Posts tagged with "The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)":

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National Endowment for the Humanities awards $29 million to preservation, virtual reality projects

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $29 million in awards for 215 projects across the country relating to all things humanities, from education programs to cultural preservation, film, exhibitions, virtual reality, and architecture.  Some highlights of the grant recipients include the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which received $50,000 for storage improvements for its collections housed at Taliesin West; the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which received $170,000 for k-12 workshops on the development of the skyscraper; and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which received $10,000 for saving the School of Architecture design project archives. Lawrence Technological University was awarded $7,000 for improving the storage environment in its Albert Kahn library collection while the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, got $9,938 for a rare books assessment including influential texts on the history of architecture, aesthetic theory, and visual representation in European art. Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum located in Massachusetts, received $9,794 for the preservation assessment of various structures. “NEH grants help strengthen and sustain American cultural life in communities, at museums, libraries, and historic sites, and in classrooms,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “As the nation prepares to commemorate its 250th anniversary in 2026, NEH is proud to help lay the foundations for public engagement with America’s past by funding projects that safeguard cultural heritage and advance our understanding of the events, ideas, and people that have shaped our nation. The NEH awarded these peer-reviewed grants in addition to $48 million in annual operating support that goes to the national network of state and territorial humanities councils during the fiscal year. The organization also gave grants to cultural projects South by Somewhere, a television series created in Durham, N.C., on the foodways, history, and culture of the American South, as well as to Louisiana State University and A&M College in Baton Rouge for the development of a VESPACE (Virtually Early-Modern Spectacles and Publics, Active and Collaborative Environment) project on the fair theatre in 18th-century Paris. In addition, the NEH engaged in a $1 million partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support the preservation of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
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Trump proposes eliminating The National Endowment for the Arts

President-elect Donald Trump is pledging to eliminate at least two agencies that will affect architects, designers of all sorts, and even planning initiatives. The Washington Post quotes reporter Alexander Bolton: "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized... while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely." The post also reports that "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $445 million in 2016." (It gets additional funding from individual donors.) The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) got $148 million in 2016; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) requested the same. The NEA has told The Architect's Newspaper that 84% of its total 2016 budget of $124 million was awarded to individuals and organizations across the country. Trump is not the first politician to propose closing the NEA and NEH, but with conservative Republicans in control of all parts of government, the endowments—created by Lyndon Johnson as part of his ‘Great society’—could, at last, be eliminated. These cuts will affect architecture and architects in many different areas and it’s hard to calculate until it actually happens. However, nearly every architecture and design exhibition in major U.S. cultural institutions is partially funded by the NEA, as are art projects in small and large cities all across the country.
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National Endowment for the Arts awards nearly $75 million in grants across all 50 states

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on Wednesday announced the latest round of its Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships programs, funding a symphony in Alabama, StoryCorps in Brooklyn, and more than 1,000 different projects across the country. NEA said it will make 1,023 awards totaling $74,326,900 to nonprofit arts organizations in all 50 states—plus the U.S. jurisdictions of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the District of Columbia—by the end of their fiscal year in September. Here's the full list of 1,023 awardees by city and state. The recipients run the gamut from established museums—Tucson Museum of Art will get $15,000 to support an exhibition exploring the art of the American West in popular and mass media, for example—to smaller arts councils and community initiatives. Civic programs are also among the winners. Public Schools systems in Boston, Seattle, and Nashville will receive grants of roughly $100,000 each to expand arts education. Collectively 263 panelists reviewed 1,794 applications for funding, according to an NEA press release. This week's announcement brings NEA funding awarded to date in fiscal year 2015 to $103.47 million.
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Flint Public Art Project's Free City Fest Reclaims Razed Chevy Site

The ongoing efforts of artists and designers to reignite the spark of downtown development in aging industrial cities face no simple task. But as architects and developers begin to put pencil to paper, the best public art projects draw on the spiritual side of that renewal. Flint, Michigan’s inaugural Free City Festival, held May 3-5, did just that when it revived a mile-long stretch of now-razed Chevrolet plants with public art, transformational lighting displays and a reverberating gospel choir. “There was a such a sense of heaviness about this space. It was a place where so many people worked,” said Stephen Zacks, executive director of the Flint Public Art Project. “It’s a kind of cleansing experience, for it to no longer be a blank space.” They installed more than 75 projects, including work by NAO, Srjdan Jovanovic Weiss's firm, Boston-based architect Jae K. Kim, Flint’s Freeman Greer, Ann Arbor-based architect Catie Newell of Alibi Studio, New York-based architects Matthias Neumann and Natalia Roumeliotian, and an inflatable shelter by Michael Flynn modeled after Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in Chicago (above). The festival was produced with funding from ArtPlace, a consortium of national foundations in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The organizers are looking for sponsors to help repeat their success next year. It isn’t the only public art plot to rejuvenate the one-time home of General Motors. Recently London-based Two Islands took first place in the inaugural Flat Lot Competition, floating plans to erect a mirror-clad foreclosure icon that would douse a downtown public square with cool mists on hot summer days. “There are things people think they know about Flint, but aren’t really reflective of the city today,” Zacks said. “If we can create great spaces, we can start to consolidate a new image and identity of the place.”
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Spreading the Placemaking, 80 Projects Funded by National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) announced the recipients for this year's round of Our Town grants—a $5 million investment in creative placemaking all over the United States. Combining grants from 2011, the program has invested over $10 million in projects in all 50 states and Washington D.C. This year, 80 applicants were chosen from a pool of 317 entries, which were all assigned to one of three panels: Arts Engagement-projects mainly focused on artistic production, Cultural Planning and Design-projects to build local support systems and spaces necessary for creative placemaking, and Non-metro and Tribal Communities-projects based in small communities not adjacent to metropolitan areas. These panels allowed for a diverse set of winning projects, ranging from a new cultural heritage center in a remote village in Alaska to a new arts center to encourage community engagement in New Jersey, only 20 miles south of Manhattan. More than half of the 80 recipients were communities with populations less than 50,000 and five of the grants were given to communities with less than 1,000 residents. To date, the NEA has invested more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. Regarding the large sum to be invested, NEA Chairman Landesman responded optimistically. "Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts—both literally and figuratively—into the center of them,” Landesman said in a statement. "From Teller, Alaska, to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders." View all 80 winning projects at the NEA's website.
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NEA Our Town Grants Could Spur a New Economy

Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), believes that art can play a major role in improving the economy and our quality of life. A new program of grants called Our Town seeks to spur such economic and civic development by investing more than $6.5 million in 51 projects covering 34 states. Landesman said the goal is to foster creative placemaking through public space design, cultural planning, festivals, public art, and more. "Creative placemaking is a strategy for making places vibrant," said Jason Schupbach, the NEA's Director of Design. "Arts and design are essential parts of the complex work of building a livable, sustainable community." Landesman stressed that the arts are locally produced and locally consumed, noting that arts organizations and local government are the most effective groups for implementing innovative projects across the country. "Mayors are our most natural allies. They are really looking for ways to rejuvenate their communities," said Landesman during a web presentation Tuesday afternoon. "Mayors get this better than anyone." Awards were issued to projects sponsored by an arts group in collaboration with a local government and represent rural communities of only a few thousand people, mid-size cities, and burgeoning metropolises like New York. Landesman said there is no difference between art in rural communities and the big city. He explained that communities big and small are working with local assets, although they may be dealing with different issues. For example, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, the community asset happens to be its farmers while in Kansas City, it's a historic theater. Schupbach noted that foot traffic is a demonstrated economic driver and that the arts are a key component of bringing people together. "It's been shown over and over that arts put people on the street," he said. Secondary economic benefits include patronizing local businesses before or after the art-inspired event or place. Landesman said jobs follow art. Artists come together to form a creative neighborhood, drawing people in and enhancing the image of the place, he said. After a place's popularity rises, businesses move in who in turn create jobs, improving the economy. In all, 447 statements of interest were submitted to the NEA from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico although only 51 respondents received funding ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. In part due to the overwhelming popularity of the program, the NEA plans to hold another round of grants in the future. Below are a few of our favorites from across the country. See a full list at the NEA's web site.
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs New York, NY $200,000 From the NEA: To support Space for Art, a community arts engagement program that places artists in residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. Local artists selected through a competitive process will be given free studio space and a stipend in exchange for creating programming for seniors and cultural interactions with the community.
Boone Theater Restoration Kansas City, MO Metropolitan Arts Council of Greater Kansas City $200,000 From the NEA: "To support the predevelopment, design, and community planning phases of the restoration of the Boone Theater in Kansas City’s 18th& Vine Jazz District. The project is designed to strengthen the existing arts and cultural district by transforming a blighted, vacant space, which currently separates critical venues from each other, into a vibrant cultural center that provides continuous programming in coordination with other live music presenters in the district."
Artspace Hamilton Lofts Hamilton, OH Artspace Projects, Inc. $50,000 From the NEA: "To support the design of the Artspace Hamilton Lofts in Hamilton, Ohio. The Artspace Hamilton Lofts will convert two vacant, four‐story historic buildings in downtown Hamilton into a 36‐unit affordable live/work facility that will serve artists and their families, provide 3,000 square feet of street‐front space for retail activities, and create a new exterior walkway and pedestrian plaza that will physically link the project to the surrounding neighborhood."
Tacoma Art Museum Plaza Tacoma, WA Tacoma Arts Commission $200,000 From the NEA: "To support a collaborative process for the redesign of Tacoma Art Museum Plaza and the surrounding Pacific Avenue streetscape. Pacific Avenue is downtown Tacoma’s main street and a nexus of major cultural and community assets; however, it is currently an underutilized deadzone with limited pedestrian use and long, unattractive stretches of concrete."
Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Wilson, NC City of Wilson $250,000 From the NEA: "The City of Wilson, North Carolina will receive $250,000 to support the repair and conservation of internationally recognized artist Vollis Simpson’s original large‐scale "Whirligigs," which are kinetic sculptures. The project will serve as a national model by generating new employment and training opportunities associated with the conservation of these vernacular artworks."
Vizcaino County Park and Drive-In Marfa, TX Ballroom Cultural Arts Foundation $250,000 From the NEA: "To support a multi‐stage improvement plan for Vizcaino County Park. The park comprises several acres of scenic desert on the northeastern edge of Marfa and will serve as permanent home for the Drive‐In, a new outdoor venue for music, film, and performing arts."

NEA Gets Big Cheese

Yesterday, we wrote a story about Jason Schupbach taking over as the NEA's Design Director. Today, we decided to post that story to Twitter and to look up Schupbach so we could include him in the tweet. What we found were two Twitter accounts, @CreateMA and @thecheesefreak. As it turns out, in addition to being a fan of design and grant writing, Schupbach loves cheese, or so we gleaned from the site, the CheeseFreak, the latter handle directed us to. There, an often giddy Schupbach has posted 24 episodes of his cheesy vlog since September along with very detailed posts about the cheeses and experiences surrounding them. That's an average of more than three a month, kind of putting us to shame. If he brings even half this much enthusiasm to the NEA, we're all in luck. And to learn more about all the great work he's done in the recent past, here's a profile from the Globe that we turned up on Google. Ah, the Internet. (Oh, and it goes without saying that if you're not already following us on Twitter, please do so.)