycle V: July 24-August 20 (closes 11:59 p.m. ET)
Those in need can apply for assistance here, and those who are able may donate to the fund here.

NEA/CARES Act Relief

Back to CARES Act funding. The CARES Act passed by Congress provides a total of $75 million in funding to the NEA.  The NEA will direct 60% of this funding as direct grants to organizations who have received direct NEA grants in the past four years Those organizations should have received communication from the NEA already. The South Carolina Arts Commission’s disbursement will come out of the remaining 40 percent, which the NEA will apportion among the states according to population. Our team is developing guidelines to get critical relief flowing in South Carolina. An announcement will come soon.
Our most recent study revealed that 115,000 friends and neighbors in South Carolina work in jobs supported by the arts and creative sector. My team and I feel it is important to note that arts relief funding is not a “handout for arts projects,” as some misconstrue. Rather, arts relief supports organizations that provide income and benefits for individuals (and often their families) in arts and creative jobs who might otherwise lose access to basic necessities, not to mention dignity and quality of life, through no fault of their own. Knowing we can help drives us to serve our constituents. For ways you can be involved in advocacy efforts, I again direct you to our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance.
Photo by John Guccione www.advergroup.com from Pexels

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Emerging Leaders of Color + CARES Act grants

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


BREAKING

As The Hub was compiling this update, guidelines for the National Endowment for the Arts' CARES Act grants were released. The South Carolina Arts Commission is reviewing the guidelines and developing a grant program. (If you weren't aware, 40 percent of the NEA's $75 million relief funding is designated to state arts agencies to use for grants.) We will announce details as soon as possible.
Remember this? Like so many other things disrupted by the pandemic, South Arts is extending the April 17 deadline for Emerging Leaders of Color program applications indefinitely. Details on timing will be announced when they are available. Here's a quick refresher on ELC (South Arts link):

To promote representative leadership and equity in the arts, 11 to 13 cultural workers and arts administrators located in seven states in the southern region will be selected for this partnership program between South Arts and our colleague Regional Arts Organization WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation). Building on the success of WESTAF’s ELC program which has been attracting, training, networking and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010, the South Arts program will serve to advance Southern vitality through the arts through leadership development.

Here are a couple updates on other South Arts grants:
  • Jazz Road Tours: Applications due April 21, 2020 Note: In addition to the April 21 deadline, in the coming weeks Jazz Road Tours will begin accepting rolling applications so artists can submit on their own schedule. Details will be announced when they are available. Jazz artists from anywhere in the US can apply for funds to build tours that include three to six sites, with an emphasis on reaching rural, isolated, and underserved communities in combination with dates at more traditional venues. Grants of up to $15,000 are available to support tours taking place between August 15, 2020 and August 14, 2021.
  • Literary Arts Touring Grants: Applications due May 1, 2020 Literary Arts Touring grants support presenting organizations for engagements by guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. These touring funds support publicly accessible readings and educational activities that provide opportunities for people to participate in the arts. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects taking place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Jason Rapp

NEA debuts ‘Chairman’s Corner’ podcast

A weekly visit with the chairman


Today, the NEA announced the first episode of a new weekly podcast featuring National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter. Each week, host Josephine Reed will interview Chairman Carter (right) about what’s on her mind. They will discuss the work of the Arts Endowment and artists and arts organizations across the country. Take a listen to this week’s "Chairman’s Corner" where she talks about the current impact of COVID-19 on the arts community and the $75 million the National Endowment for the Arts received from Congress in the CARES Act.
The NEA invites you to visit its frequently updated COVID-19 resource page at this link. South Carolina artists (#SCartists) and S.C. Arts Commission constituents can visit the SCAC's response page here.

