In Thursday’s (7/9) Washington Post , Jacqueline Trescott writes, “Jessica Neely, the executive director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, breathed a deep sigh of relief this week when she learned the National Endowment for the Arts had given her organization $50,000 in economic stimulus funds. A reading program for 11th- and 12th-graders in the District’s public and charter schools had been in jeopardy. … The rescue grant goes to the program coordinator’s salary and some program costs, she said. … Even though arriving in small dollops, money from the behemoth economic rescue program is making a difference for local arts groups. The awards are $25,000 or $50,000.” The article discusses several Washington, DC-based arts groups, including the Post-Classical Ensemble orchestra, benefiting from the grants. “In February the NEA received $50 million from the administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to preserve jobs in the arts. Since then the NEA gave 40 percent of the funding to state and regional arts agencies. This week the agency announced the recipients of the competitive round for nonprofit groups. … Across the country, arts groups have been struggling in this recession. Many were hit by shrinking investment endowments and diminished giving by individuals, corporations and foundations. Many cut their budgets, shortened their performing seasons and reduced staff.”

Posted July 13, 2009