Inspiring news times two this week for the Baltimore arts and Maryland at large.
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a total of $280,000 in grants to 13 Maryland organizations and two individuals. According to a press release issued by the Maryland State Arts Council, “The awards are among the 832 grants that NEA recently designated for organizations and individual writers across the country in 13 artistic disciplines, totaling $23.3 million. NEA received 1,509 applications for Art Works funding, and recommended a total of 832 grants.”
Among the most high profile recipients are Centerstage in Baltimore, slated to receive $55,000 to support Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer-winning drama Clybourne Park, presented in repertory with the premiere of Beneatha’s Place by Centerstage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, Imagination Stage in Bethesda, slated to receive $30,000 to support the east coast premiere of Anime Momotaro, co-created by Alvin Chan and Eric Johnson, artistic director of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and Class Acts Arts, Inc. in Silver Spring, slated to receive $35,000 to support Project Youth ArtReach. (Press materials note: “The program will provide multidisciplinary residencies and performances to juvenile offenders in Maryland correctional facilities.”)
Twelve additional Maryland grantees are: Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Silver Spring) $20,000; Baltimore Choral Arts Society (Baltimore) $10,000; Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (Baltimore) $25,000; Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (Baltimore) $10,000; Morgan State University (Baltimore) $10,000; National Council for the Traditional Arts (Silver Spring) $50,000; National Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorale of Montgomery County (North Bethesda) $10,000; Partners Achieving Success CDC (Bowie) $25,000; Wide Angle Youth Media (Baltimore) $25,000; and Young Audiences of Maryland (Baltimore) $10,000.
“We tried to choose organizations that, like School 33, are engaged in the community in a creative way,” says Christy MacLear, the Rauschenberg Foundation’s executive director. “They want to take the art outside of the building and to break down boundaries between themselves and their neighborhood. Our foundation loves cities where there’s a freedom to experiment and the barriers to innovation aren’t too high. We think Baltimore is one of those places.”
Since 1979, School 33 has shown the work of 1200 artists. One hundred and twenty creatives have used the studio space to make work. On average 250 visitors tour art openings.
Here’s to Maryland making art!