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Columbia dancers awarded NEA grant

Wideman Davis Dance of Columbia was approved for a $20,000 grant Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the dance company's immersive and interactive Migratuse Ataraxia.

This project will fund a three-month residency, followed by four public performative installations. Wideman Davis Dance will use the residency and performative installations to develop and test a community-oriented residency curriculum that introduces, integrates, and expands the themes of “Migratuse Ataraxia.” Wideman Davis Dance’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Wideman Davis Dance,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Wideman Davis Dance is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.” “The National Endowment for the Arts Grant not only supports a performative experience of “Migrartuse Ataraxia, but also residency activities and facilitated sessions with community groups, including students from Allen University and Benedict College and seniors from the Columbia Housing Authority residential programs. We are excited to receive NEA support to assist us in our art making and our efforts to engage the Columbia, SC community,” co-director, Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis said in a statement.

Project Description

The original performance, which was workshopped at Columbia’s Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens in April of 2019, centered on the humanity of enslaved Africans in antebellum homes despite the oppressive bondage under which they lived. In 2021 Migratuse Ataraxia intentionally shifts, exploring the journey from spaces of enslavement to those of Black liberation and empowerment through a mobile performative intervention that moves from the antebellum Hampton-Preston site to the former home of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, South Carolina’s most notable civil and human rights activist. Participants will travel a route where they will encounter the artists’ responses to historic structures through large scale projections, sonic environments, and live performances that speak to Black futurity. By focusing the energy on this temporal and physical migration, WDD reclaims the representation of Black bodies and narratives, creating new visual, emotional, and intellectual entry points in an immersive, interactive setting. In addition, the spatial shift will allow the artists to redirect the focus from the interior architecture of an antebellum site to an expanded exterior magnification of the physical labor of Black bodies – centering these performative practices on a celebration of radical Black female space. For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Jason Rapp

NEA taking nominations for National Medal of Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2021 National Medal of Arts are now being accepted on the Arts Endowment website. Any member of the public may submit a nomination by using this form and following the posted guidelines.

[caption id="attachment_46416" align="alignright" width="225"]The National Medal of Arts, round and gold in color with embossed design and a purple ribbon. The National Medal of Arts[/caption] The deadline for receipt of nominations is March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The National Medal of Arts is a White House program administered in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. It is awarded by the president to individuals or groups who "...are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States." “The National Medal of Arts and its award ceremony present an opportunity to celebrate Americans who have contributed to the creative life of our country through their artistic achievements,” said Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “In these very challenging pandemic times, the Arts Endowment is actively working with the Biden-Harris Administration to shape how the arts in general, and the Arts Endowment specifically, can best serve the nation’s recovery. The National Medal of Arts is a small but important part of that effort.” After the public submits nominations, the National Council on the Arts will consider nominations at a future meeting and compile a slate of recommendations to send to the president. The president makes the final decision on recipients for the award, and the agency works with the White House to hold a ceremony to award the medals. For a complete list of medal recipients, please go to https://www.arts.gov/honors/medals.
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.

Jason Rapp

Six S.C. organizations receive Arts Endowment grants

NEA releases first FY21 grantees


The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to announce the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2021 totaling $27,562,040.

