Four Dallas performing arts groups have received a total of $450,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Nationwide (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 567 arts groups received nearly $58 million. In Dallas, the Bishop Arts Theatre Center and the Dallas Symphony both garnered $150,000, while Dallas Black Dance Theatre received $100,000 and Cara Mia Theatre received $50,000.
The money is from the third installment of the $1.3 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan. The stimulus bill was designed by the Biden administration to provide emergency relief from the pandemic for small businesses.The money is to be used for specific purposes, such as unemployment insurance, educational programs, but especially to preserve or provide jobs.
Zenetta S. Drew is executive director of Dallas Black Dance. She said the grant was vital for the company to continue through the pandemic.
“Specifically, our grant was to help support 10 dancers in our second professional company over the next two years,” Drew said.
The 10 dancers in Dallas Black Dance’s Encore Company work five days a week, six hours a day — but they’re not salaried. The grant will help pay them a stipend so they can continue working in educational programs and performances.
In Texas, a total of $2.55 million went to 25 arts groups, including such outfits as the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Alley Theatre, the Austin Film Society and Glasstire, the journalism website covering Texas visual art.
But there’s long been a pattern in federal arts money flowing to Texas: All of North Texas lags behind other areas in the state — usually Houston but often Austin as well. With these latest grants, Houston groups dominated with 12 receiving grant money. No other Texas city came close (there were four each for Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, none for Fort Worth or other North Texas communities).
In 2017, for example, 15 arts groups across North Texas received NEA grants. In Houston alone (not including its suburbs), there were 31, more than twice North Texas’ total. In Austin, there were 26.
The release from the DSO:
DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS AS PART OF THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
Dallas, Texas (January 27, 2022) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce it has been approved for an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designed to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The DSO has been recommended to receive $150,000 and this funding will be used to support the organization’s education team as they work to meet the needs of the students served in Southern Dallas.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the NEA for their support and quick rollout of this funding opportunity,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony. “We are grateful for all who advocated for this bill and prioritized funding for the arts, especially Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson for her advocacy and strong support for the arts. This funding makes a significant difference in our ability to continue reaching out to the students and families who need music now more than ever.”
In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.
“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as the DSO, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.