Nine Austin arts organizations find grants in their stockings, courtesy of a Santa played by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Grants in Your Stockings

Nine Austin arts organizations have had their holiday hopes fulfilled: A generous Santa filled their stockings with funding that will allow them to do more of what they do best in the coming year. In this instance, Santa was none other than the National Endowment for the Arts, the still-beleaguered federal agency that manages to dispense a little cash to artists and cultural organizations across the nation despite the best efforts of certain Congressional Grinches to end its gift-giving forever. Clearly, this was on the mind of U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Travis) when he announced the NEA grants on Dec. 15. "Given the frigid climate in Congress when it comes to encouraging artistic expression," Doggett said, "it is especially heartening to see that so many of our established and emerging arts organizations will gain much-needed support." Doggett, whose record makes clear that he's one of the good guys where support for the arts is concerned, added that "we welcome and encourage the artistic expression here in Austin and view artistic freedom as an essential contribution to our national and local cultural heritage. From dance to opera to theatre to cinema to folk art, our community benefits from our local artists and arts organizations' wide range of endeavors." The fortunate nine will receive a total of $205,000 in federal funds. The organizations and the grants they were approved for are:

  • $80,000 to Texas Folklife Resources to support the Community Residency Program, a consortium project with the Texas Commission on the Arts that consists of 20 weeklong residencies in Texas towns with populations between 500 and 7,500 residents.

  • $30,000 to Austin Film Society to support the free exhibition of films and videos in a historical and cultural context while fostering an understanding and appreciation for cinema as an art form.

  • $25,000 to Austin Lyric Opera to support a new production of John Corigliano's 1991 opera The Ghosts of Versailles, which will premiere at Bass Concert Hall in January 2002.

  • $20,000 to Mexic-Arte Museum to support an exhibition series featuring the work of emerging artists whose works include historical, social, literary, and/or personal experiences regarding Latin American issues.

  • $15,000 to Dance Umbrella to support the presentation of four dance events: a performance by Margie Gillis, a performance by the West African Salia Ni Seydou Company, a performance by Ballet Folklorico Do Brasil, and a performance by 33 Fainting Spells.

  • $10,000 to Salvage Vanguard Theater to support development and production of an experimental musical theatre piece exploring traditional Slavic folk tales and stories about the witch known as the Baba Yaga.

  • $10,000 to Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre to support the development and production of the W. David Hancock play The Invisible Medium.

  • $10,000 to University of Texas at Austin to support the publication of new works of modern Arabic fiction in translation, including Passage to Dusk by Lebanese writer Rashid Daif and Children of the Waters by Egyptian author Ibtihal Salem.

  • $5,000 to Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance Inc. to support bomba percussion, songs, dance, and history workshops to be taught by the world-renowned Modesto Cepeda and culminating in a one-day performance for the Austin community.

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    Lloyd Doggett, National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Folkloric Resources, Texas Commission on the Arts, Austin Film Society, Austin Lyric Opera, Mexic-Arte Museum, Dance Umbrella, Margie Gillis, West African Salia Ni Seydou Company, Ballet Folklorico Do Brasil, 33

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