Submitted material

NEA replaces Challenge America grants for 2020

From an NEA dispatch today... As many of you likely know, the Arts Endowment received $75 million as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funds are intended to help nonprofit arts organizations across the country survive the forced closure of their operations in response to the spread of COVID-19. So that the Arts Endowment can effectively gear up to distribute this funding (which constitutes more than half of the agency’s annual grantmaking), the 2020 application deadline for Challenge America grants is cancelled. We recognize this is an inconvenience for those organizations planning to apply under this opportunity. However, those applicants should instead apply to the Grants for Arts Projects opportunity, with a deadline of July 9, 2020. The Grants for Arts Projects funding program awards grants to organizations of all sizes and includes projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. The July 9 deadline is for projects that begin on or after June 1, 2021; please visit our website for more information. Please note that applications submitted under Challenge America will not be transferred; a new Grants for Arts Projects application must be submitted by July 9. Please see below for some technical assistance resources that may be helpful in preparing a Grants for Arts Projects application. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. Please know that the Arts Endowment is doing all we can to serve the arts community that has been so profoundly impacted by this national crisis. We invite you to visit the Arts Endowment’s COVID-19 page for more information including FAQs for applicants and grantees and links to government resources and nationwide resources for artists and arts organizations. Through the government resources link, you will find funding opportunities at other federal agencies (such as the Small Business Administration) that may be a good fit for your organization.


Preparing a Grants for Arts Projects application

  • Guidelines presentation for Challenge America applicants interested in applying to Grants for Arts Projects: Read more
  • Presentation on the Grants for Arts Projects guidelines featuring an overview of the funding category and tips for applicants: Read more
  • Grants for Arts Projects Staff Contacts: Read more

Jason Rapp

NEA announces relief aid for arts orgs

$75 million included in CARES Act


In recognition of the arts’ $877 billion contribution to the U.S. economy and a source of 5.1 million American jobs, the National Endowment for the Arts will distribute $75 million in funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bill was enacted into law Friday. The Arts Endowment will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities survive the forced closure of their operations in response to the spread of COVID-19. “In this time of great economic uncertainty, I am grateful to the members of Congress and the president for recognizing the contributions of the arts to our nation and our economy and the devastation and job loss that this virus has wreaked upon the arts community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “With the agency’s experience in disaster recovery, economic crises mitigation, and distributing relief funds, the Arts Endowment will deliver assistance to help retain as many jobs as possible and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities.” As stated in the legislation, the $75 million is intended to assist nonprofit arts organizations “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally.” The legislation allows funds to be used for general operating expenses, a departure from the Arts Endowment’s requirement of supporting project-based funding and an acknowledgment of the dire situation facing the arts community. In addition, arts organizations do not have to provide matching funds to receive their grant. As regards to the distribution of the funds, the standard distinction remains of 40 percent awarded to state and regional arts organizations and 60 percent to be awarded by the Arts Endowment directly to applicant organizations. Details regarding timing and applications are being developed and will be announced as soon as they are available. Please check arts.gov in the coming days for more information. “On behalf of America’s taxpayers, we fully understand and welcome the responsibility which has been entrusted to the Arts Endowment,” said Chairman Carter. “America needs the arts and these jobs as part of our economy, our communities, and our lives and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to doing its part.” Economic Data According to data recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, arts and culture contributed $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017. That same year, there were over five million wage‐and‐salary workers employed in the arts and cultural sector, earning $405 billion. Today, as in 2017, most nonprofit arts organizations operate with lean budgets so the loss of earned income can have an outsized impact. This leads to fewer jobs with the organizations themselves as well as the businesses that supply them, from dry cleaners to parking attendants. Economic Crises The Arts Endowment has experience in recovery efforts. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress appropriated $50 million to the Arts Endowment to support the preservation of jobs in the nonprofit arts sector. The agency obligated $48.575 million in grant funds in 20 weeks, using less than one percent of its allocation to cover increased administrative costs. The Arts Endowment was the first federal agency to get all its money out the door, funds that helped preserve over 7,000 jobs. Disaster Recovery In addition, the Arts Endowment has responded to natural and man-made disasters, using the arts to support physical rebuilding and promote healing. Two examples: after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the agency led design charrettes to create a memorial honoring victims of the attack. In 2017, the Arts Endowment awarded emergency funding to the state arts agencies in the areas affected by Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria to re-grant to their artists and organizations. The NEA also sits on the steering committees of coalitions such as the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Eight high school students reach S.C. Poetry Out Loud finals

