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NEA Awards $1.6M to Artist Residencies

"I have always understood the critical role that Artist Communities play in American Culture...You are a unique field whose main focus is on the individual artist. You play an irreplaceable role in this nation's artistic creativity and vision." - Former NEA Chair Dana Gioia

The National Endowment for the Arts announced in late November its most recent round of grants, awarding $26.68 Million through 1,057 organizations and individual fellows nationwide. More than $1.6 Million will support artist communities, colonies and residency programs - places that provide artists of any discipline with dedicated time and space for the development of new work.

This marks only the second year for the NEA's "Artist Communities" funding category, which was created in 2009 to specifically recognize those organizations whose primary function is to provide artist residencies. Fifty-one organizations were awarded grants for residencies: in the Artist Communities category, $636,000 in grants was awarded to 25 residency programs; in Dance, $285,000 to 6 residency programs; in Presenting, $110,000 to 2 residency programs; and in Visual Arts, $604,000 to 18 residency programs.

"I have always understood the critical role that Artist Communities play in American Culture," wrote former NEA Chair Dana Gioia, upon the creation of the Artist Communities category. "You are a unique field whose main focus is on the individual artist. You play an irreplaceable role in this nation's artistic creativity and vision."

"We are thrilled to celebrate the NEA's support of the field, which will provide artists with necessary resources to develop new work," says Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, a national and international association of artists' communities, colonies, and residency programs. "The NEA's recognition is a symbol of the relevance and immediacy of our field's work: to support living artists in the creation of new work and the exploration of new ideas. The Alliance of Artists Communities was founded on the belief that supporting today's artists in developing new work is essential to human progress - not as a luxury, not as a leisure activity, but as a vital and necessary force in society."

There are an estimated 500 artist residency programs in the U.S. (and more than 1,000 worldwide), which in turn provide residencies to more than 12,000 artists each year - painters, poets, composers, choreographers, playwrights, filmmakers, novelists, scholars, and others. The field includes long-established artist colonies like The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH), Skowhegan (Skowhegan, ME), and Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), as well as small, lesser-known artist residency programs like A Studio in the Woods (New Orleans), Hermitage Artist Retreat (Englewood, FL), and PlatteForum (Denver).

Last year, $1.25 Million was awarded to 49 artist communities, colonies, and residency programs, of which $575,000 was awarded in the then-inaugural Artist Communities category.

While artist residency programs remain relatively unknown to the public, the artists they have served and some of the works created in-residence are immediately recognizable: Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, Gregory MacGuire's Wicked; Thornton Wilder's Our Town; Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; as well as works by Allen Ginsberg, David Sedaris, Marcel Duchamp, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, James Baldwin, John Lennon, Truman Capote, Bill T. Jones, Spalding Gray, Leonard Bernstein, Edward Albee, Langston Hughes, Liz Lerman, Sylvia Plath, Gwendolyn Brooks, Bob Dylan, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and many, many more.

Grants awarded to artist residency programs in November 2010 (*indicates Alliance member organization):

*18th Street Arts Center / Santa Monica, CA $30,000
Alliance of Artists Communities / Providence, RI $50,000
Alliance of Artists Communities (Consortium) / Providence, RI $30,000
American Academy in Rome / New York, NY $75,000
*Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies Red Wing, MN $10,000
*Anderson Ranch Arts Center / Snowmass Village, CO $15,000
Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky, Inc. (aka Artisan Center) / Hindman, KY $25,000
*Archie Bray Foundation / Helena, MT $23,000
*Art Students League of New York / New York, NY $10,000
Artpace San Antonio / San Antonio, TX $60,000
*Atlantic Center for the Arts / New Smyrna Beach, FL $40,000
*Bates College / Lewiston, ME $30,000
*Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts / Omaha, NE $50,000
Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation / Brooklyn, NY $20,000
Center for Photography at Woodstock / Woodstock, NY $20,000
Clay Studio / Philadelphia, PA $20,000
Creative Time / New York, NY $90,000
Dance Theatre Workshop / New York, NY $90,000
Dieu Donné Papermill / New York, NY $20,000
*Djerassi Resident Artists Program / Woodside, CA $25,000
*Fine Arts Work Center / Provincetown, MA $15,000
*Florida State Univ/Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography / Tallahassee, FL $20,000
*Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences / Rabun Gap, GA $10,000
*Headlands Center for the Arts / Sausalito, CA $45,000
*Hedgebrook Foundation / Langley, WA $15,000
*Hermitage Artist Retreat / Englewood, FL $10,000
*Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival / Becket, MA $90,000
*Kala Art Institute / Berkeley, CA $40,000
Kings Majestic Corporation (aka 651 ARTS) / Brooklyn, NY $45,000
Light Work Visual Studies / Syracuse, NY $25,000
Lower East Side Printshop / New York, NY $34,000
*MacDowell Colony / Peterborough, NH $40,000
*McColl Center for Visual Art / Charlotte, NC $30,000
*Millay Colony for the Arts / Austerlitz, NY $15,000
*Montalvo Arts Center / Saratoga, CA $30,000
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (Consortium) / Oklahoma City, OK $15,000
*Penland School of Crafts / Penland, NC $50,000
Performance Zone, Inc. (aka The Field) / New York, NY $10,000
*Pilchuck Glass School / Seattle, WA $20,000
*PlatteForum (Consortium) / Denver, CO $15,000
Project Row Houses / Houston, TX $40,000
*Sheboygan Arts Foundation, Inc. (aka John Michael Kohler Arts Center) / Sheboygan, WI $65,000
*Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture / Skowhegan, ME $20,000
Smack Mellon Studios / Brooklyn, NY $26,000
SPACES / Cleveland, OH $15,000
*A Studio in the Woods / New Orleans, LA $10,000
*Virginia Center for the Creative Arts / Amherst, VA $10,000
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Inc. (on behalf of Creative Glass Center of America) / Millville, NJ $26,000
Women's Studio Workshop / Rosendale, NY $20,000
*Yaddo / Saratoga Springs, NY $25,000
The Yard / Chilmark, MA $15,000


The Alliance of Artists Communities is a national and international association of artists' communities, colonies, and residency programs - a diverse field of more than 1,000 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 a complete list of grants awarded by the NEA, visit: