WASHINGTON The National Endowment for the Arts announced Tuesday that it was awarding $26.3 million in grants, continuing federal support for the arts despite the automatic 5 percent federal budget cuts that are in force.
The agency was able to redirect some unused money from the last grant cycle so that the decrease in federal grants given directly to arts agencies was just 3.2 percent instead of 5.
"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States, acting NEA Chairman Joan Shigekawa said in a statement. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts."
Among the awards announced:
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association Inc. won $20,000 for a touring program in rural towns within a 150-mile radius of the Texas city, including Glen Rose, Graham, Killeen, Stephenville and Waxahachie.
Sacramento, Calif., received $20,000 to support Broadway Augmented, a temporary public art project that uses smartphones to create virtual art projects.
Fresnos Alliance for California Traditional Arts won $60,000 for a statewide traditional arts apprenticeship program and $45,000 to support the development program.
Alaskas grants are for a variety of projects, including $50,000 for production costs for the Native Artists of Alaska radio series and $10,000 for the Pushcart Players of Anchorage.
Miamis grants include $45,000 for Miami Dade College for a performing arts series; $12,500 for Seraphic Fire Inc. to support American Voices, a choral arts recording project; and $30,000 for the International Hispanic Theatre Festival.
Wichita, Kan., received $10,000 for the U.S. premiere of a musical, Betty Blue Eyes, based on a film about a post-World War II British village as it prepares for the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth II; $22,500 for the Wichita Grand Opera, for a new production of Rossinis William Tell; and $60,000 for Wichita State University toward the restoration of a Joan Miro mural at the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art.
In North Carolina, Raleigh won a $40,000 grant for Structures for Inclusion 14, a national conference on public service architecture and community design, and Charlotte got $40,000 for the Mint Museum of Art Inc. for documentation and digitization of the museums collection.
The University of South Carolina at Columbia won $20,000 for an exhibit of master potters of the Catawba Nation at the University of South Carolina Lancaster.
Tacoma, Wash., won a $40,000 grant to support Spaceworks Tacoma, which will place artists and creative enterprises in vacant retail spaces rent-free in downtown and distressed business districts.
NEA grants require a one-to-one match from a non-federal source of funding.