Supported projects span 14 artistic disciplines in communities throughout the U.S. Also included in this announcement are the recipients of NEA Literature Fellowships in creative writing and translation and support for arts research projects. “The creativity and resilience of artists and arts organizations across the country have inspired Americans during this challenging year,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These projects represent the vitality and perseverance of arts organizations small and large to overcome significant challenges, transform to new ways of engagement, and forge new relationships that benefit the diverse populations in neighborhoods and cities throughout the United States.” The Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and cover these artistic disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. In February 2020, the agency received 1,674 eligible GAP applications requesting more than $82.4 million in FY 2021 support. Approved for funding are 1,073 projects totaling nearly $25 million, with grants recommended to 64% of all applicants and an average grant amount of $23,190. Grant guidelines and upcoming application deadlines are now available on the Arts Endowment website for organizations wishing to apply. Five arts projects in South Carolina were granted in this cycle. They are:
  • College of Charleston ($20,000)
  • Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston ($40,000)
  • Columbia Film Society ($20,000)
  • Greenville Light Opera Works ($10,000)
  • Hub City Writers Project ($10,000)
The Arts Endowment is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Part of this commitment includes our partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Outreach to develop relationships and help HBCUs navigate funding opportunities has led to an increased number of applications from and involving HBCUs. A few Grants for Arts Projects examples of successful applications from this round of funding include:
  • A $20,000 award to National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, to support the Move/Dance! Program in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and Spelman College, which will virtually engage students in the appreciation of Black dance in America.
  • A $15,000 award to Illinois State University to support outreach to HBCUs and the publication of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora. With the aim of growing its readership and cultivating new voices, Obsidian plans to offer online literary programming at HBCUs across the country.
  • A $25,000 award to Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts to support a master class series for aspiring classical music singers. The project will take place at several historically Black colleges and universities such as Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia; and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.
  • A $20,000 award to Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky, to support an artist residency program for visual artists and related public programming. Artists will engage local rural audiences and a partnership with Kentucky State University will enable students to engage with the residency program as interns and volunteers.
  • A $100,000 award to Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to support the pARTners Project. The goal of the initiative is to increase access to arts education for students in West-Central Alabama, with a special focus on preK-12th grade students in rural areas, by creating a strategic plan, providing arts integration programs to schools, including developing curriculum and training teachers. Teaching artists will be recruited for participation from local colleges and universities such as Stillman College.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award $1.2 million in FY 2021 Literature Fellowships to creative writers and translators. This includes 35 Creative Writing Fellowships of $25,000 each. These FY 2021 fellowships are in poetry and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. In addition, the Arts Endowment approved $325,000 in fellowships to 24 translators to translate works from 16 languages and 19 countries into English. Click here to take a more in-depth look at these fellowships and other Literary Arts grants this round.
The National Endowment for the Arts also offers two funding opportunities for research projects. This year marks the tenth anniversary of grants for arts research, a program currently known as Research Grants in the Arts. For FY 2021, 14 organizations are recommended for Research Grants in the Arts totaling $833,000. In addition, five NEA Research Labs are recommended for funding totaling $645,790. Transdisciplinary research partnerships grounded in the social and behavioral sciences will examine and report on the benefit of the arts in non-arts sectors. Click here to explore more about the recommended arts research awards. A research project by Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute at Roper St. Francis Hospital in Charleston was the recipient of an $80,000 research grant.
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.

Jason Rapp

SCAC announces eight competitors for Poetry Out Loud state finals

Finalists from Aiken, Boiling Springs, Charleston, Greenville, & Myrtle Beach


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Eight South Carolina high school students will compete in the state finals for Poetry Out Loud—an annual, nationwide recitation contest—scheduled to be held virtually on March 6, 2021. 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 the state’s high schools. Rather than be completely upended like so much else in the 2020/2021 school year, Coordinator Bonita Peeples arranged a competition with a different structure. In lieu of class or school competitions, students in grades 9-12 were invited to submit videos to be judged in twin regional competitions. Both regionals yielded four finalists to compete on Saturday, March 6, 2021 in the virtual state finals:
  • Emily Allison (Greenville High School in Greenville)
  • Meenakshi Balachandran (Calvary Christian School in Myrtle Beach)
  • Simone Cory (James Island Charter School in Charleston)
  • Teagan Domm (Academic Magnet High School in Charleston)
  • Anna Matson (Aiken High School in Aiken)
  • Pagelyn Smalls (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
  • Caleb Xiao (Spartanburg Day School in Boiling Springs)
  • Jazmine Vivas Young (Charleston County School of the Arts in Charleston)
Adjudicating the virtual finals will be veteran Poetry Out Loud judges Al Black, Ray McManus, Michelle Reese, and Kimberly J. Simms. Each is an accomplished poet residing in South Carolina dedicated to training the next generation of poets. The winner of the state finals will receive a $200 prize and get to represent South Carolina in the national finals competition for the chance to win a $20,000 first prize. Cancelled last year in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset, the 202 national finals will be held but virtually. Find out more about the national competition here.

Correction

The initial version of this post incorrectly identified Academic Magnet High School in Charleston as "Academy" Magnet High School.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued, and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC 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 SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on social media.

Submitted material

Mary Anne Carter, NEA chair, steps down

From National Endowment for the Arts Public Affairs.  


As the Biden administration prepares to take the reins of government, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter is stepping down from her position leading the National Endowment for the Arts effective today.

