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Fifteen North Texas Arts Groups Win NEA Grants

by Jerome Weeks 20 Jun 2017 12:40 PM

And that adds up to $360,000 in federal money. Check out the winners on our complete list.


Which is mighty cool because that amounts to $360,000 for groups as small as 29 Pieces (to create public works inspired by different world traditions) and even one Denton writer (and Artist Spotlight), Matthew Morton, to the AT&T Performing Arts Center (to support its Off Broadway on Flora series). The biggest winner was Big Thought ($100,000) for Dallas City of Learning, its collective summer-arts impact project involving DISD and SMU’s Center on Research and Evaluation. Back in 2014, we had only nine arts groups winning grants, although the money haul was remarkably similar ($297,000).

But to put that news in some context: In all of North Texas from Fort Worth (the Van Cliburn Foundation) to Irving (Lyric Stage) to Dallas (Wordspace, Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas Opera, etc) 15 different groups won grants. In Houston alone, 31 groups won grants, more than double the local number. In lil’ ol’ Austin?  It was 26 groups. And it’s pretty much been that way for years now.

So congratulations to all the North Texas arts organizations that won National Endowment for the Arts grants. But North Texas still needs to step up its game.

Here’s the complete list of North Texas NEA grant winners:

Dallas TX 75208-4638
To support the creation of public art works inspired by different world traditions. The project’s goals are to encourage audiences to reflect on civic unity and peace, as well as their own personal well-being, in relation to the contemporary challenges and discord plaguing our urban landscape. The project will involve two dozen Dallas public high school students who will work under master artists to construct fiberglass and mosaic sculptures. Participating artists may include Darryl Ratcliff, Vick Meek, and Julie Richey.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 33 Grant Amount: $10,000

Big Thought ((formerly Young Audiences of Greater Dallas))
Dallas TX 75215-6863
To support Dallas City of Learning, a collective impact project. In partnership with the City of Dallas, Dallas Independent School District, and Southern Methodist University Center on Research and Evaluation, Big Thought will provide both in-person and Internet-based creative educational experiences for students across Dallas during summer months, with a special outreach to those who live in underserved neighborhoods. Dallas was one of the initial City of Learning projects to experiment in visionary systems of peers and mentors that provide innovative opportunities for youth to follow their interests including video making, fashion design, poetry, robotics, and computer coding. Each participating city awards digital badges, a shareable digital credential, to students who acquire new skills.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $100,000

Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. (AT&T Performing Arts Center)
Dallas TX 75201-4105
To support the Off Broadway on Flora series and related activities at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In addition to presenting quality performing arts, the series will focus on increasing access to the arts and audience development. In addition to seeing professional performing art experiences for the first time, local students also may participate in workshops where they learn about performing arts career preparation and process.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $10,000

Dallas Opera (The Dallas Opera) 17-3600-7019
Dallas TX 75201-2415
To support a new production of “The Ring of Polykrates” by composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Based on the comedic play by Heinrich Teweles, the libretto was written by Leo Feld and then revised by the composer’s father, Julius Korngold. The 1916 German premiere was successful, and the work was performed many times in Europe until Hitler’s army rose to power in the 1930s. This production will mark only the third performance in the United States since the premiere a century ago.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $45,000

Dallas Symphony Association, Inc. (Dallas Symphony Orchestra)
Dallas TX 75201-2413
To support ReMix, a new-format concert series. Designed to engage new audiences and break barriers to cultural experiences, concerts of shorter duration without intermission will take place in the Dallas City Performance Hall. The series, offered at reduced ticket prices, will feature experimental programming with players and conductors interacting with the audience. Repertoire may include Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 2 for violin, cello, and orchestra, which also features electric guitar, drum kit, and brake drum.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $20,000

Dallas Theater Center
Dallas TX 75201-2401
To support the production of “Hood: The Story of Robin Hood” by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn. The story is framed by a group of young actors and musicians who gather to retell this ancient tale for modern audiences. They play instruments, costume themselves out of a large trunk, and use planks, hay bales, and crates to represent the various scenes. The play draws from the original 14th-century ballads, the 15th-century May Day plays, the 16th-century Anthony Munday plays, and the 19th-century Howard Pyle children’s tales about Robin Hood and the Sherwood Forest.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $30,000

