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AIR Serenbe Receives NEA Grant to Support Speaking as Performance

Chattahoochee Hills, GA—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded AIR Serenbe a $10,000 Art Works grant towards the artist residency's 2018 program, Here Say.

Here Say gathers the country's top artists using speaking as performance for a series of creative roundtables and public performances in Metro Atlanta. From spoken word and storytelling to lectures and rap (and everything in between), Here Say invests in the development and cross pollination of this dynamic and democratic form—word and voice. To capture this three-day convening in the fall, AIR Serenbe commissions a local filmmaker to create an original short film about the meeting of the minds and mouths.

Brandon Hinman, AIR Serenbe Executive Director, said he is “proud that the National Endowment for the Arts continues to see excellence in the work we are doing to both cultivate and present the multitude of speaking as performance in this country. This is only our second year of the Here Say program, and the NEA has generously supported us both years.”

“Over the past five years, we have hosted residencies for numerous artists using speaking in some form in their work. Here Say is a way to continue supporting these artists individually while also bringing them together collectively,” Hinman said. “And to encourage them to keep doing that simple, yet incredibly bold act of speaking in front of a crowd---it is powerful; it changes lives.”

The Here Say 2018 convening will be November 5-8, with a public performance in Atlanta on November 7. Watch the Here Say 2017 film, created by filmmakers Jake and Isaac Gee, at

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. Each year, more than 4,500 communities throughout the United States benefit from NEA grants.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as Here Say with AIR Serenbe, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

More about AIR Serenbe:
AIR Serenbe, the non-profit artist residency program of the Serenbe Institute, invests in artists of all disciplines. We provide the time and space necessary for the creation of new work, as well as focused public programming that brings audiences in close contact with creative processes and practices. Visit to learn more about AIR Serenbe.

More 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.
Visit to learn more about NEA.

Brandon Hinman
Executive Director, AIR Serenbe

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