Sunday, November 23, 2008

NEA annouces a new funding category for artists' communities

Dear Alliance members and friends,

It is a tremendous honor to share this news with you: Last week the
National Endowment for the Arts created a new funding category for
artists' communities
-- those organizations whose primary purpose is
providing artists' residencies! As the national association for
artists' communities, I was thrilled to be able to announce this at the
Alliance's annual conference last week. This change is in part a result
of the Alliance's advocacy work to the NEA, and we are so grateful to
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia for his tremendous vision to provide greater
recognition and resources to artists' communities.

One of our field's greatest chearleaders is Mario Garcia Durham,
Director of Presenting at the NEA. Mario worked with the Alliance on
developing the paramaters for the new funding category, and he will
oversee Artists' Communities at the NEA. Mario's leadership and our
partnership with the NEA previously led to the creation of a separate
selection panel for multidisciplinary residency programs in 2005, which
resulted in a 48% increase in NEA funding to artists' residencies that

I've attached the Chairman's letter to the Alliance announcing the new
funding category, and his text is also below. Please share this with
your colleagues, boards, and supporters.

I can't overstate the importance of this recognition of our field by
the NEA -- not as an end-point, but as a beginning. Earning our own
category at the NEA is an incredible symbol of the relevance and
immediacy of our field's work: to support living artists in the
creation of new work and the exploration of new ideas. The Alliance was
founded on the belief that supporting today's artists in the creation
of new work is essential to human progress -- not as a luxury, not as a
leisure activity, but as a vital and necessary force in society.

I hope you will join me in thanking Chairman Gioia and Maria Garcia
Durham for their leadership and vision. Please email letters of thanks
to or fax to 202-682-5002.

My warmest regards,


Caitlin Strokosch
Executive Director
Alliance of Artists Communities
255 S Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
tel: 401-351-4320
fax: 401-351-4507

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