Compiled by Bernie Petit
Two Charlotte organizations – Charlotte Ballet and Obey Foundation – have been awarded Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in its first major funding round of fiscal year 2017.
Art Works grants focus on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts.
- Charlotte Ballet will receive $10,000 to support the world premiere of “Wuthering Heights,” by Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Sasha Janes. Drawing inspiration from Emily Bronte’s novel, Janes will utilize contemporary ballet technique, modernized storytelling, and technical production elements to bring the iconic love of Catherine and Heathcliff to life in this full-length ballet. Janes will explore themes from the novel such as friendship and love across time, gender, cultural, and social classes. The ballet will include a cast of Charlotte Ballet professional dancers as well as student dancers from Charlotte Ballet Academy. Public performances and supplementary education and outreach activities will engage participants of all ages. The work will be performed in the Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts.
- Obey Foundation will receive $20,000 to support the Drums 4 Life Program. Incarcerated youth will receive instruction in West African drumming techniques and drum construction, as well as learn about the historical and cultural origin of the various drums. As a culminating event, the students will participate in a performance and have their drum music professionally recorded. Upon their release, the participants will receive the drum they assembled and a copy of their recording.
The combined $30,000 the Charlotte organizations will receive is a portion of the more than $30 million to be given nationally by NEA in this round of funding. These grants cross all artistic disciplines, reach 48 states as well as Washington, DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also support partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting these projects, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”