In a note to staff she said, “A new team should have a new leader. I will leave with warm feelings towards all of you and pride in our work.” She outlined four goals that guided her throughout her tenure and noted her belief that those goals were not only met but often exceeded. Protecting and Strengthening the Agency
  • The agency saw modest budget increases for the past four years. The current agency budget is the seventh largest budget in its history.
  • When an amendment came up in the House of Representatives to cut the agency’s funding, it received the least number of votes in a decade.
  • The “wasteful public spending” list compiled and distributed by Senator Rand Paul has not included any agency grants or projects for the past two years, notable since the agency was regularly featured.
  • Chairman Carter’s prioritized regular agency communication with members of Congress.
Messaging Chairman Carter made a strategic decision to change the way the Arts Endowment talked about the arts. Two specific changes included highlighting the arts as:
  • Economic engines for state and local communities. The creation of individual state fact sheets emphasized the arts in economic terms and have been downloaded and quoted numerous times by the field, communities, and elected officials.
  • A part of health/well-being/healing. The Arts Endowment expanded into this growing area of interest in the arts via the launch of the Sound Health Network and the agency’s first report on arts in opioid recovery, among other examples.
Outreach Chairman Carter regularly spoke about the importance that all Americans have access to the arts. During her tenure, the agency emphasized reaching out to typically underserved communities, making them aware of federal culture resources. These include:
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The agency developed an outreach plan that included events, work opportunities, and targeted information. To date, more than half the nation’s HBCUs have been contacted by the Arts Endowment’s HBCU team.
  • Native Americans. The Arts Endowment was the catalyst for the first-ever convening of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians, called Native Arts and Culture: Resilience, Reclamation, and Relevance. The gathering allowed participants representing more than 40 tribes and nations a chance to discuss issues affecting Native arts and culture today.
  • Folklife/Traditional Artists. The National Folklife Network initiated in 2020 is the first stand-alone initiative in the Arts Endowment’s support of the folk and traditional arts in more than 30 years.
Building the Bench Another priority for Chairman Carter was educating people outside the arts field, such as elected officials at the state and local levels, on the importance of the arts. This effort included:
  • S. Conference of Mayors (UCM). Expanded the existing relationship such that the agency was featured in their annual conference and as a partner in UCM’s City Song Project.
  • Speakers of the House in the states. This was an influential group to engage with regarding the importance of funding the arts at the state level.
  • Chambers of Commerce. Uniting Chambers of Commerce with their local arts organizations further builds upon economic development for their communities.
  • Health/medical field. Working with neurologists, oncologists, medical colleges, etc. through the Arts Endowment’s Office of Research & Analysis helped build movement for integrating the arts into our health and well-being.
Additionally, the agency expanded its relationships with other federal government agencies such as:
  • Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The agency expanded the number of Creative Forces clinical sites, supported community-based arts programs around these sites, and provided telehealth services as part of the network.
  • Department of State (DoS). Projects that engaged DoS include the United States/Japan Creative Artists Program that worked towards events during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, co-hosting an event in Malaysia with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies, and hosting the 2020 Americas Cultural Summit that is being rescheduled.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For the first time, the agency deployed staff after a natural disaster to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This led to the request for the agency to join FEMA’s disaster and economic recovery teams.
  • Department of Education (DoE). The agency committed more funding to the Arts Education Partnership, encouraging the DoE to do the same and resulting in the largest single year increase.
Other unique accomplishments include sponsoring a children’s booth at the National Book Festival in 2019 and publishing Creativity and Persistence, Art that Fueled the Fight for Women’s Suffrage to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. Chairman Carter concludes, “Lastly, I am most proud and humbled by something I never saw coming—the pandemic. This team’s response to the crisis situation swells my heart with pride. All of us shifted overnight to at-home offices, continued operation excellence, and maintaining the confidence of those we serve. Nothing mentioned above compares to that. Thank you.”

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.

Jason Rapp

Applications open for NEA’s ‘Big Read’ program

Arts orgs eligible for $20,000 grants

Application deadline: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2021

Arts Midwest is now accepting applications for the 2021/2022 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program.

pile of books on a wooden stoolThe NEA Big Read is a community engagement opportunity with grants of up to $20,000 for community-wide reading programs (virtual and/or in-person). Organizations can choose one of six available books. They can also tie in thematically-related books of their choice to expand the program's potential and reach a wider audience. Eligible organizations include arts organizations, but also:
  • community service organizations,
  • institutions of higher education,
  • libraries and literary centers,
  • museums,
  • school districts,
  • tribal governments, and more!
Past grantees have a proven track record of successfully engaging their audiences through the power of literature and stirring up a passion for reading that persists year after year.  They've also developed meaningful and lasting partnerships with other organizations in their community. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure has positive impacts on one’s health and this program can also provide entertainment and connection to community members in a time of isolation. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2021. Learn more about the NEA Big Read via the attached grant guidelines and at this link: https://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/neabigread/about If you have any questions, please contact Arts Midwest at neabigread@artsmidwest.org or 612.238.8010.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission grants eclipsed $5.5 million in FY20

Emergency relief assisted 346 artists and arts organizations

Grants distributed in 44 counties


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In recently completed FY2020, South Carolina Arts Commission grants totaling $5.59 million went out into state communities to assist 835 artists and providers of arts and arts education.

