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National Endowment for the Arts to Award More Than $30 Million for Arts Projects Nationwide

Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology in Bellaire, MI received support for the Long Memory Project - a storytelling residency connecting artists and musicians with the local farming community.

Washington, DC—For its first major grant funding round of fiscal year 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts announced more than $30 million will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and individuals across the country for grants in the areas of Art Works, Art Works: Creativity Connects, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships. 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 Art Works: Creativity Connects grants are part of Chairman Chu’s signature leadership initiative, Creativity Connects*. These 37 grants for a total of $2,500,000 support partnerships between arts organizations and organizations from non-arts sectors, such as healthcare, nutrition, juvenile justice, science, and technology, among many others. 

“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.”

The announcement celebrated residencies as critical spaces for the incubation of new ideas and as platforms for cross-discipline connections and collaboration. The first round of 2017 NEA awards honored a diversity of models within the residency field - from long-established, retreat-style colonies like The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH) and Skowhegan (Skowhegan, ME), to active arts centers with a public engagement focus including Hyde Park Art Center (Chigaco, IL)
and 18th Street Arts Center (Los Angeles, CA), to residencies offered through universities, museums, and national parks and preserves. There are currently an estimated 500 artist residency programs in the U.S. (and more than 1,500 worldwide), which provide residencies to more than 15,000 artists each year - painters, poets, composers, choreographers, playwrights, filmmakers, novelists, scholars, and others.

Support for artist communities totaled nearly 2 million with over $780,000 in the Artist Communities division alone. Visual arts grants added another $580,000 specifically for residency programs.

Grants awarded to artist residency programs in the Alliance network include:

Chicago, IL

18th Street Arts Center
Santa Monica, CA

A Studio in the Woods
New Orleans, LA

Anderson Centert for Interdisciplinary Studios
Red Wind, MN

Archie Bray Foundation (aka Archie Bray Foundation (the Bray))          
Helena, MT          

Art Omi
Ghent, NY

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Omaha, NE

Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology

Bellaire, MI


Cleveland, OH

Djerassi Resident Artists Program
Woodside, CA

Greensboro, NC

I-Park Fondation
East Haddam, CT

Island Institute
Sitka, AK

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Sheboygan, WI

Kala Institute
Berkeley, CA

Langley, WA

Hermitage Artist Retreat
Englewood, FL

Hyde Park Art Center          
Chicago, IL          

Ox Bow (aka Ox-Bow)
Saugatuck, MI

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Inc          
Becket, MA          

Light Work Visual Studies, Inc. (aka Light Work)          
Syracuse, NY          

MacDowell Colony, Inc. (aka The MacDowell Colony)
Peterborough, NH

Penland School of Crafts, Inc. (aka Penland School of Crafts)          
Penland, NC          

Pilchuck Glass School (aka Pilchuck)          
Seattle, WA          

Summer Lake, OR

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (aka MFAH) (on behalf of The Glassell School of Art)          
Houston, TX          

AIR Serenbe
Chattahoochee Hills, GA

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Inc. (aka Skowhegan)
Madison, ME

S&R Foundation
Washington, DC

Guilford Performance Lab Inc (aka Vermont Performance Lab)          
Guilford, VT          

Vermont Studio Center, Inc. (aka VSC)
Johnson, VT

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (aka VCCA)
Amherst, VA

The Watermill Center
Water Mill, NY

Wave Farm
Acra, NY

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Inc. (aka WheatonArts) (on behalf of Creative Glass Center of America)
Millville, NJ

Corporation of Yaddo (aka Yaddo)
Saratoga Springs, NY

The Yard
Chilmark, MA


The Alliance of Artists Communities is a national and international association of artists' communities, colonies, and residency programs - a diverse field of more than 1,500 organizations worldwide that support artists of any discipline in the development of new creative work. Believing that the cultivation of new art and ideas is essential to human progress, the Alliance's mission is to advocate for and support artists' communities, to advance the endeavors of artists. For more information, visit:

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.