Press Release – Liverpool, NY – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $25,000 to USITT for the 2019 United States Exhibition of the Prague Quadrennial.
The Prague Quadrennial is like a World’s Fair of theatre design that has been held every four years since 1967. It showcases the art of theatre and performance design allowing people to explore this facet of theatre art. USITT has produced the American exhibition at the Quadrennial since 1972.
The federal grant monies USITT will receive from the NEA will be spent in New York State at New York owned and operated businesses. The money will be invested in an exhibition about America,and will be built in partnership with the University at Buffalo. After its debut in Prague it will return to New York to be displayed in venues across the state as part of its tour of the United States.
“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to USITT, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”
The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“I’m very excited that we are able to reinvest this money in the New York economy and in New York students through our partnership with the University at Buffalo,” said USITT’s Executive Director David Grindle. “I am incredibly grateful to the NEA for their support and I’m even more excited that we can return it to the small businesses in New York where we will buy the supplies to build this exhibition which will showcase the best designs from professionals and students across the nation.”
“The NEA grant is being used as an opportunity to train skilled labor in New York and to share American design abroad as it tours to venues across the nation,” Grindle said.
Upstate New York is home to arts organizations and many businesses that employ people in providing everything from lumber to fabric to rigging for the arts. “The arts have a greater impact on Upstate New York’s economy through these supplier and manufacturing companies located here than most people are aware of,” Grindle said.
This is the first time the NEA has funded USITT’s work with the Prague Quadrennial since USITT’s involvement in 1972. The United States is one of approximately 90 nations represented at the Prague Quadrennial and is the only Prague Quadrennial Exhibition built by students.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at usitt.org.
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