While this represents a rise of more than $1.1 million and 377 grants over FY2019, it is important to note that extenuating circumstances render comparisons difficult. Fourth-quarter Arts Emergency Relief grants in 2020 pushed its overall numbers up. Additional funding from the state general assembly nudged the non-relief grant totals higher than FY2019 by just less than $685,000 with 489 grants awards versus 458. A new impact map available on the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of agency grants (and their related programs).

Arts Emergency Relief was a factor

Arts Emergency Relief grants, announced in April, added $506,736 to FY2020 totals. Those provided support funding to arts organizations and artists who could prove losses from shutdowns caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of CARES Act funding was granted to the National Endowment for the Arts for distribution in part to state arts agencies like the SCAC. The subgranted funding was designated solely to provide relief to arts organizations. The SCAC made 177 grants totaling $381,636 to South Carolina arts organizations as a result, helping those groups to offset losses and help keep them operating. Additional relief funding was provided by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. A separate entity that supports the SCAC, the foundation raised money through a spring fundraising drive that contributed around $50,000 of the $125,100 the SCAC spread among 168 individual artists. Both arts organizations and individual artists continue to suffer losses because of the pandemic’s prolonged effects and find themselves in need of additional relief. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated losses in South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors of $1.2 billion.

It was still a big year

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a big year. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts education, artist development, and community arts development increased to nearly $5.1 million in FY2020. Grants were made in 44 of 46 counties, and one out-of-state grant covered programmatic obligations to South Arts, a regional arts organization and frequent partner in the SCAC’s work. One big factor was the January introduction of School Art Materials grants. This new grant provided one-time money for arts teachers to purchase supplies and other needed materials to assist them in providing quality arts education. There were 63 grants awarded totaling $396,000. The largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enable arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $1.9 million was distributed among 129 such organizations. Another $112,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. While the majority of the SCAC’s funding comes from state appropriations, it is grateful for additional generous funding support from the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. Funding from those sources is applied to two SCAC grant categories: Subgranting and Arts Project Support.
  • Partnering arts agencies in South Carolina receive grants they may subgrant to artists and arts organizations in the communities they serve. CCF support helped seven awards in the category total $70,000 in FY2020.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (14) and arts organization (18) in 12 counties totaling around $30,000.
As of the start of FY2021 on July 1, 2020, the state is operating under a continuing resolution that holds its budget at FY2020 levels until January, when lawmakers expect to have a clearer picture of the effect of the pandemic on the state’s finances. The SCAC is working to ensure that state lawmakers are aware of losses suffered by arts providers and practitioners while we wait for the budget to be resolved.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued, and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC 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.

Jason Rapp

NEA, Arts Midwest make NEA Big Read guidelines public

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with Arts Midwest, announced today that guidelines are now available for nonprofit organizations interested in applying for a grant to hold an NEA Big Read project between September 2021 and June 2022.