State finals to be held March 14 in Columbia


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – Eight South Carolina high school students reached the March 9 state finals for Poetry Out Loud – an annual, nationwide recitation contest – after regional competitions in Charleston and Spartanburg. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) coordinates Poetry Out Loud in South Carolina, partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to bring the competition to state high schools. In the 2019/2020 school year, around 2,600 students from 21 schools in 12 counties participated. School competition winners competed against students in their region to move on to the state finals. The following eight regional finalists will compete on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Richland Library Main Branch in Columbia from 3-5 p.m.:
  • David Jones (Southside High School in Greenville)
  • Rowland Marshall (Wando High School in Charleston)
  • Anna Matson (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Jackson Penn (Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology in Longs)
  • Emma Rose Radcliff (Waccamaw High School in Georgetown)
  • Carson Stehling (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
  • Taylor Wade (Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster)
  • Emily Yi (Southside High School in Greenville)
This event is free and open to the public. The winner of the state finals will represent South Carolina in the national finals April 27-29, 2020 in Washington. State winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals, and the state winner's school will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. Each state’s first runner-up, and that student’s school, receives a cash prize as well. The national winner receives a $20,000 cash prize.
About Poetry Out Loud Now in its 14th year, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in 2005, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State arts agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Poetry Out Loud offers more than $100,000 is prizes and school stipends each year. It provides free teacher resources and a comprehensive website with a large anthology of classic and contemporary poems, audio and video clips, as well as complete contest information. Since its establishment in 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach nearly 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit PoetryOutLoud.org.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Submitted material

Furman English Professor Joni Tevis awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

(Ed. note: Consider this submission, with its rich context, an addendum to this story on The Hub last week.)


Joni Tevis, the Bennette E. Geer Associate Professor of English at Furman University, has been awarded a 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA selected only 36 Fellows from a pool of nearly 1,700 applicants – just over 2 percent. The individual fellowships are valued at $25,000 and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement. Fellows are selected through an anonymous process and are judged on the artistic excellence of the work sample provided. Tevis earned the honor for her work of prose, “What the Body Knows,” found in the book, The World Is On Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse, a collection of her writings published in 2015 by Milkweed Editions. “What the Body Knows” draws from Tevis’ journey with her spouse and a guide up the Canning River in the northeast reaches of Alaska, where, she says in her essay, there’s “no road but the river, and two weeks to reach the edge of the world.” The Canning flows 125 miles through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and spills into Camden Bay, which is fed by the Arctic Ocean. Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the NEA, said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support our nation’s writers, including Joni Tevis, and the artistry, creativity and dedication that go into their work.” Tevis says she is grateful to Furman for supporting her work and trips into the wild, and she says the fellowship did not come easily. For writers who have met rigorous publishing requirements in prose, the fellowship is offered every other year from the NEA. Tevis has applied seven times since 2007. “I’m so honored and humbled by this fellowship,” Tevis said. “I ask my students, as I ask myself: ‘What would you write if you knew you could not fail?’ I treasure this ‘yes’ after the six rounds of ‘no,’ but the ‘noes’ were useful too, because they spurred me on. We must never give up.” Tevis will apply the fellowship funds toward her next sabbatical, where she’ll finish her current book manuscript –“a book of nonfiction about creation, destruction and the music that sees us through,” she said. A winner of multiple awards, Tevis has been published in Oxford American, the Bellingham Review, Shenandoah, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and Orion, a literary journal focused on environmental themes, and where “What the Body Knows” also appeared. Formerly a park ranger, factory worker and purveyor of cemetery plots, Tevis teaches literature and creative writing at Furman and is the author of another acclaimed book of essays, The Wet Collection: A Field Guide to Iridescence and Memory (2012, Milkweed Editions), her first book of nonfiction. She came to Furman in 2008 after serving as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She helped create the English department’s new writing track, which offers courses in nonfiction, fiction and poetry writing. Tevis holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and advanced degrees from the University of Houston.

