New NEA grants fuel public media projects nationwide

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American Ballet Theatre dancer Gillian Murphy warms up before being filmed for American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y. The PBS cultural series just received a $100,000 grant from the NEA. (Photo: George Seminara)

American Ballet Theatre dancer Gillian Murphy warms up before being filmed for American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y. The PBS cultural series received a $100,000 grant from the NEA. (Photo: George Seminara)

A wide range of public media organizations are among 1,023 recipients of $74.3 million in new grants to nonprofit groups from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The support, announced May 6, includes $100,000 to the Association of Independents in Radio for its latest Localore initiative, “Finding America,” which pairs producers with public media stations to create new approaches to storytelling; and $50,000 to KCETLink in Burbank, Calif., for Artbound, a transmedia arts journalism initiative exploring Southern California’s cultural landscape.

PBS Hawaii is “thrilled” to receive $20,000 for its HIKI NŌ digital storytelling program for students from 90 public, private and charter schools across the islands, said Leslie Wilcox, station president. “HIKI NŌ is the only statewide student digital literacy program of its kind in the country,” she said. “By tapping into students’ innate storytelling skills, HIKI NŌ is encouraging Hawaii’s youth to share their unique voices.”

The grants are the second round this fiscal year, bringing the NEA’s total support to $103.4 million through 2,139 awards for its Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships initiatives.

Grants were presented in 13 categories. One of the 54 Literature awards goes to NPR, which is receiving $65,000 for book reviews, author interviews, special literary series and online apps for its ongoing series This Week’s Must Read and the blog You Must Read This.

Wisconsin Public Television’s “Young Performers Initiative: Online Tools for Music Educators” gets $15,000 in the 98-grant Music category. The project offers free educational tools for music teachers statewide.

Public media organizations among the 73 Media Arts recipients include:

  • Afropop Worldwide, Brooklyn, N.Y.: $40,000 for the Afropop Worldwide public radio program.
  • American Documentary Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.: $100,000 for the public TV documentary series POV and $65,000 for the series America Reframed on the World channel.
  • Art 21 Inc., New York City: $90,000 for the public television series Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century.
  • Center for Asian American Media, San Francisco: $75,000 for “Memories to Light: Asian American Home Movies,” a national media arts engagement and preservation project.
  • Craft in America, Los Angeles: $75,000 for postproduction and outreach costs for “Music,” an episode of the public television series Craft in America.
  • ETV Endowment of South Carolina, Spartanburg, S.C.: $25,000 for production of the weekly radio program Song Travels with Michael Feinstein.
  • Firelight Media, New York City: $40,000 for research, production, and postproduction costs for a documentary film by Stanley Nelson analyzing the depictions of sexuality and stereotypes of African-Americans in movies.
  • From the Top, Boston: $90,000 for production of the weekly public radio series From the Top With Host Christopher O’Riley, highlighting performances by young classical musicians.
  • WETA, Arlington, Va.: $50,000 for a series of video segments about artists and their communities to run on PBS NewsHour and online. Staff from the NewsHour’s Culture Desk will travel nationwide to capture stories.
  • KCRW, Santa Monica, Calif.: $60,000 for the transmedia project Sonic Trace, exploring the Latin American immigrant experience. KCRW will set up sound booths in Los Angeles to record stories for later national broadcast.
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City: $100,000 for Live from Lincoln Center, the PBS program featuring performances of music, drama and dance.
  • Metropolitan Opera, New York City: $60,000 for the PBS series Great Performances at the Met.
  • Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul.: $40,000 for expansion of the public radio podcast network Infinite Guest, which will recruit artists of diverse backgrounds to pilot, produce and distribute content.
  • National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Los Angeles: $40,000 for Latino Lens, a series of short films for broadcast and digital release.
  • National Black Programming Consortium, New York City: $40,000 for production and outreach costs for the public television series AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.
  • Newark Public Radio (WBGO), New Jersey: $60,000 for production of the weekly jazz performance series Jazz Night in America.
  • Pacific Islanders in Communications, Honolulu: $35,000 for a documentrary film by Tadashi Nakamura profiling graffiti artists Estria Miyashiro and John Hina.
  • PBS Foundation, Arlington, Va.: $75,000 for PBS Indies, a digital platform for independent film.
  • Public Radio International, Minneapolis: $70,000 for the radio program Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.
  • Public Radio International: $35,000 for production and distribution of “Global Hit,” the daily public radio feature on PRI’s The World that offers insights into global news through music.
  • Radio Diaries, New York City: $50,000 for America’s Lost Stories, a series of audio diaries and first-person accounts of hidden chapters in 20th century history.
  • StoryCorps, Brooklyn, N.Y.: $100,000 for StoryCorps radio segments for weekly broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition.
  • The Moth, New York City: $60,000 for production and distribution of The Moth Radio Hour.
  • Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul, Minn.: $75,000 for the television program TV Takeover, which invites organizations in Minnesota to create, select and share their favorite media art pieces during live in-studio television events.
  • Wisdom of the Elders, Portland, Ore.: $30,000 for Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program’s STEAM multimedia series, blending Native American cultural arts, traditional ecological knowledge and environmental science.
  • WNET, New York City: $100,000 for the PBS series American Masters