Today the National Endowment for the Arts announced its 2009 grants, and of the 13 North Texas organizations and institutions receiving money, only one was a theater company. No surprise that it's our bravest musical theater group, Irving's Lyric Stage. The group received $10,000 "to support the preservation and production of the 1939 musical comedy Too Many Girls by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Bruce Pomahac, music director of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, will restore Hans Spialek's orchestrations and Hugh Martin's vocal arrangements for a premiere performance."
That production would be for Lyric's 2010-11 season. Lyric also received NEA grants for its restoration of Cabin in the Sky ($8,000 in 2006) and it's full-orchestra productions of Carousel ($30,000 in 2007) and the upcoming The King and I ($20,000).
The original musical Too Many Girls starred Desi Arnaz, and in the 1940 film version, he met his future wife Lucille Ball.
Here are the other local recipients. Two of them received two prizes each:
- Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth: $50,000 to support the Works on Paper Digitization and Documentation Project. The project is part of museum's strategic plan to digitally document its entire collection.
- Amon Carter Museum: $90,000 to support the touring exhibition American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White, with accompanying catalogue and education programs. The exhibition will demonstrate how American photographers in the 1930s reinvented the documentary genre.
- Big Thought in Dallas: $80,000 to support the Creative Solutions Program. Artist teachers from the Young Artists of North Texas artist roster will conduct eight community-based, after-school art education residencies and one intensive summer program in visual arts, dance, filmmaking, theater, and design targeting disadvantaged teens in Dallas.
- Big Thought: $15,000 to support the Family Access to Artistic Excellence program. In partnership with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the inter-generational project will provide excursions to arts centers, museums, and cultural organizations for economically disadvantaged community members.
- Dallas Chamber Music Society: $5,000 to support the Claremont Trio's performance of American chamber music and related educational activities. The concert will include repertoire of composers Leon Kirchner, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Paul Schoenfeld, and Mason Bates.
- Dallas Museum of Art: $35,000 to support the touring exhibition Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) and the American Arts Crafts Movement, with accompanying catalogue and education programs. Driven by American societal changes, the American Arts and Crafts Movement defined a cultural world view that is still relevant today in its promotion of handcraft and the integration of art into everyday life.
- Dallas Opera: $40,000 to support a new production of Verdi's Otello, with accompanying outreach activities including lectures, panel discussions with the artists, and a radio broadcast on Classical WRR about the creation of the work. The performances will mark the inaugural production at the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.
- Documentary Arts, Inc. in Dallas: $25,000 to support the completion, publication, and distribution of Traditional Music in Texas: A Learning Resource. The book, which includes CDs and DVDs by Alan Govenar, will focus on the diversity of community-based folk and traditional artists across the state.
- Fort Worth Opera: $12,500 to support performances of Dead Man Walking by composer Jake Heggie and libretto by Terrence McNally. The work underscores the company's commitment to present new or lesser-known works in an effort to expand the repertoire as well as reach new audiences.
- Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra: $30,000 to support a touring program of concerts and educational activities in rural communities of Texas.
- Southern Methodist University in Dallas: $5,000 to support the promotion of the Southwest Review. One special double issue will be devoted to "Style as Performance/Performance as Style."
- Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth: $10,000 to support the American Composers Invitational, a project which commissions new works for solo piano. Participating pianists will perform the new works during the biennial Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth.
- University of Texas at Dallas: $35,000 to support professional development opportunities and publications for literary translators. Activities include the American Literary Translators Association conference, the publication of Translation Review and other materials, and the continued development of the Web site.
These groups received nearly $2 million of about $82.5 million given nationwide. You can read more about the grant recipients here.