The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its second round of funding for 2017. The agency received 2,063 eligible applications.
ART WORKS II: 1,029 awards totaling $26.1 million: Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.
Art Works-supported in New York Were:
Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts (aka Inclusion in the Arts) $20,000 New York, NY. To support the Inclusion Project. The program will promote, encourage, and advocate for the inclusion of people of color and people with disabilities in all areas of the nonprofit theater field. The project will provide participating organizations with resources and leadership training on diversity, as well as best practices for implementing changes in policies and hiring practices. One-on-one consultancies to theater professionals and organizations will be provided through the Consulting, Information, and Resource Service. Additionally, a series of gatherings designed to address diversity-related issues will be convened through the National Diversity Forum.
Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Inc. (aka A.R.T./New York) $30,000 New York, NY To support services to the New York nonprofit theater field. Essential support will be provided to member companies through management training workshops, long-term consultancies, peer-to-peer roundtables, organizational tools, and resources to strengthen and sustain their operations. Member services will focus on specific challenges in the field and help theaters create a more efficient and effective infrastructure to ensure their human and financial resources are invested wisely. Aspiring artists from around the United States will meet with member theaters at an annual Internship Fair to provide staffing support to these companies.
American Theatre Wing Inc. $35,000 New York, NY. To support SpringboardNYC and the Theatre Intern Network. Both programs will offer professional development and training for aspiring stage actors and individuals beginning careers in theater administration and management. Springboard participants, selected from a national applicant pool, will come to New York City for two weeks to learn industry skills and career development tools that help them translate their academic training into productive careers in the theater. A year-round program for interns and early career professionals enables members to build networks and make informed career choices by providing educational and career opportunities.
Arts in the Armed Forces Inc. (aka AITAF) $10,000 Brooklyn, NY. To support the production of theater and workshops for servicemen and veterans. The company will present contemporary works in New York City, at domestic military bases, and at West Point Military Academy. Theater will be used as a tool to ease the transition from military active duty to civilian life and remind soldiers, sailors, and airmen that they are an integral part of the American community. The performances will consist of both full-length plays and a selection of monologues followed by informal question-and-answer sessions in which the audience can interact candidly with the artists. Performance themes may include Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” a woman’s struggle with her faith, the meaning of democracy, and baseball, one America’s favorite pastimes.
Cherry Lane Alternative Inc. (aka Cherry Lane Theatre) $20,000 New York, NY. To support the Mentor Project. The annual project partners established dramatists with emerging writers in a hands-on new play development program that will include readings, one-on-one workshops, master classes, and will culminate with a Studio Showcase Production. Each of the chosen finalists’ plays will be provided with a director, set, lighting, costume, and sound designers.
Drama League of New York, Inc. (aka Drama League) $45,000 New York, NY. To support the Directors Project. The initiative is a comprehensive national career development program for emerging theater directors. The program includes six different areas of focus that will address the varying needs of emerging directors. Fellows work with leading theater artists and direct their own projects in New York, New York; Ithaca, New York; and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and additional select theaters throughout the country. One component of the Directors Project is the U.S./Bulgaria Stage Directors Exchange, a partnership with the Bulgarian cultural organization Art/Office. Since 2009, fellows from both countries have traveled to their partner nation for performance, educational, and collaborative opportunities.
Elevator Repair Service Theater, Inc. (aka Elevator Repair Service). $35,000 New York, NY. To support the adaptation and production of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” The theater is known for reintroducing audiences to classic, well-known literature through experimental productions. During its 25th anniversary season, the theater will collaborate with The Public Theater to create a high- energy “Measure for Measure” that experiments with extremes of speed and physicality. The production will focus on the sonic and musical qualities of Shakespeare’s poetic language.
Flea Theater, Inc. (aka The Flea Theater) $20,000 New York, NY. To support The Bats, a residency program for apprentice actors. Competitively selected emerging actors will be provided an opportunity to perform alongside seasoned professional actors in theatrical works by established playwrights. Participants also will be trained to create their own theater works through workshops and master classes. The program combines professional development, training, and apprenticeship models to help young people gain access to the performing arts community in New York City, and launch their artistic careers.
Girl Be Heard Institute (aka Girl Be Heard) $20,000 Brooklyn, NY. To support the development and tour of a devised documentary theater piece. The ensemble work will be comprised of primary-source accounts from women and girls in New York City and will be developed, written, and performed by Girl Be Heard Company members. The show will premiere at an Off-Off Broadway theater venue and tour to theater festivals. Post-show talkbacks will enable audiences to engage with performers and directors to deepen the audience’s understanding of and connection to the play’s issues.
