National Performance Network > News > NEA Awards Two Grants to NPN/VAN

NEA Awards Two Grants to NPN/VAN

Posted: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 1:12 pm in News

In June, the National Endowment for the Arts announced 1,195 grants totaling $82.06 million to support arts activities in every U.S. state and jurisdiction.

In the Art Works: Dance category, NPN has been awarded $50,000 for programs that support contemporary U.S. choreographers, dance artists, and presenters to create, commission, tour, and engage diverse communities with new work across the United States. The programs will support the development and touring of innovative, new dance works; nurture the careers of hundreds of dancers; and create spaces for authentic dialogue between diverse dancers and audiences across the United States. Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

NPN/VAN has also received its first Our Town grant. The $75,000 award will support the Knowledge Building Initiative, NPN/VAN’s creative placemaking research and archiving project. NPN/VAN is partnering with Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, PhD, and Elliat Graney-Saucke, to research and archive creative placemaking case studies and best practices in the 33 states represented by NPN/VAN’s network. The work will result in a series of written reports, blog posts, and filmed short interviews and oral histories, all of which will be accessible through NPN/VAN’s website. Research findings will also be disseminated through dedicated sessions at NPN/VAN’s convenings. Through this project, NPN/VAN will deepen engagement with its partner organizations, promote effective reflection and evaluative efforts, and better articulate the social change benefits of artistic production. The project will reach NPN/VAN’s national network of 84 organizational partners and their communities. Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal governments that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land -use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets.

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About the National Endowment for the Arts

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. For more information, visit

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