The National Endowment of the Arts, arguably the most misunderstood and beleaguered doing-good office of the federal gov’t (excluding the NEH, EPA, Consumer Financial Bureau, Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept., and a few others) has issued its 2017 funding report, highlighting that its monies (monies from we US taxpayers) flow to communities in all 50 states and five territories.
Included is support for 36 jazz-related projects, most generated in the usual cities but also to entities based in Baton Rouge LA; Hartford CT; Pinecrest and Tallahassee FLA; Geneva, Rochester, Saratoga Springs and West Park NY; Bethlehem, Easton and Hershey PA, and Burlington VT.
Most of the biggest grants — such as the $55k to the Thelonious Monk Foundation of Jazz’s “Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education” tour of public performing arts high schools in San Diego, Fargo and Sioux Falls; $50k to Newark Public Radio (that’s WBGO) to produce and broadcast “Jazz Night in America,” $50k to Jazz at Lincoln Center for production of hi-def, freely accessed concert webcasts — benefit audiences beyond the immediate local sphere of the receiving organizations. The smallest grants ($10k) go to performance series in the smaller cities, and production of ambitious recorded projects by NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton.
Here for download is the complete list of jazz projects — Jazz Awards 2017 FINAL — some of which mix chamber music, dance and poetry with music.
Having just named the four NEA Jazz Masters (pianist Joanne Brackeen, guitarist Pat Metheny, vocalist Dianne Reeves, advocate/producer Todd Barkan) to be inducted in 2018, the Arts agency is looking ahead, despite being targeted for extinction by the federal budget proposal. As posted on its grant webpage:
The President’s FY 2018 budget proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, with a request for $29 million intended to be used for the orderly shutdown of the agency. This budget request is a first step in a very long budget process. We continue to accept grant applications for FY 2018 at our usual deadlines and will continue to operate as usual until a new budget is enacted by Congress.
The fight over the budget proposal is expected to last months, until FY 2018 begins on Oct. 1, 2017. If you value what the NEA does, tell all your Congress-people to restore operating funds to the NEA (and NEH and Corporation for Public Broadcasting) as well as resist cuts in the safety net provided by the US government (elected by US citizen tax-payers) for the ill, elderly and impoverished. Urge friends to do the same.