Great Small Works, Inc. $10,000 New York, NY. To support a tour of “Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls.” The puppet show is inspired by the Modicut Yiddish Puppet Theater and will be created in collaboration with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The theater will examine the artistry of Modicut’s founders, Yosl Cutler and Zuni Maud. The two artists met working as cartoonists, and together brought folklore and expressionistic style to high art venues, and fun and satire to working class audiences in the art-making milieu of 1920s Lower East Side New York City. The show will be an amalgam of their graphic designs and heretofore untranslated Yiddish hand puppet scripts. The project is an extension of the theater’s ongoing efforts to reinvigorate Yiddish culture for our time and to introduce it to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Herbert Berghof Studio, Inc (aka HB Studio) $10,000 New York, NY. To support professional training and lifelong learning programs for working theater artists at HB Studio. The project will offer artists opportunities to strengthen core competencies, experiment with new skills that expand their repertoire, and build a community of peers. Courses will be offered in the fundamentals of acting, playwriting, and directing. Master teachers will provide artists with mentorship through artist-centered feedback sessions, end-of-course assessments, and career planning sessions.
Instituto Arte Teatral Internacional, Inc. (aka IATI Theater) $10,000 New York, NY. To support Triple Play Tours at IATI Theater. The project will tour admission-free, full-length children’s plays, and staged readings of new plays to Latino and multicultural communities. Project activities, including theater workshops, will serve local public libraries, community centers, and school venues. The project is anticipated to benefit youth, teens, adults, and senior citizens from underserved areas.
Keen Theater Company Inc. (aka Keen Company) $10,000 New York, NY. To support the development and production of “The 1993 Melancholy Experience” by Kenny Finkle. The play is conceived as an audio movie with music for audiences to listen to with their eyes closed. Performed live like an old-fashioned radio play, the story is a series of interconnected episodes with original songs taking place in and around the East Village neighborhood of New York City in the year 1993. Each story explores the many ways America was on the verge of massive change.
Mabou Mines Development Foundation, Inc. (aka Mabou Mines) $20,000 New York, NY. To support the premiere of “Faust 2.0.” Adapted from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s classic “Faust,” the re-imagined work explores the Faustian bargains First World individuals may make in their daily lives that challenge contemporary systems and principles.Reflecting Faust’s search for knowledge and the ideal of beauty, “Faust 2.0” begins with a wild party glorifying a corrupted world. Faust, the individual, is awakened and reborn from his nightmare in Part I and finds himself as part of a dysfunctional kingdom amidst social and collective crises. The audience will move from the party to a performance as a “play within a play.”
Making Books Sing, Inc. (aka New York City Children’s Theater) $10,000 New York, NY. To support the development and premiere of “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” at New York City Children’s Theater. The play for young audiences will be based on Maya Angelou’s National Book Award- nominated memoir. The work will chronicle Angelou’s early years and the hardships she faced growing up as a Black female in the South. The story recounts how literature and language can help a community to overcome racism and trauma. Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith will transform the celebrated book into a theatrical play for audiences ages 12 and older.
Manhattan Theatre Club, Inc. (aka MTC) $35,000 New York, NY. To support the production of Martyna Majok’s “Cost of Living.” Majok writes about people with physical disabilities, who comprise a substantial yet marginalized community in the United States. An unemployed truck driver recalls his final moments with his wife before a car accident left her a quadriplegic and changed the focus of their relationship from divorcing to caregiving. Another situation is of a college educated immigrant who takes a job to make ends meet as a personal caregiver for a graduate student who has cerebral palsy.
New York City Center, Inc. $30,000 New York, NY. To support the Encores! Off-Center series. The program will engage contemporary artists and audiences with concert stagings of Off-Broadway musicals from the past three decades. Musicals will be presented alongside The Lobby Project, a series of free pre-show events exploring the works’ themes and promoting artist-audience exchange. The productions will include landmark shows that pushed the creative boundaries of their times, and call attention to contemporary social, cultural, or political realities.
New York Shakespeare Festival (aka The Public Theater) $100,000 New York, NY To support performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by The Public Theater. Performances will take place outdoors at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, bringing together a diverse audience with renowned classical performers and young, emerging actors of all backgrounds and experience.
New York University (On behalf of The Drama Review) $10,000 New York, NY. To support issues of “TDR: The Drama Review,” a quarterly journal of live performance. The publication is read by artists, scholars, and higher education students across the country and around the world. The journal includes essays, original scripts, interviews, reviews by significant scholars and artists, and photographs by renowned performing arts photographers. Each issue also includes special sections, such as the “Books” section for reviews of influential books in the field, and “Provocation,” a two-page spread for authors, activists, and artists to initiate discussion about performance or visual arts.
