Kentucky poet, 12 arts organizations awarded more than $300,000 in NEA grant funding
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Frankfort poet and 12 Kentucky arts organizations have been awarded more than $300,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in that organization's first round of grant funding for fiscal year 2015.
The Kentucky grants were part of 1,116 grants awarded nationwide totaling more than $29 million.
Kentucky's $308,000 share of that funding represents an increase of 52 percent from first-round grant funding awarded to the state in 2013, when five arts entities received $148,500 in NEA grants.
In the first round of funding in 2014, 12 Kentucky organizations received $204,000 in NEA grant money.
"Arts organizations in Kentucky continue to make an impact at the local and state levels," said Kentucky Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows. "We are grateful to the NEA for seeing the worth of so many groups in Kentucky, and for backing that up with increasing amounts of grant funding over the last few years. Our arts organizations are doing good things in Kentucky, and the NEA is taking notice."
Among the Kentucky grant recipients was Staci R. Schoenfeld, of Frankfort, who received a $25,000 Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry. Schoenfeld said the fellowship reaffirmed her commitment to her craft, and will open up many options for her to broaden her talent.
"Fear and doubt are often companions on the writing journey, and to have an organization say they believe in you enough to support your work – whether by giving you money or, in the case of residencies, the time and space to write – cannot be underestimated," Schoenfeld said. "I send out my work a lot – to journals, residencies, fellowships, and more – and I face rejection often. I've had a very, very lucky year. Not only did I get a positive response to my NEA application, I was also awarded two other grants in the past two months – one from Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women as well as three residencies – all going to support work on my manuscript. I'm thankful that there are still organizations out there supporting individual artists and grateful that I've been selected for the NEA fellowship."
Kentucky organizations receiving NEA grant money were:
Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, $10,000: To support performances of African-American step choreography and related outreach by Step Afrika!.
City of Berea, $10,000: To support the promotion of the Berea Public Art Tour (BPAT) through social media and apps, as well as the development of Web-based activities.
Western Kentucky University Research Foundation, Bowling Green, $18,000: To support Folklorist in the Park: Documenting and Presenting Traditional Arts in Kentucky. A folklife specialist will identify, document, and present traditional artists in the area around Mammoth Cave National Park, in south-central Kentucky. Additionally, the project will provide training for park staff in presenting traditional arts.
Staci R. Schoenfeld, Frankfort, $25,000: Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry.
LexArts, Lexington, $40,000: To support "Live Stream," a transmedia public art installation. A public artwork to be created as part of the EcoArt program in Lexington's Coldstream Park, "Live Stream" will combine art, science and technology to raise environmental awareness by engaging individuals in the sustainment of one of our most valuable resources: groundwater.
Lexington Children's Theatre, $10,000: To support a production of "Senora Tortuga" by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce. Guest artist Adahli Corn will direct a bilingual play about a young Latino boy's struggle with selflessness.
Lexington Philharmonic Society, $10,000: To support a concert opera production of composer Osvaldo Golijov's "Ainadamar (Fountain of Tears)" with related educational activities. The work, sung in Spanish, will combine singing, visual arts, flamenco dance and orchestral music and will explore the life of playwright Federico Garcia Lorca.
Actors Theatre Of Louisville, $90,000: To support the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Asia Institute, Louisville, $10,000: To support Asia through the Arts, a multidisciplinary series of exhibits and performances. In partnership with the Louisville Public Library, the institute will present Asian visual and performing artists at several branches of the library.
Louisville Visual Art Association, $10,000: To support the Children's Fine Art Classes (CFAC) Program, a studio arts education program for urban and rural youth.
Sarabande Books, Louisville, $35,000: To support the publication and promotion – including a video trailer – of books of fiction, poetry and essays. Sarabande will publish a short story collection by Nathan Poole, a collection of essays by Wendy Walters, and poetry by Kathleen Ossip and Rick Barot. Books will be published in print and e-book formats.
Stage One: The Louisville Children's Theatre, $20,000: To support the world premiere of "And in this Corner...Cassius Clay," a new play by Idris Goodwin. The play tells the story of a young Muhammad Ali and his journey to become a great boxer and a leading voice in the fight for racial equality.
Appalshop (on behalf of Appalachian Media Institute), Whitesburg, $20,000: To support the Appalachian Media Institute, a year-round intensive media arts education for high school students in rural communities.
For more information about each project, visit the NEA's website.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- ### -