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News : Arts Dec 13, 2013 - 6:58:40 AM

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts Receives Grant to Support 2014-2015 Breaking Ground Dance Series

By Wesleyan University

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Middletown, CT - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa has announced that the agency will award 1,083 grants to organizations and individuals across the country in their first round of fiscal year 2014 funding. Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is one of the Art Works grantees and will receive $30,000 to support the 2014–2015 Breaking Ground Dance Series. The 1,083 grant awards total $25,800,000 in the categories of Art Works, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships.

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is the only dance presenter in Connecticut to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Program, as well as from Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. The Center for the Arts received a major grant from Dance/USA's Engaging Dance Audiences Program in February 2013. This NEA award represents a 50% increase over the agency's grant in support of the 2012-2013 Breaking Ground Dance Series.

The Breaking Ground Dance Series at the Center for the Arts, now in its 14th season at Wesleyan University, features cutting-edge choreography, world-renowned companies, and companies pushing the boundaries of the art form. Upcoming performances this season include the New England premiere of "Times Bones" (2013) by San Francisco's Margaret Jenkins Dance Company on February 14 & 15, 2014, which will also be the first performances by the company in New England since 1998. Inspired by the myth of Osiris, "Times Bones" is a collaboration between choreographer Margaret Jenkins, her dancers, composer Paul Dresher, visual designer Alexander V. Nichols, and poet Michael Palmer. Past companies from the U.S. and abroad that have been featured on the Breaking Ground Dance Series include Bebe Miller Company, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Chunky Move, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion.

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States," said the agency's Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."

"Support from the National Endowment for the Arts has been central to our ability to fulfill our mission to become a vibrant center for dance in the State and to bring contemporary dance to audiences who might not otherwise be able to access it," said Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University. "We are grateful for the vote of confidence that this grant implies."

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The Art Works grant program supports projects in thirteen artistic disciplines. Examples of project types are commissions, residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions, publications, festivals, and professional development programs. Art Works grants, like all NEA grants to organizations, require a 1:1 match with non-federal funds. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $23.4 million. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with an average grant amount of $26,154.

The complete list of grants are available in two formats: by category, and a full state list sorted by city. Viewers can also use the NEA online grant search system ( to find grants back to fiscal year 2000 by organization, keywords, state, funding category, fiscal year, and other criteria. To learn more about upcoming NEA funding opportunities, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, celebrating its 40th anniversary during the 2013-2014 season, exists to catalyze people’s creativity by engaging them in the dynamic work of diverse artists.

Three inter-related activities enable the CFA to realize its purpose:
supporting the research, public productions and in-studio teaching needs of the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Music, and Theater;
leading inter-disciplinary collaborations and other initiatives that integrate artists into creative curricular and co-curricular initiatives; and
organizing powerful encounters between visiting artists and diverse elements of the Wesleyan community, the greater Middletown community, statewide and regional audiences.

The Center for the Arts' eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 400-seat Crowell Concert Hall, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, and classrooms and studios.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Dance/USA, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford Courant, Shore Publishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

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