Page Seventy-Three Productions, Inc. (aka Page 73) $15,000 Brooklyn, NY. To support professional development programs for early career playwrights. Programs will include a year-long fellowship that will offer a playwright individualized development support for one or more ongoing projects. In addition, the Interstate 73 writers’ group will allow emerging playwrights to develop new plays through bi-monthly group meetings and public or private readings. The project also will include a week-long summer residency program at Yale University.
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Inc. (aka Pan Asian Rep) $30,000 New York, NY To support the development and New York premiere of “Daybreak,” a new play by Joyce Van Dyke. First discovered through the Unmuted Voices series, which expands the scope of the theater’s focus to include Eurasian communities, the play is inspired by the true story of two women friends who are both survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Fusing dream, memory, storytelling, music, and Armenian dance, the play carries the story of the women into the 21st century, and celebrates the endurance of the human spirit.
Paper Bag Players, Inc. (aka The Paper Bag Players) $20,000 New York, NY To support Theater for All, an integrated program of performances, workshops, and educational materials for elementary students throughout New York City. Performances of the company’s new work “Playing with Time” will be given at theaters, schools, and community centers. Based on the concepts of clock time, historical time, and musical time, the work includes a time travel adventure that leads to surprising encounters with historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and Pablo Picasso. An eight-week workshop called “The Art and Fun of the Paper Bag Players,” led by company artists, will give children the opportunity to develop stories, design production elements, and perform. A study guide integrated with the production of “Playing with Time” will be provided to participating teachers.
Playwrights Realm Inc (aka Playwrights Realm) $15,000 New York, NY. To support the Page One Program, a year-long production residency for an emerging playwright. The program will support the development and Off-Broadway premiere of a new work, and provide artist services to the playwright through a residency program. The play will be given intensive development resources in the form of readings and workshops with a professional director and actors, as well as marketing, publicity, and a fully supported professional production. The Page One Playwright will receive a stipend, health insurance, office space, and professional development opportunities and resources. Past Page One Playwrights have included Sarah DeLappe with “The Wolves,” Mfoniso Udofia with “Sojourners,” and Elizabeth Irwin with “My Manana Comes.”.
Prospect Theater Company Inc. (aka NA) $10,000 New York, NY. To support the development of “The Hello Girls,” a new musical by composer and lyricist Peter Mills and book writer/director Cara Reichel. Set primarily during World War I, the musical will tell the story of the first women to officially serve in the United States military during the war. Answering a recruiting call for American telephone operators who could speak French, the women served in the Signal Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces, but among the American soldiers and officers who relied on them, they quickly became known as the “Hello Girls,” and were generally regarded as a crucial part of the war effort. Development activities will include readings and workshops, and a culminating public reading in the spring of 2019.
Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (aka Teatro SEA) $25,000 New York, NY. To support a tour of children’s theater in Spanish by Teatro SEA. The tour to underserved Latino neighborhoods in New York and Puerto Rico will provide Spanish-speaking youth and family audiences with performances designed to instill cultural pride and build self-esteem and identity. Through new partnerships with libraries, schools, museums, and community theaters in predominantly Latino neighborhoods, the company will increase its audience development efforts for its home-base theater. Performances will be augmented by post-performance workshops and resource guides.
Soho Repertory Theatre, Inc. (aka Soho Rep.) $30,000 New York, NY. To support a new play by Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by Sarah Benson. Inspired by Drury’s experience living abroad with her husband, the play will explore the impact of living within a culture that is foreign to one’s own, and the paranoia and self-policing that emerge when individuals feel they are being watched. The production will feature a diverse cast of intergenerational actors, and will explore ways of disrupting the “fourth wall” to enhance the experience of the show for audience members. The theater also plans to support an active off-stage dialogue about the social themes and issues raised by the play through live events, video, and other online content.
Space on the Farm (aka SPACE on Ryder Farm) $15,000 New York, NY. To support residencies for theater artists and organizations at SPACE on Ryder Farm. The project will consist of three programs: the Working Farm, a five-week residency program for playwrights culminating in staged readings at the Farm and at Playwrights Horizons; the Family Residency program for artist parents and their children; and institutional residencies for theaters to develop work or advance organizational planning. Residencies include housing, meals, administrative, and artistic support at the 130-acre Ryder Farm in Brewster, New York. Residents are selected competitively by a panel through an open submission process.