Since 2006, more than 1,600 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read programs have taken place throughout the nation, giving communities the opportunity to come together to read, take part in meaningful discussions, and enjoy book-inspired events. The deadline for grant applications is January 27, 2021. The books available for the 2021-2022 NEA Big Read are designed to provide communities and readers with insights into aspects of our nation’s history and culture. Applicant organizations are encouraged to collaborate with a broad range of partners to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. Eligible applicants and partners include, but are not limited to: arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete application details. “This selection of books for the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read will offer a platform to launch meaningful discussions about our nation’s past, present, and our hopes for its future,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These books all provide insights into different aspects of our history and we look forward to seeing the creative ways organizations find to explore their selected book with their community.” The books available for 2021-2022 programming are:
  • An American Sunrise—A collection of poems by Joy Harjo—current U.S. poet laureate and member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation—that revisits the homeland from which her ancestors were uprooted in 1830 as a result of the Indian Removal Act.
  • Beloved—A novel by Toni Morrison set in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio, about one woman’s struggle to raise her daughter while coping with the memories of her life as an enslaved person in pre-Civil War Kentucky.
  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir—Thi Bui’s memoir about the lasting effects of one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s to a new life in America and the universal challenges of becoming a new parent.
  • The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories—A collection of short and long tales of heroism and hardship by Jack London featuring canine protagonists and set in the Pacific Northwest amidst the backdrop of the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s.
  • The Grapes of Wrath—A novel by John Steinbeck published in 1939 that chronicles the harrowing westward migration from Oklahoma to California during the time of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
  • The House on Mango Street—A series of interconnected vignettes by Sandra Cisneros published in 1984 about a year in the life of a young Mexican-American girl growing up in Chicago in the 1980s.
Resources for each book, such as readers’ guides and teachers’ guides will be available in Spring 2021. In order to broaden participation, applicants may also choose to develop certain events and/or activities around other literary titles that relate in some way (thematically, historically, etc.) to their selected NEA Big Read book. “For nearly 15 years, NEA Big Read has inspired communities to come together over the joy of a good book,” shared Joshua Feist, director of grantmaking at Arts Midwest. “We look forward to supporting organizations as they test innovative ways to connect their audiences—which includes events in virtual spaces and socially distant programs—to ensure that communities have access to creativity, literature, and the important stories and ideas embedded in these books.” A webinar for potential applicants will be held on November 12, 2020 at 1pm ET. Click here to register.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read

Since the program began in 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, NEA Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 14 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local matching funds to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

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.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout our region and the nation. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 35 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Update on relief funding awards to S.C. arts orgs

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...


Columbia

The Columbia Museum of Art announces it has been selected as a recipient of a CARES Act economic stabilization grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The $150,000 award will support public programming associated with the upcoming major exhibition Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection. “I am pleased that the Columbia Museum of Art has received funding allocated through the CARES Act,” says Congressman James E. Clyburn. “The museum serves as a community center, art studio and entertainment venue. We must continue to support them as they strive to provide safe opportunities to participate in meaningful cultural experiences and connect with others.” From Oct. 17, 2020, through Jan. 10, 2021, the CMA will present Visions from India, a breathtaking sweep of 21st-century painting, sculpture, and multimedia works from India and its diaspora. The museum is eager to showcase this exhibition for diverse local and regional audiences and believes it will make an important impact on the community. The NEH is generously providing support for exhibition-related activities that require retaining humanities staff to maintain and adapt critical public programs.

Greenville

Local arts organizations have received another infusion of COVID-19 relief funds thanks to a $100,000 contribution from Hollingsworth Funds Inc. The funding, which is being distributed by the Metropolitan Arts Council, was awarded to the following groups: Artisphere, Centre Stage, Greenville Chorale, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Theatre, Metropolitan Arts Council, Peace Center, South Carolina Children’s Theatre and Warehouse Theatre. Each of the 10 organizations will receive $10,000 within the next few days, said Alan Ethridge, executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council.

Jason Rapp

Hub E-Vents: July 23

You want art. You crave art.

#SCartists and arts organizations want to fill that void. They live for that. It’s a calling. Yet in times of social distancing, that’s hard to do. Through the wonders of modern technology, many are trying and succeeding. So while we’re all staying home to protect vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors,  The Hub is stepping up to fill the void between artists and arts lovers. (Learn more about Hub E-vents here.)

Today

Well, it might not be #SCartists, but it's still a pretty big deal. On Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m. ET, there will be a virtual celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s a free event that will be emceed by Danny Woodburn. You can register at www.ADA30LeadOn.Eventbrite.com or watch via Facebook Live or on YouTube. Join disability rights leaders, performers, artists, singers, dancers, poets, filmmakers and storytellers with disabilities in the celebration. There will also be messages from Mary Anne Carter of the National Endowment for the Arts, Beth Bienvenu, and Charles Baldwin (Mass Cultural Council) highlighting the roles of the SAAs and RAOs and Arts Endowment grantees.

Bonus video content: ADA30 Lead On - Marlee Matlin Promo

More event information and guest appearances:
  • Learn about the five titles of the ADA through the disability lens of entertainment. Join Tony Award winner Ali Stroker (Oklahoma); with performances by Maysoon Zayid (General Hospital); RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad); Alice Sheppard (Kinetic Light) performing her dance “Descent;” Heidi Latsky Dance; Krip-Hop Nation’s Leroy Moore & Keith Jones performing their “My ADA Story;” photos by Tom Olin and more.
  • With messages by Senator Tom Harkin; NCD Chair Neil Romano; Tony Coelho; Judy Heumann; Marlee Matlin; Jim LeBrecht (Crip Camp); CJ Jones (Avatar) and more.