By Bernie Petit
Two Charlotte cultural organizations have been awarded Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in its first fiscal year 2015 announcement.
Charlotte Ballet and McColl Center for Art + Innovation will receive the Art Works grants, which 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 creation and presentation of “Innovative Works in Technology,” a new ballet by artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and choreographer David Ingram. The new work will use micro-cameras, closed circuit live video feed and a “dancer cage” that will capture and project a 360-degree view from the dancers’ point of view for an immersive, visual audience experience. The technology is being custom-built by defense technology contractor Advanced Mission Systems, Inc.
- McColl Center for Art + Innovation will receive $25,000 to support residencies serving Chicano artists. The residents’ work will explore contemporary Latin-American issues, values, and identity. The residencies and related activities will be a part of a citywide celebration of Latin-American arts and culture in Charlotte. Related free events will include programs celebrating Latin-American artists such as Open Studio Saturdays, Brown Bag Lunch & Learns, artist-to-artist presentations, and opening receptions.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte also received an NEA Challenge America grant for its Keeping Watch on Water: City of Creeks project (the Arts & Science Council also helped fund the project through a FY 2014 Cultural Project Grant). The university will receive $10,000 to support temporary, outdoor site-specific art installations, as well as a gallery exhibition of works inspired by the natural environment, with associated outreach activities.
Artists will create artwork informed by community meetings, site visitations, and collected historical narratives from residents living in Mecklenburg County. Partnerships with organizations such as the Reid Park Neighborhood Association, the Catawba River Keepers Foundation, Clean Air Carolina, and Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte – selected for their knowledge of the local, natural environment – will advise the artists and the community during the creation of the art installations.
The combined $45,000 the Charlotte organizations will receive is a portion of the $29.1million to be given nationally by NEA in 2015. Nationally, 1,116 grants were announced this week in this round of NEA grants.
“Since coming to the NEA, I have met with many NEA grantees and have seen first-hand the positive impact they have on their communities,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “These new projects will continue to demonstrate the power the arts have to deepen value, build connections, and foster an atmosphere of creativity and innovation both at the community level and with individuals throughout the nation.”