Spanish Theatre Repertory Company, Ltd. (aka Repertorio Espaol)$40,000 New York, NY. To support Repertorio Espanol’s Teatro Acceso education and outreach program. The program will bring touring performances of classic theater works from Spain, original adaptations of Latin American works, and contemporary Latino plays to schools throughout the New York tri-state area. Performances will be augmented with in-school residencies by teaching artists and free online resources for students and teachers. The goal of the program is to make theater accessible to a population of Latino and non-Latino students that have limited access to theater, both as active participants and as audience members.
Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation, Inc. (aka SDC Foundation or SDCF) $25,000 New York, NY. To support professional training programs for directors, choreographers, and theater professionals. The foundation will offer paid learning opportunities to professionals at all levels of their careers through observerships, fellowships, and guest artist appointments. The programs will be designed to engage directors and choreographers with their peers, mentors, and the public, connecting artists across generations and genres. Free and low-cost public programs also will be offered such as open forum discussion events, and a monthly podcast program featuring master artists.
Theater Labrador, Inc. (aka New Georges) $20,000 New York, NY. To support the Audrey Residencies, a new play and artist development program at New Georges. The program includes focused studio development time, monthly gatherings with other resident artists, and stipends. Participating artists also will have access to artistic resources, including casting and dramaturgy. Resident artists will participate in a retreat and have the opportunity for work-in-progress showings of their work.
Theatre Communications Group, Inc. (aka TCG) $100,000 New York, NY. To support a national conference, professional development programs, and resources for theater artists, administrators, and trustees nationwide. The programs will be designed to strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional nonprofit American theater. The national conference will be held in Portland, Oregon. An annual Fall Forum on Governance for trustees and senior managers will take place in New York. The project also will include several series of teleconferences, research, and surveys on trends in the field, and Conference 2.0, a year-round online discussion forum.
Theatre Development Fund, Inc. (aka TDF) $65,000 New York, NY. To support the National Theatre Accessibility Programs. The project comprises the National Open Captioning Initiative and the National Autism Theatre Initiative. The National Open Captioning Initiative will provide presenters and regional theaters with a replicable model, resources, and training in the implementation of open caption services for audience members who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The National Autism Theatre Initiative will assist partner theaters around the country in the staging and implementation of performances for families with individuals on the autism spectrum.
Theatre for a New Audience, Inc. (aka TFANA) $50,000 New York, NY. To support a production of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” directed by British director Simon Godwin. The production will explore the play’s central conflict of clashing ideologies in a diverse world. Godwin will collaborate with designer Paul Wills and voice coach Alison Bomber. In conjunction with the production, a series of related events will be planned as part of the theater’s Humanities programs, including free “TFANA Talks” post-show discussions, and the publication of 360 VIEWFINDER on the theater’s website, a platform that offers context on the production’s themes and interviews with the creative team.
Theatre of the Emerging American Moment, Inc. (aka The TEAM) $10,000 Brooklyn, NY. To support the premiere of “Primer for a Failed Superpower.” Created by a diverse group of composers from varied musical backgrounds, the work will consist of new arrangements of seminal protest songs from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, exploring poverty, war, racial injustice, and the environment. Performers will include a multigenerational mix of teens, ensemble performers in their 30s, and Baby Boomers. The work will explore how personal power changes with age, and how American identity is experienced and handed down by each generation. Performance will be framed as community events, with participatory opportunities for audience members before and after each performance.
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, Inc. (aka Theatre of the Oppressed NYC / TONYC) $20,000 Brooklyn, NY. To support the Homeless Troupes Forum Theatre Project. Conducted in partnership with community- based organizations serving homeless and at-risk youth and adults, the project will offer homeless participants an ongoing theater skills training program and the opportunity to create and present their own stories on stage. Performances will take the form of “Forum Theater,” in which the action of the play is stopped and audience members are invited to step into the role of the protagonist and experiment with alternative solutions to the problems presented on stage. The program will build a sense of community, increase the participants’ confidence and self-esteem, and invite audiences to participate in community-led problem-solving.
Voyage Theater Company, Inc. $10,000 New York, NY. To support a production of “The Mecca Tales,” a new play by Rohina Malik. Produced in partnership with Crossroads Theatre Company, the play tells the story of five Muslim women on a first time pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj. When their bus breaks down just a few miles short of their destination, each woman’s spiritual journey is tested in unexpected ways. The theater is planning a series of post-performance talkbacks with guest speakers and panelists from the American Muslim Women’s Association, The Sisterhood of Salam-Shalom, the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding, and the Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia.
