Given all the noise, the National Endowment for the Arts’ $25 mil for arts, literature and education announced Feb. 7 may have been overlooked. But these funds and the projects they support, nationwide, should be noted. From more than $3 million going to initiatives strictly labeled “Music” (exclusive of “Musical Theater” or “Opera”) here’s my subjective selection of 50 grants referencing “jazz” and beyond.
The largest amounts among them go to Carnegie Hall to celebrate
Philip Glass’s 80th birthday ($85k and there’s a second grant on this theme, of $30k to the Pacific Symphony in Irvine CA ); to the Kennedy Center to present NEA Jazz Masters ($65K — I just heard Jazz Master pianist Randy Weston perform there, new arrangements of circa WWI music of James Reese Europe, a worthy program), and to the New Music America Foundation, ($60k to support the estimable and invaluable website NewMusicBox.org).
Most of the grants are far less. I believe there’s enormous return to the public on $10,000 to $15,000 spent on underwriting festivals, concert series, unusual performances, installations and education programs in communities from Northville, Michigan to Lorman, Mississippi, Woodstock NY (and Manhattan, Chinatown, Brooklyn) to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Oakland, LA, Toledo, Juneau, Pittsburgh, Sioux Falls, Ann Arbor, Santa Cruz, Louisville, Phoenix, and so on.
Sound investments, each one of these events (and many more supported by the NEA — really, see what good our taxes do, so cheaply. By comparision, $25 mil is the “relatively miniscule” (Time magazine, Jan 3 2018) amount just approved to fund development of a new road-mobile, ground-launched cruise missile, which Time reports is prohibited by Cold War agreements.
Oh, never mind. Here’s an entr’acte, then the grants.
- Akropolis Quintet Inc. (aka Akropolis Reed Quintet) $10,000 Northville, MI To support “Together We Sound,” a festival of contemporary music by the Akropolis Reed Quintet.
- Albany Symphony Orchestra, Inc. (aka Albany Symphony) $15,000 Albany, NY To support the American Music Festival.
- Alcorn State University $10,000 Lorman, MS To support musical performances and an educational workshop at the Alcorn State University Jazz Festival.
- Bang on a Can, Inc. (aka Bang on a Can) $50,000 Brooklyn, NY To support the Summer Festival of Music, a performance series and residency program for emerging composers and contemporary music performers.
- Berklee College of Music, Inc. $25,000 Boston, MA To support musical performances and related educational and outreach activities at the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival.
- Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (aka Cabrillo Music Festival) $25,000 Santa Cruz, CA To support the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
- Carnegie Hall Corporation (aka Carnegie Hall (CH)) $85,000 New York, NY To support a concert series celebrating the works of composer Philip Glass (see also Pacific Symphony).
- Chicago Jazz Orchestra Association (aka Chicago Jazz Orchestra) $10,000 Skokie, IL To support a tribute concert to NEA Jazz Master Nancy Wilson.
- Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra $40,000 Cincinnati, OH To support Classical Roots, a series of concerts and recitals in celebration of African-American musical heritage.
- Columbia University in the City of New York (on behalf of Miller Theatre) $30,000 New York, NY To support artist fees and production expenses for the Composer Portraits and Pop-up Concerts at Miller Theatre.
- Creative Music Foundation, Inc. (aka Creative Music Studio) $10,000 Woodstock, NY To support a series of concert performances featuring jazz and poetry.
- Cuyahoga Community College Foundation (on behalf of Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland) $20,000 Cleveland, OH To support musical performances and educational activities at the Tri-C JazzFest jazz festival.
- Da Camera Society of Texas (aka Da Camera of Houston) $25,000 Houston, TX To support presentations of chamber music and jazz with related educational activities.
- DC Jazz Festival $35,000 Washington, DC To support musical performances as well as educational activities and audience engagement events at the DC Jazz Festival.
- Earshot Jazz Society of Seattle (aka Earshot Jazz) $25,000 Seattle, WA To support musical performances and other activities at the Earshot Jazz Festival.
- East Bay Performing Arts (aka Oakland Symphony) $10,000 Oakland, CA To support Notes from the African Diaspora, a concert performed by the Oakland Symphony.
- Eighth Blackbird Performing Arts Association (aka Eighth Blackbird) $25,000 Chicago, IL To support the Blackbird Creative Lab, a training program for instrumentalists and composers.
- Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center-Lucy Moses School for Music and Dance (aka Kaufman Music Center) (on behalf of Merkin Concert Hall) $15,000 New York, NY To support the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall.
- Festival of New Trumpet Music, Inc. (aka FONT Music) $10,000. New York, NY To support the Festival of New Trumpet Music.
- Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Inc. (aka Healdsburg Jazz) $20,000 Healdsburg, CA To support musical performances at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival 20th anniversary celebration.
- Hear Now Music Festival $10,000 Los Angeles, CA To support the Hear Now Music Festival.
- Hot Summer Jazz Festival (aka Twin Cities Jazz Festival) $10,000 Saint Paul, MN To support free musical performances at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
- Hyde Park Jazz Festival $15,000 Chicago, IL To support concert performances, commissions, and other activities at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.
- Jazz Bakery Performance Space (aka The Jazz Bakery) $25,000 Beverly Hills, CA To support concerts and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters.
- Jazz Foundation of America, Inc. (aka Jazz Foundation of America) $15,000 New York, NY To support curated musical performances as part of the Gig Fund program.
- Jazz Gallery $25,000 New York, NY To support performance opportunities and a professional development program for emerging jazz artists.
- Jazz House Kids, Inc. $45,000 Montclair, NJ To support free musical performances and related family-oriented activities at the Montclair Jazz Festival.
- John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (aka The Kennedy Center) $65,000 Washington, DC To support a series of concerts featuring NEA Jazz Masters and other legendary musicians.
- Juneau Jazz & Classics, Inc. (aka Juneau Jazz & Classics) $15,000 Juneau, AK To support musical performances and educational activities at the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival.
- Kerrytown Concert House, Inc. (aka Kerrytown Concert House) $12,500 Ann Arbor, MI To support the Edgefest experimental music festival.
- Kuumbwa Jazz Society (aka Kuumbwa Jazz aka KJ) $15,000 Santa Cruz, CA To support a jazz concert series.
- Living Jazz $10,000 Oakland, CA To support a musical tribute honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Louisville Orchestra $15,000 Louisville, KY To support guest artist fees and travel for the Festival of American Music.
- Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (aka MCG Youth & Arts) $12,500 Pittsburgh, PA To support a jazz concert series featuring artists and orchestras of various styles.
- Monterey Jazz Festival $35,000 Monterey, CA To support performances, commissions, and related educational and audience engagement activities at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
- Music at the Anthology, Inc. (aka MATA) $10,000 New York, NY To support the 20th anniversary MATA Festival of new music.
- Music From China, Inc. (aka Music From China) $10,000 New York, NY To support a commissioning and performance project of contemporary Chinese music.
- Musical Instrument Museum (aka MIM) $12,500 Phoenix, AZ To support a program for foster children and foster families that offers access to the Musical Instrument Museum along with attendance at musical performances and participation in workshops and other educational activities.
- Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (aka The Wild Center) $10,000 Tupper Lake, NY To support The Wild Center’s commissioning of an outdoor music installation by composer Pete M. Wyer.
- New Music USA Inc (aka New Music USA) $60,000 New York, NY To support new music through online resources at NewMusicBox.org and newmusicusa.org.
- Outpost Productions, Inc. (aka Outpost) $25,000 Albuquerque, NM To support musical performances, educational and related audience engagement activities at the New Mexico Jazz Festival.
- Post-Classical Ensemble, Inc. (aka PostClassical Ensemble) $30,000 Washington, DC To support a vocal and choral performance project celebrating the contributions of African-American composer, arranger, and baritone Henry Thacker “Harry” Burleigh (1866-1949).
- San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association (aka SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY) $20,000 San Diego, CA To support a music festival exploring the connection of rhythm and beat in the human experience.
- Savannah Music Festival, Inc. (aka Savannah Music Festival) $40,000 Savannah, GA To support the annual Savannah Music Festival.
- South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (aka SDSO) $12,500 Sioux Falls, SD To support Phase III of the Lakota Music Project.
- Third Coast Percussion NFP (aka Third Coast Percussion) $10,000 Chicago, IL To support a pilot program of cross-genre collaborations with underrepresented artistic voices.
- Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc. (aka Toledo Symphony Orchestra) $10,000 Toledo, OH To support the orchestra’s music festival celebrating the contributions of African-American musicians.
- University of Chicago (aka University of Chicago, UChicago, UofC) $25,000 Chicago, IL To support the presentation of a performance project highlighting the music, influences, and legacy of Hungarian-born composer Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006).
- University of Northern Colorado $20,000 Greeley, CO To support musical performances and educational workshops at the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival.
- VocalEssence $35,000 Minneapolis, MN To support the annual WITNESS choral performance project celebrating the contributions of African Americans.
I hasten to repeat — this is a selection out of hundreds of NEA supported programs. Jazz, new and unusual music are also funded, if indirectly, in grants categorized as going to dance, folk and traditional arts, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, presenting and multi-disciplinary works. Every state from Alabama to Wyoming as well as the District of Columbia got funds. Support continued funding for the NEA.