The National Endowment for the Arts announced on Tuesday, December 2, that it will award $29.1 million in 1,116 grants in three categories: Art Works, Challenge America, and NEA Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing. $240,000 will be awarded to Arizona-based projects.


The Arizona Commission on the Arts congratulates the 12 Arizona recipients:

For more information, including a complete list of all recipients nationwide, please click here.

Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival
$25,000 Grand Canyon, AZ
To support expansion of the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP). Students in Navajo and Hopi reservation high schools will study one-on-one with a composer-in-residence, creating original compositions to be recorded and performed by a professional quartet. Students will rehearse directly with professional ensembles such as ETHEL and Catalyst Quartet, and the ensembles will perform the students’ compositions at Native-American reservation schools and at the Grand Canyon Music Festival. Activities will include expansion of NACAP to schools throughout the Navajo Nation including Utah and New Mexico, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Phoenix, Arizona.

City of Litchfield Park, Arizona
$10,000 Litchfield Park, AZ
To support the Litchfield Park Invitational Native American Fine Arts Festival. Project activities will include demonstrations by juried artists, as well as hoop dancing and musical performances by Moontee Sinquah and Tony Duncan. Among the proposed Native American master artists whose work will be showcased are painter Judith Durr, carver Manfred Susunkewa, and silversmith Brad Panteah.

Arizona Opera
$20,000 Phoenix, AZ
To support a new production of “Eugene Onegin” by composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Presented as part of a new partnership with the Tucson Desert Song Festival, the production will serve as the cornerstone of that festival. Arizona State University and the University of Arizona will help provide opportunities for public discourse about the historical significance of Tchaikovsky as well as librettist Alexander Pushkin. The creative team may include artists such as set designer Laura Hawke, stage director Tara Faircloth, conductor Steven White, with performers soprano Corrine Winters (Tatiana), baritone David Adam Moore (Eugene Onegin), and tenor Zach Borichevsky (Lensky).

Heard Museum
$10,000 Phoenix, AZ
To support Free Summer Sundays in July, a multidisciplinary program featuring Latino and Native American musicians, dancers, and storytellers. The museum will offer free admission to all, with an emphasis on low-income families and youth for public events with guest artists.

Scottsdale Cultural Council
$25,000 Scottsdale, AZ
To support the Discovery Series. The project is a performing arts initiative intended to expand the cultural horizons of audiences in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Discovery Series is designed to explore in greater depth a different region of the world each year in order to create context, understanding, and more meaningful, interactive exchanges for audiences. The inaugural programming for the Discovery Series will focus on Spain and Portugal. The series will feature performing artists such as Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporaneo, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca, Ballet Nacional de Espana, and Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, among several others.

West Valley Arts Council
$10,000 Surprise, AZ
To support Gallery 37, featuring the creation and installation of permanent public art work in the communities served by the West Valley Arts Council. Gallery 37, the council’s signature youth arts employment program, engages students with professional artists to design, create, and install permanent pieces of public art for display in the West Valley.

Childsplay, Inc.
$20,000 Tempe, AZ
To support the development and premiere of “Girls Who Wear Glasses” by Anne Negri. The play is about friendship, bullying, and identity among pre-teen girls and follows middle school student Mira as she navigates through several sets of friends to figure out what kind of person she wants to become. Negri tackles the layers of complexity that make up being a girl in the 21st century and challenges the media’s notions of how girls are expected to look, act, and feel.

Arizona Theatre Company
$20,000 Tucson, AZ
To support Voices of the New Americans. The program will provide for the development of new Latino work and will foster meaningful Latino audience engagement. It will open with Herbert Siguenza’s “An Evening with Pablo Picasso” performed in both Spanish and English, and will culminate in a new commission by playwright-in-residence Elaine Romero. A new play program titled Cafe Bohemia and a newly inaugurated training program/literary series titled WordUp will provide a pipeline of Latino work for the company’s mainstage and a published anthology of Latino playwrights.

Borderlands Theater Teatro Fronterizo, Inc.
$10,000 Tucson, AZ
To support a production of “In Lak Ech” by Milta Ortiz and Marc Pinate. The new play will recount the controversy over the Tucson Unified School District’s dismantling of Mexican-American studies departments and its banning of books due to objections to their presentation of U.S. history. The piece will incorporate mask work, ceremony, and live music. The work is based on interviews with students, teachers, school board members, parents, journalists, as well as legal briefs, school board meeting minutes and student journals.

Kore Press, Inc.
$10,000 Tucson, AZ
To support the publication and promotion of works by women authors, an updated website, and The Listening Project, featuring audio recordings of female veterans’ stories made by teenage girls. Kore will publish work by authors such as TC Tolbert, Myha T. Do, Sarah Mangold, Katy Resch, Nina Pick, and Jenny Gropp Hess. The updated website will include the new “Kore Quarterly” journal, as well as audio and educational materials.

Tucson Symphony Society
$20,000 Tucson, AZ
To support the Young Composers Project (YCP). Elementary through high school students will learn to compose original works for orchestra, culminating in public reading sessions of their work by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and TSO String Quartet. Saturday sessions will begin with basic theory, ear training, and score reading as students learn about clefs, keys, modes, notation, chords, rhythm, form, ranges, and transposition. Each session will include a listening component with score study focused on orchestral repertoire.

Tucson-Pima Arts Council, Inc.
$60,000 Tucson, AZ
To support the PLACE: Festival, Heritage, and Community Celebrations Initiative. The project will support artists and arts organizations in southern Arizona. PLACE will support projects designed to provide opportunities for artists and arts organizations to engage in cultural activities that advance community and build social cohesion. It will build upon an arts-based civic engagement platform created in 2009 to leverage resources and talent to implement community cultural development activities. Participants will be selected through a peer review panel process. This round of PLACE will support the region’s informal art practices that exist in neighborhood or heritage practices within diverse communities with the intent to build greater awareness of the region’s distinctiveness and identity.