Eight NEA grants designated for South Carolina

Federal government to provide $155,000 in funding


Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced today that organizations in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will receive federal funding for arts projects from the National Endowment for the Arts in this round of fiscal year 2020 funding. Overall, 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million will provide Americans opportunities for arts participation, and this year include projects that celebrate the Women's Suffrage Centennial. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.” This funding announcement includes the Art Works and Challenge America grant programs.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees sorted by city and state.
  • Click here for a list of recommended grantees separated by category: Art Works (sorted by artistic discipline/field) and Challenge America.
  • Click here to use the Arts Endowment’s grant search tool to find additional project details for these and other agency-supported grants.
  • Click here for the lists of the panelists that reviewed the applications for this round of funding.
Eight arts organizations in South Carolina from Abbeville, Aiken, Charleston, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are getting a combined $155,000 to present varied arts programming. Examples include high-profile events like Spoleto Festival USA and smaller public performances at Joye in Aiken and the Abbeville Opera House, among others. The former Tapp's Arts Center, now known as Tapp's Outpost, in Columbia (in the news recently for losing its Main Street space) received $40,000—the largest South Carolina grant—for its Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. "The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is delighted to hear that federal support is coming to these organizations and programming, all of whom are supported this fiscal year by state funding through Arts Commission grants. The combined support will ensure South Carolina citizens have access to and benefit from the highest quality arts experiences," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said.

Art Works

Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Art Works projects this round include:
  • A $30,000 award to Shreveport Regional Arts Council to support the new arts partnership with historically black universities Southern University at Shreveport and Grambling State University, documenting and celebrating the schools' artist alumni, who will be commissioned for artist talks, workshops, and residencies.
  • A $10,000 award to support the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust’s Yup'ik Dance Festival, where singers and dancers from villages in southwest Alaska will gather to exchange songs and dances, celebrating traditional dance in the region. The event will be the subject of a documentary film that will serve as an educational tool for future dancers.
  • A $45,000 award to support the 2020 Open Style Lab Summer Program in Great Neck, New York, which will bring together emerging fashion designers, product designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists to co-design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.
For fiscal year 2020, the Arts Endowment encouraged Art Works applications for artistically excellent projects that honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial, celebrating women’s voting rights in the United States. Among the many upcoming projects in this area are:
  • A $20,000 award to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky to support Metalworks for the Modern Muse. Master artists will offer metalworking and blacksmithing instruction, highlighting its relevance to Appalachian culture. Intended to serve girls ages 12-14, the project will recognize the contributions of women artists to the suffrage movement and the reforms that laid the groundwork for settlement schools in Kentucky.
  • A $15,000 award to the Chautauqua Institution to support Women’s Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote, a week-long summer opera festival that will highlight new works by a female composer-in-residence. The festival will be preceded by school performances addressing the centennial of women’s suffrage. Selected works will illustrate the challenges women have faced and the victories claimed throughout the past 100 years.

Challenge America

Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match. Challenge America projects approved for funding include:
  • A series of multidisciplinary Latinx cultural heritage arts events at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California, a first-time applicant for Arts Endowment funding. Artists will engage with the college’s largely Hispanic district population through workshops, school activities, dance, and music performances. Among the featured guest artists is National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza and a culminating event will include a Dia de los Muertos panel discussion with guest artists.
  • NOMADstudio’s visual art program for incarcerated youth at Florida’s Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Guest artists will work with youth to create a mural and provide instruction on how to produce art independently during studio time. Artworks will be displayed during culminating events at the center and a local art gallery.
  • Theatre for Young America’s production of the play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America, about the history of Negro League baseball, and corresponding educational activities that include in-school workshops for K-12 students in rural Kansas.
The next funding deadline for applications to the Grants for Arts Projects category is February 13, 2020. Note: Grant applications previously submitted to the Art Works category will now be submitted to the Grants for Arts Projects category. The next funding deadline for applications to Challenge America is April 9, 2020.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.