California Arts Organizations Get a Shot in the Arm From NEA

Paul Kotapish on June 16, 2020
Alonzo King will choreograph a new work with help from an NEA grant. | Credit: Franck Thibault

Arts organizations got a big dose of good news from the National Endowment for the Arts on June 10, when it announced over $84 million in grant awards for 1,144 arts organizations throughout the United States, District of Columbia, and Territories. California garnered $5.2 million in grants to 156 organizations ranging from small community-outreach outfits to regional orchestras to major theaters and museums. This is the second round of funding for 2020, and details about all projects are available on the agency’s online grant search tool, and a complete list is available for download here.

According to NEA Chair Mary Anne Carter, “These awards demonstrate the continued creativity and excellence of arts projects across America and the nimbleness of our nation’s arts organizations in the face of a national crisis that shuttered their doors for months. By funding arts projects in every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia, the National Endowment for the Arts again celebrates the opportunity to make the arts available to every corner of the country and to see how the arts can heal and unite us.”

In the Bay Area, recipients include the Berkeley Symphony’s Music in the Schools initiative, which fosters classroom visits by musicians, curriculum guides for teachers, school concerts with students rehearsing and performing side-by-side with orchestra musicians, and family concerts. Alonzo King LINES Ballet received a grant for the creation and presentation of a new work by choreographer Alonzo King and vocalist Lisa Fischer to premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Alameda’s Rhythmix Cultural Works will use their award for a series of multidisciplinary performances at Alameda Point, a former Naval Air Station, in a program intended raise residents’ awareness of the community’s unique history and bolster civic pride. El Cerrito’s lauded roots-music Arhoolie Foundation is getting help to support enhancements of its website, which serves as a virtual museum honoring America’s diverse music traditions.

Bay Area music and dance organization getting the nod include:

— Alonzo King LINES Ballet
— Arhoolie Foundation
— Cantare Con Vivo
— Asian Improv aRts
— Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
— California Music Center
— Croatian Cultural Center of San Francisco
— Dance Film SF, Inc.
— Dancers' Group
— Dimensions Dance Theater, Inc.
— Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater
— Fresh Meat Productions
— Golden Gate Performing Arts
— InterMusic SF
— Joe Goode Performance Group
— Kitka, Inc.
— Luna Kids Dance
— Merola Opera Program
— Museum of Performance & Design
— Musical Traditions, Inc.
— Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu Hula Halau
— QCC-The Center for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Art & Culture
— San Francisco Ballet Association
— San Francisco Ballet Association
— San Francisco Chanticleer, Inc.
— San Francisco Mime Troupe, Inc.
— San Francisco Performances, Inc.
— Yerba Buena Arts & Events

In the Los Angeles area, Industry Productions, Inc. will receive support for the commission and development of Grand Hotel by composer and librettist David Hertzberg. Synchromy’s grant is in support of an opera festival of new works. The festival will feature the operas Double by Vera Ivanova, Megaconglomerate by Ian Dicke, and Here Be Sirens by Kate Soper. Funding for the Jazz Bakery will support a series of concerts and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters including Joanne Brackeen, Dave Liebman, and Dianne Reeves.

Los Angeles-area music and dance organizations receiving grants include:

— Education Through Music—Los Angeles
— Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Inc.
— Industry Productions Inc.
— Jazz Bakery
— Plaza de Cultura y Arte Foundation
— Plaza de la Raza Inc.
— Rampart Theater Project
— Regents of the University of California at Los Angeles
— Regional Organization of Oaxaca
— Synchromy
— The Gabriella Foundation
— Viver Brasil Dance Company
— Vox Femina Los Angeles
— Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

CORRECTION: As originally published, the Bay Area and Los Angeles rosters above included some grant recipients from the January 2020 announcement. 

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