The National Endowment for the Arts announces $30 million in fall grants to artists and arts organizations across the country — with $975,000 headed for Washington state.
The National Endowment for the Arts this week announced its fall 2017 arts and culture grants — $30 million total across the country, with $975,000 bound for 34 projects in Washington state.
The NEA gave Washington more money than other states with similar populations. Washington is the 13th-most-populous state in the country, with an estimated 7.2 million residents. Virginia (8.4 million residents) was awarded $475,000 and New Jersey (9 million) received $185,000. New York (19.8 million) received $8 million from the NEA for 282 projects.
Washington grantees include Seattle theater On the Boards ($30,000), Port Townsend poetry publishing house Copper Canyon Press ($75,000), Seattle art-house cinema Northwest Film Forum ($35,000), Pacific Northwest Ballet ($60,000) and the dance/prison-education company led by choreographer Pat Graney ($20,000).
Its largest Washington grant went to arts-education programs in Seattle’s financially strapped public schools ($100,000). The University of Washington’s Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) got the runner-up grant, with $80,000 slated to pilot the “encephalophone” — a collaboration with the Swedish Neuroscience Institute that will build and pilot an instrument to help rehabilitate patients suffering from stroke, spinal-cord injury or Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) by allowing them to improvise music via electroencephalogram (EEG) without having to move their limbs.
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Yearly congressional funding for the NEA has ranged from $2.9 million in 1966 to its peak of $176 million in 1992. NEA arts funding was cut, under pressure from a Republican-dominated Congress, to $98 million in the late 1990s but has partly rebounded to $148 million in 2016.