U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks Hosts NEA Chairman Dana Gioia
Tacoma, WA -- U.S. Representative Norm Dicks of Washington's 6th District today hosted a special grants workshop conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for local nonprofit organizations. The workshop, held at the Tacoma Art Museum, was part of the NEA's outreach to Tacoma organizations about federal funding opportunities and the process of applying for Arts Endowment grants. In addition, at a news conference prior to the workshop, Rep. Dicks and NEA Chairman Dana Gioia announced that the Hoquiam Timberland Library is receiving a grant as part of the NEA's National Reading Initiative, The Big Read.
The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 selections from American and world literature. The Hoquiam Timberland Library is receiving a $20,000 grant to engage its community in reading and discussing Ursula K. Le Guin's The Wizard of Earthsea. As part of The Big Read, the NEA will provide high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials, including Reader's Guides, Teacher's Guides, and Audio Guides. For more information on The Big Read, please go to www.neabigread.org.
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting the arts in communities throughout the country. I am delighted to be here in Tacoma today to encourage local arts organizations to apply for federal grants."
Rep. Dicks, who chairs the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee in the House, said that "the diverse array of arts organizations in the Puget Sound area makes enormous cultural as well as economic contributions to the region." He added: "Our local arts institutions such as the Museum of Glass bring new visitors to the area and they serve as educational resources and catalysts for the development of aspiring new artists."
Also participating in the news conference was Stephanie Stebich, executive director of the Tacoma Art Museum, and Kris Tucker, executive director of the Washington State Arts Commission, who spoke on the state of the arts in Washington and the important relationship the NEA has with the state arts agencies. Forty percent of all Arts Endowment funds go to the state arts agencies.
The news conference and grants workshop were both held at the Tacoma Art Museum. Robert Frankel, NEA Deputy Chairman for Grants and Awards, led the free grants workshop, which included a discussion of grants for projects that:
provide hands-on learning in the arts for children and youth (pre-K to Grade 12) in schools, arts organizations, and community centers;
help preserve cultural traditions through documentation, publications, exhibits, apprenticeships, and conservation;
provide access to the arts in underserved communities; and
involve the creation or presentation of works of art, including performances, exhibitions, and festivals.
Following the press conference, Rep. Dicks toured the Tacoma Art Museum. Later that afternoon, they will visit the Museum of Glass, where they will tour the hot shop and watch a demonstration by Lino Tagliapietra, the Museum of Glass's current visiting artist. Following the tour, Congressman Dicks, Chairman Gioia, Kris Tucker, and Mary Langholz, executive director of the Washington State Arts Alliance, will speak about the importance of the arts at a Museum of Glass event.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, visit the NEA Web site at www.arts.gov.
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