On Wednesday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its second major round of grant funding for the fiscal year 2018. The grants, totaling over $87 million, will fund projects, exhibitions, education, festivals and more around the country, including five in California’s 27th Congressional district, which is represented by Rep. Judy Chu. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
“The San Gabriel Valley boasts some of the country’s premier artists and scientists, and our institutions are some of the finest in the world. I’m thrilled to see NEA grants coming to the district to help support the arts and expose them to more members of the community. These federal grants will go towards commissioning a new work of vocal chamber music, establishing a program to explore the intersection of art and science, connecting children to art and nature, exploring our relationship with technology and the environment, and arts education for underserved high school students. I’m so proud of these incredible projects, not only for receiving this well-deserved support, but for the contributions they are making to our community. I’ve seen the way experiences with the arts can change a life, and it’s my hope that this will help inspire the next generation of thinkers and luminaries. Congratulations to all the grant winners.”
The NEA grant winners are:
Fulcrum Arts – $60,000
The program supports exploration of the intersections between art and science, linking artists to regional institutions such as the Carnegie Observatories, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As many as four local, national, and international visual and multidisciplinary artists will be selected to participate. Each residency will be documented by professional videographers, with short-form documentaries available to the public online.
Kidspace: A Participatory Museum (aka Kidspace Children’s Museum) – $20,000
Designed to connect children and their families to working artists, the program will allow an artist to work in a studio on the museum’s campus for a full year. Located in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco canyon and cultural area, Kidspace has the unique ability to connect art and nature to nearly 350,000 visitors each year. The city is home to a varied landscape from the San Gabriel Mountains in Angeles National Forest to the urban core and adjoining neighborhoods highlighting America’s Arts and Crafts Movement, and campuses including CalTech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The residency will help the museum fulfill its mission that prioritizes experiential learning and provides children with hands-on experiences. After a series of programs that take place during the year, an installation will be realized on the museum’s campus.
Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation, Inc. – $40,000
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden will invite contemporary artists to present time-based works (moving image and sound work by visual artists) that explore ideas about horticulture and technology. Digital and video works will explore themes as diverse as the threat of non-native invasive plant species, pollution, smog, and cell mitosis as a way of examining society’s evolving relationship with technology and the natural world. A series of artists talks will be offered with additional public programming including classes on pinhole camera construction and interactive music making workshops.
Public Works Group (aka Learning Works) – $50,000
Underserved high school students at Learning Works Charter School campuses in East Pasadena and Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, will receive weekly, year-round sequential visual arts and media arts instruction and workforce skills training. The initiative will incorporate public exhibition opportunities for students, mentorships and paid apprenticeships, a biennial career day, and fieldtrips to various cultural venues. Key project partners include the Armory Center for the Arts and Homeboy Industries, a social services and enterprise organization addressing the needs of formerly gang-involved or incarcerated men and women.
Scripps College – $10,000
The new work of vocal chamber music will be written by American composer Marjorie Merryman, who will set translated extracts of original texts of Saint Thecla, an early female teacher of Christianity. The work will be premiered by a group of award-winning, contemporary music specialists, such as soprano Dr. Anne Harley, guitarist Steven Thachuk, violist Michael Hall, and bass clarinetist Brian Walsh. Performances will be held in the greater Los Angeles and Chicago areas.