The National Endowment for the Arts Announces Support for Orchestras in Underserved Communities
September 15, 2003
Jacksonville, Fla. - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced a special $250,000 initiative to support 25 orchestras in communities traditionally underserved by the Arts Endowment, including the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. The recipients will leverage the awards to generate an anticipated total of up to $2 million. The awards will fund projects ranging from community-based initiatives designed to broaden public participation, to multi-generational programs, to those that foster greater understanding and appreciation of music programs in schools and community centers.
"This initiative to support our nation's orchestras is part of an effort to extend the Arts Endowment's support more equitably across the country to organizations that are having great financial difficulty, and where our investment can have the most meaningful impact on both the organization and its community," according to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
Six organizations are receiving their first-ever NEA grants, including Charlotte Philharmonic, Gulf Coast Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Rome Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, and Stockton Symphony Association. In other Fiscal Year 2003 funding, the Arts Endowment awarded 87 grants to orchestras, up from 81 the previous year. The dollars awarded to orchestras totaled $2.953 million, up from $2.510 million.
"We are very pleased that the National Endowment for the Arts has dedicated federal support to help orchestras increase public access to music in their communities," said Henry Fogel, President and CEO of the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL). "This initiative is an excellent example of the NEA's long-standing commitment to making artistic excellence accessible to all Americans."
The small and moderate sized ensembles were selected based on their location in communities that have been underrepresented in NEA grantmaking within the past five years, as well as their artistic significance and ability to galvanize greater awareness and support for their organization at the local level. Twenty-five were selected to submit proposals for projects to be conducted between the fall of 2003 and the summer of 2004.
The grants will fund a broad range of projects. In Stockton, California, the orchestra is using the award to increase its marketing efforts for its subscription series concert by using radio and television advertising in an effort to raise public visibility of the event. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, this initiative will support Young, Gifted and Black, a community outreach project produced by the symphony in collaboration with black churches, school choirs and other city organizations, timed to coincide with Black History Month. And in Elgin, Illinois, the grant will support a season-opening concert featuring guest soloist, soprano Kathleen Battle.
The National Endowment for the Arts exists to foster, preserve and promote excellence in the arts, to bring art to all Americans and to provide leadership in arts education. It is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts and each year awards more than 2,200 matching grants to non-profit organizations nationwide, including school districts, faith-based and community groups, performing arts organizations, galleries and museums.
The American Symphony Orchestra League provides leadership and service to American orchestras while communicating to the public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League serves more than 850 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes.
Please see complete descriptions of the funded projects.
For more information, call the National Endowment for the Arts Office of Communications at 202-682-5570.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency