From left: David T. Little and Royce Vavrek are the creators of the opera <em>JFK </em>for Fort Worth Opera

2016 NEA Grants Given

Eight North Texas arts organizations, from South Dallas Cultural Center to Fort Worth Opera, receive $165,000 in Art Works grants from National Endowment for the Arts.

published Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Photo: Fort Worth Opera
From left: David T. Little and Royce Vavrek are the creators of the opera JFK for Fort Worth Opera



Austin — Congrats to South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony, Dallas Theater Center, Kitchen Dog Theater, Video Association of Dallas and the Fort Worth Opera for snagging a total of $165,000 from the more than $1 million in National Endowment for the Arts 2016 Fall Art Works grants given to 39 Texas organizations. Dallas Opera and Dallas Theater Center received the biggest amounts, with $40,000 each; followed by Fort Worth Opera, which garnered $25,000.

Photo: Amitava Sarkar
Jamal Story will create a new work for Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Nationwide, a total of $27 million was given.

Below is the list of North Texas recipients; you can view the complete NEA list here.


City of Dallas, Texas (aka City of Dallas)

(On behalf of South Dallas Cultural Center)


FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Challenge America

To support a residency with members from the New Negress Film Society (NNFS) and related expenses. Public screenings of documentary, narrative, and experimental short films created by members of the NNFS, a New York City-based collective of black woman filmmakers, will be presented at various venues in Dallas and include commentary by the artists. Related outreach activities will include community talks and digital media workshops specifically designed for female students attending the Billy Earl Dade Middle School, a school within the Dallas Independent School District in South Dallas that serves a significant low-income, African-American constituency.


Dallas Black Dance Theatre (aka Dallas Black Dance Theatre)



To support the 2016 Cultural Awareness series. The project will feature two world premieres, one Dallas premiere, and two re-staged works from the repertoire. Princess Grace Award recipient Bridget L. Moore will choreograph a duet to have its world premiere. Former Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) dancer Jamal Story will choreograph an aerial ballet to have its world premiere. Former Alvin Ailey dancer Kirven Douthit-Boyd will choreograph a new work that will receive its Dallas premiere. Re-staged works will include "Testament" by former DBDT dancer Katricia Eaglin and "Instinct 11.1" for former Dance Theatre of Harlem and Broadway dancer Francesca Harper. Performances will take place at the Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. The project also will include educational and outreach activities for students and adults.


Dallas Opera (aka The Dallas Opera)



To support performances of "Moby Dick" by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. Based on the novel by Herman Melville, the opera follows Captain Ahab in his obsessive search for a great whale. The story explores questions about fate, human nature, and free will. Conductor Emmanuel Villaume will lead a cast that may include tenors Jay Hunter Morris, Stephen Costello, and David Cangelosi, baritones Morgan Smith and Peter McGillivray, bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu, and soprano Jacqueline Echols. As many as six performances will take place at the Winspear Opera House in the fall of 2016.


Dallas Symphony Association, Inc. (aka Dallas Symphony Orchestra)



To support premiere performances of new orchestral works with related educational activities. The world premieres of works by two American composers, Jeremy Gill and Christopher Rouse, will take place at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The works are Gill's "Serenada Concertante" for oboe and orchestra, written for Principal Oboe Erin Hannigan, and Rouse's Symphony No. 5, a co-commission with the Hong Kong Some details of the projects listed are subject to change, contingent upon prior Arts Endowment approval. Information is current as of December 1, 2015. Page 220 of 243 Philharmonic and Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. Both works will be conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. Educational activities will include the participation by the composers in workshops, master classes, and school programs.


Photo: Robert Hart/TheaterJones
David Lozano, pictured, and Lee Trull received $40,000 for their play Deferred Action at Dallas Theater Center

Dallas Theater Center


FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Theater & Musical Theater

To support the premiere of "Deferred Action" by Lee Trull and David Lozano. The work is being developed collaboratively by Lee Trull, director of new play development, and David Lozano, artistic director of Dallas's Cara Mia Theatre Company. The play is part two of a trilogy about immigration and focuses on the undocumented youth in North Texas known as "Dreamers." The play focuses on the son of a Salvadoran immigrant belonging to a group of political activists that is working to push the DREAM Act through Congress. Educational and outreach activities may include teacher workshops, study guides, pre-show workshops for students, and American Sign Language interpretation and audio description during its run.


Kitchen Dog Theater Company (aka Kitchen Dog Theater)


FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Theater & Musical Theater

To support the development and production of new plays in the New Works Festival 2016. The annual festival will comprise a mainstage production, staged readings, and the Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest, which consists of staged readings of short plays written by local high school students. Each year, more than 400 scripts are submitted from around the world and as many as six scripts receive a week-long workshop and a staged reading with moderated audience discussion afterwards.


Video Association of Dallas, Inc. (aka Videofest)



To support Dallas VideoFest 29. Held in the fall, the festival will feature single-channel experimental video, feature length and short films, documentaries, and animation from local, regional, and international artists. Devoted to exhibiting non-commercial, experimental artistic work, recent programs include a retrospective of films by Charles Burnett and Expanded Cinema, a public art event in which as many as 15 works of art are displayed onto the exterior of the Omni Dallas Hotel through large LED lights.


Fort Worth Opera Association, Inc. (aka Fort Worth Opera)



To support the world premiere of "JFK" by composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek and the accompanying symposium series "JKF: Five Decades of Progress." Community leaders and opera professionals will meet with the community to discuss the creative impetus surrounding the world premiere work, as well as President John F. Kennedy's impact on the evolutions of aeronautics, race relations and civil rights issues, and political discourse in journalism and media. The opera will be a part of the Opera of the Americas' ten-year initiative to produce new operas by contemporary American composers. The creative team may include stage director and designer Thaddeus Strassberger, conductor Steven Osgood, baritone Matthew Worth, and mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack. As many as three performances will occur at Bass Performance Hall in the spring of 2016. Thanks For Reading

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2016 NEA Grants Given
Eight North Texas arts organizations, from South Dallas Cultural Center to Fort Worth Opera, receive $165,000 in Art Works grants from National Endowment for the Arts.
by Mark Lowry

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