WASHINGTON — Representative Paul D. Tonko applauded the announcement of $175,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for local and regional arts organizations here in the Capital Region. This series of NEA grants will help support a diverse range of music, theater, fine arts, and multimedia design programs in Troy and Saratoga Springs.
“Our thriving arts scene is a vital part of what makes our capital region so special,” said Tonko. “Especially in the wake of the pandemic, our local arts organizations need our support more than ever. Funding for the arts is a powerful investment in our communities and our people, fostering the creative expression of residents of all ages and strengthening our region’s unique cultural heritage.
“As a proud member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I am thrilled to welcome this investment to our region, and will always continue to fight for increased federal funding for the arts.”
This series of NEA grants for the Capital Region includes:
• $90,000 for The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, to support the commissioning, engagement, creation and installation of artwork and media experiences along a city block in Troy.
“The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail addresses the historical erasure of the voices of the people of North Central. From the forced resettlement of Indigenous peoples over 300 years ago, to the toxic legacy of the Industrial Revolution that affects people today. low-income and economically disadvantaged neighbours, their voices need to be heard,” shares Branda Miller, Project Director. “Through participatory arts, we collaborate as allies – to elevate the presence of ancestors and activate networks struggling against economic inequality, systemic racism and climate change.
“It is extraordinary that two NEA Our Town grants have been awarded in the long neglected neighborhood of North Central Troy. This is an incredible opportunity to advance the creation of creative places.
• $50,000 for the Capital Region Arts Center in Troy, to support an artist residency, arts programming and engagement activities to build community in north-central Troy.
“We are honored to have been selected by the NEA for this grant. We started the fish market because we knew we had to do more for our north-central neighbours, and the initiative was more successful than we could have hoped. The foundation is laid for North Central Creates to cultivate local grassroots power through artistic civic engagement,” said Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of the Capital Region Center for the Arts.
• $20,000 for Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, to support a new production of “Sky on Swings” by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch at the Egg Performing Arts Center, with related community engagement programs.
“This season, generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts will help Opera Saratoga bring a new production of SKY ON SWINGS to the Capital Region,” Opera Saratoga said. “SKY ON SWINGS is a deeply moving opera by Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch that explores the lives of two women with Alzheimer’s disease. Opera Saratoga regularly produces contemporary operas that address vital issues that impact people’s daily lives. It is a commitment to advancing the contemporary relevance of our art form, deepening our role in the community, and facilitating meaningful conversations with audiences on the topics that matter to them. The NEA is an essential partner in this mission, and we are deeply grateful for its support.
• $15,000 for Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, to support the Skidmore Jazz Institute.
“For 35 years, the Skidmore Jazz Institute has brought renowned jazz artists who are gifted educators to this region. This generous grant will support the program’s annual Summer Concert Series which provides exceptional performances at low cost or free to the public, exemplifying how Skidmore College celebrates creativity while enriching the local community,” said Skidmore College.
The NEA distributes nearly $100 million in grants each year to arts organizations in all 50 states. This round of funding for the Capital Region comes from Grants for Arts Projects (GAP), the NEA’s flagship grants program, and Our Town, a program supporting the creation of creative places. Overall, this funding round includes 1,125 GAP projects totaling over $26.6 million and 51 Our Town projects totaling $3.9 million.