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, Inc. (FWSO)
Fort Worth TX 76102-4019
To support a touring program. Concerts and educational programs will take place in rural communities in Texas that are more than 100 miles from a professional orchestra such as Brownwood, Glen Rose, Graham, Killeen, Lufkin, Mansfield, Mesquite, and Waxahachie. In preparation of the educational concerts for youth, teachers will receive curriculum materials.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 12 Grant Amount: $20,000

Kitchen Dog Theater Company (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Dallas TX 75207-2107
To support the development and production of new plays in the New Works Festival 2017. The annual festival will comprise a mainstage production, staged readings, and the Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest, which consists of staged readings of short plays written by local high school students. Each year, more than 1,000 scripts are submitted from around the world and as many as six scripts receive a week-long workshop and a staged reading with moderated audience discussion afterwards.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $10,000

Lyric Stage, Inc. (Lyric Stage)
Irving TX 75062-8026
To support the premiere of “Pure Country.” The musical is based on the 1992 Warner Brothers film about the price of fame and one man’s journey home. A country music superstar is at the height of his career, and when the high stakes pressures start to take their toll, he quits a concert tour in his search of himself and the love he left behind. The musical’s book is written by Rex McGee, the film’s screenwriter, with music by Grammy Award-nominee Steve Dorff, and lyrics are by Grammy Award-nominee John Bettis.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 24 Grant Amount: $10,000

Morton, Matthew T.
Denton TX 76201-4273

A creative writing fellowship.

Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 26 Grant Amount: $25,000

Nasher Sculpture Center
Dallas TX 75201-2336
To support catalogue and curator costs for the traveling exhibition, “The Nature of Arp: Sculptures, Reliefs, Works on Paper.” The exhibition will be the first major U.S. exhibition in three decades to examine the work of German-French sculptor, painter, poet, and abstract artist, Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966). Featuring approximately 85 objects spanning Arp’s career from U.S. and European museums, private collections and the three Arp foundations, the exhibition will include works in plaster and bronze as reliefs, collages, drawings, and prints. “The Nature of Arp” will provide a long overdue look at one of modern art’s most important and multifaceted figures.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $40,000

Pegasus Musical Society (Orchestra of New Spain)
Dallas TX 75231-3440
To support performances and professional recording of “Achille In Sciro” (“Achilles on Skyros”) by the Orchestra of New Spain. Alluded to in Homer’s epic poem “Illiad” and included in other ancient Greek works, composer Francisco Courcelle’s opera is an episode in the life of Achilles when he disguised himself as a woman at the court of the King of Skyros, fell in love with a princess, and married her before leaving for Troy to become a Greek hero of the Trojan War. The proposed creative team includes stage director Gustavo Tambascio, costume designer Jesus Ruiz, and set designer Nicolas Boni. As many as two student performances and two public performances will occur at the 750-seat City Performance Hall in Dallas’ Arts District in winter 2018.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 32 Grant Amount: $10,000

Shakespeare Festival of Dallas (Shakespeare Dallas)
Dallas TX 75247-3918
To support a production of “Quixote,” an English language adaptation of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” by Octavio Solis. The production will be directed by Spanish director Gustavo Tambascio and performed in Shakespeare Dallas’ outdoor amphitheater. Both Solis and Tambascio will be in residence in Dallas during the rehearsal period, and will offer a community playmaking workshop for local residents, and a workshop for artists interested in playwriting, directing, and cross-cultural collaborations hosted by the Latino Cultural Center.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 33 Grant Amount: $10,000

Van Cliburn Foundation, Inc. (The Cliburn)
Fort Worth TX 76102-3177
To support the commissioning of new works and the presentation of musical works during the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Founded in 1961, the foundation’s mission is to identify and promote the finest talent in classical music worldwide through piano competitions, concerts, and education programs in Fort Worth and Dallas schools. The project will include the commissioning of new music for piano by composer and pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin and the participation of the Brentano String Quartet, conductors Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 12 Grant Amount: $10,000

WordSpace (WordSpace Dallas)
Dallas TX 75223-1329
To support literary programming. Offered in diverse venues across Dallas, WordSpace’s literary series will cater to the needs and interests of the neighborhoods that they serve. Planned programming includes poetry slams; storytelling events; readings and conversations; ticketed events with renowned writers; and pop-up events to attract youth.
Fiscal Year: 2017 Congressional District: 30 Grant Amount: $10,000