WaxFactory, Inc. (aka WaxFactory) $10,000 New York, NY. To support the development of a workshop production of “Pull Yourself Together!” The work is a new multidisciplinary performance piece conceived and directed by Artistic Director Ivan Talijancic in collaboration with the company’s extended artistic ensemble. Inspired by Anton Chekhov’s play “The Seagull,” the work will investigate how the century-old play resonates with 21st-century America.
Wingspan Arts, Inc. (aka Wingspan Arts) $10,000 New York, NY. To support the Summer Theatre Conservatory training program. The program will provide pre- professional training through tuition-free classes and performance opportunities for middle and high school students. Program participants from all over the country will come to New York to work with professional theater artists, take classes in acting, voice, and movement, and perform in plays and musicals.
Women’s Project & Productions (aka Women’s Project Theater) $45,000 New York, NY. To support mainstage productions, the Women’s Project Lab residency program, and the Pipeline Festival. The productions will be performed Off-Broadway and will be selected from work previously developed through the WP Lab. The Lab is a residency program for early to mid-career women playwrights, directors, and producers that provides members with training, resources, new work development opportunities, a professional network, entrepreneurial and leadership training, rehearsal space, and opportunities for production. The program culminates in the Pipeline Festival, featuring new works created by collaborative teams composed of WP Lab playwrights, directors, and producers.
York Theatre Company, Inc. (aka The York) $10,000 New York, NY. To support a production of “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” a 1972 musical revue with music, lyrics, and book by Micki Grant. Through a mixture of gospel, blues, and calypso, the work reflects on contemporary African-American culture. The original production, which ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway, received widespread critical acclaim and garnered several awards for artistic excellence including four Tony Award nominations. The show was revived through the theater’s Musicals in Mufti series, a program that presents concert readings of notable musicals from the past. The full mainstage production will feature the participation of book writer Micki Grant, and will be directed by Leslie Dockery.
OUR TOWN: 89 awards totaling $6.89 million
Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets.
Our Town-supported projects in New York are:
A Blade of Grass Fund (aka A Blade of Grass) $100,000 New York, NY. To support The Civic Imagination: A Toolkit For Effective Artist and Municipal Partnerships, a Knowledge Building project. In response to increasing interest in incorporating art practices into the work of municipal agencies, A Blade of Grass will collaborate with Americans for the Arts to develop a toolkit and training materials for municipal agency leaders and artists to partner successfully. The project collaborators will conduct a national field scan of existing programs and develop an interactive toolkit complete with framing, case studies, web-based videos, and tools to guide planning, implementation, and evaluation. The resources will be refined through pilot workshops, and disseminated broadly. This project is expected to clarify effective artist-civic partnership models, and to provide a practical guide for navigating challenges that might occur.
Queens Museum of Art (aka Queens Museum) $150,000 Queens, NY. To support ArtBuilt Mobile Studio in the Park: Arts and Culture Residencies in New York City Parks. Through artist residencies at mobile artist studios, artists will deliver arts and culture programming in selected parks across New York City’s five boroughs. The Queens Museum and ArtBuilt will partner with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to ensure the project will complement the City’s ongoing park planning and community engagement efforts. Park sites for the mobile studios will be selected based on criteria that include high density of population, an above-average percentage of residents living below the federal poverty line, and where resident feedback identifies arts and culture as a high priority.
In addition to funding, the NEA advances creative placemaking through publications and resource development. In December 2016, the NEA released How to Do Creative Placemaking, a collection of essays and case studies. Other materials are available on the NEA’s newly re-launched creative placemaking page.
RESEARCH: ART WORKS: 14 awards totaling $540,000
This year marks the sixth year that the NEA has offered funding for research by outside parties through the Office of Research & Analysis. This year’s funded studies investigate research questions about the value and/or impact of the arts, or studies will explore causal links between the arts and another domain of interest.
For example; the Affordable Housing Management Company based in Fishers, Indiana will receive a $90,000 grant to support a study examining the effects of music engagement on low-income, older adults.
STATE AND REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS:63 awards totaling $50.53 million
Through partnership agreements, the NEA translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. States and U.S. jurisdictions have their own arts agency that together receive 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds each year to support their programs and leverage state funding.
New York State Council on the Arts Many $736,720 New York, NY
In addition, to the state and regional organizations, awards are made to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies to support national leadership services and to Pacific Resources in Education and Learning for delivering arts education services and technical assistance to arts agencies of the Pacific territories.
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA 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 NEA 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. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.