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Indepth Arts News:

"New 2000 Arts Endowment Grants Support The Arts With $50.2 Million Nationwide"
0000-00-00 until 0000-00-00
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, DC, USA United States of America

Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced $50.2 million in new grants in the second major funding round of this year. The awards will distribute over 63% of the Endowment's Fiscal Year 2000 grant funds to nonprofit national, regional, state and local organizations across the country. The Arts Endowment's FY 2000 budget appropriation is $97.6 million with $79.6 million designated for grantmaking. Since the beginning of FY 2000, the Endowment has awarded over 1,600 grants totaling more than $73 million.

Grants will be distributed through three of the Endowment's major grant categories: Access will award $4.4 million, Education will award $6.2 million and Heritage & Preservation will award $3.8 million. State and regional arts agencies, which by Congressional mandate are allocated 40% of the Endowment's grant funds to broaden access to the arts in all states, will receive $33.3 million in Partnership Agreements. An additional $2.5 million will fund Leadership Initiatives. Overall, projects reaching national or multi-state audiences will receive $11.3 million. Grants to organizations must be matched at least dollar for dollar.

Bill Ivey, Chairman of the Arts Endowment, said These Endowment grants will provide Americans with increased access to the richness of our country's artistic accomplishments, encourage learning across generations and preserve our cultural heritage. Through this support, the Endowment will help strengthen the role of the arts as central to community life and our national identity.

In Access, 208 grants totaling $4.4 million were approved for organizations. Access grants fund a broad range of arts events for the American public and provide arts experiences in communities where such events are not readily available. These funds support activities such as artist residencies, after-school and mentoring programs, performing arts tours, community-based projects, publication distribution and the innovative use of technology.

Among the Endowment's Access grants is an award to the Houston Grand Opera Association in Houston, Texas providing free outdoor performances and artist residencies. A consortium project led by the Pinellas County Arts Council in Clearwater, Florida will place professional artists as resources in eleven juvenile justice programs. A comprehensive interpretation and education consortium project led by the University Museum of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks will develop a program around the museum's permanent collection of Alaskan drawings. The Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota will use interactive video-conferencing technology to present an electronic field trip for student audiences all over Minnesota. And residents of rural Connecticut communities will be able to participate in poetry readings and writing workshops through a project of Curbstone Press in Willimantic, Connecticut.

In Education, 244 grants totaling $6.2 million were approved. Education grants reflect the Endowment's commitment to the arts as an integral part of education, not only for children and young adults, but for Americans of all ages, in settings in and outside the formal classroom.

Examples of Education grants include an award to the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts for research into the effects of arts-integrated curricula on student learning. The Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California will expand two programs, Project FLARE: Fun with Language, Arts and Reading, and Children Investigate the Environment. Teachers and students in the Granite School District in Salt Lake City, Utah will work with Repertory Dance Theater over a 36-week period. At-risk and underprivileged youth will receive training and paid employment through the Cleveland Public Theatre's Summer Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP). And high school students in an inner-city neighborhood will benefit from a year-round visual arts program through Say Sí in San Antonio, Texas.

In Heritage & Preservation, 208 grants totaling $3.8 million were approved. Nationwide, a wealth of organizations small and large will use Endowment funds to help conserve significant art works, and to honor, assist and increase the visibility of art and artists celebrating many cultural traditions.

For example: the National Council on Traditional Arts in Silver Spring, Maryland will celebrate the millennium through a variety of events including urban festivals, a national tour to immigrant communities and cultural interpretation in National Parks. The Research Foundation of the State University of New York in Albany will preserve videotaped conversations with significant writers of the last thirty years. The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico will conserve the museum's collection of concha belts and ketohs (wristguards). And the Oregon Festival of American Music in Eugene, Oregon will present Sidney Becht: A Tribute as a component of the Festival's Le Jazz Hot: Americans in Paris 1919-1955 program.

The Endowment awarded $2.5 million for Leadership Initiatives. The funds include support for significant national projects in arts education, city design, dance creation and touring, folk arts, rural residencies in chamber music and professional development for conductors and play-wrights. Two examples of projects supported are the NEA/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's JazzNet initiative, supporting jazz projects for 12 organizations, and the symposium Going Global: Negotiating the Maze of Cultural Intersections, presented by the Ohio Arts Foundation in Columbus, Ohio.

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