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NEA to invest more than $88 million to support arts projects nationwide

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman announced the latest round of NEA funding for Fiscal Year 2011, totaling more than $88 million awarded through 1,145 grants to not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide.

Chairman Landesman said, "NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts."

This round of funding is provided through four grant programs: Access to Artistic Excellence, Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth, Arts on Radio and Television, and Partnership Agreements (State and Regional). Access to Artistic Excellence grants foster and preserve excellence in the arts and provide access to the arts for all Americans. Grants in this round focus on two primary themes: access to the arts and preservation activities. A broad range of activities are funded in dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. In addition, this round of funding includes grants to local arts agencies. Through the Access to Artistic Excellence category, 789 grants out of 1,415 eligible applications are recommended for funding for a total of $24.9 million.

The Michigan State University (on behalf of Michigan State University Museum) supports two components of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program, as well as infrastructure support for key staff. The Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and Michigan Heritage Awards both directly support folk artists and their work in the state.

"This grant is a testament to these year-in, year-out exemplary educational programs that tie our museum to so many individuals and community-based groups throughout the state," said Marsha MacDowell, MSU Museum curator of folk arts and director of the MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program.

To see the complete listing of projects receiving Access to Artistic Excellence grant support, see in this round of fiscal year 2011 funding.

The MSU Museum -- accredited by the American Association of Museums -- collects, preserves, studies and interprets cultural artifacts and natural history specimens, with collections numbering more than 1 million in four buildings on the MSU campus. The MSU Museum is committed to education, exhibitions, research and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and its relationship to the Great Lakes and the world beyond.

In addition to year-round research, exhibitions, collections and programs, the MSU Museum will share a sampling of traditional arts apprenticeships and the Michigan Heritage Awards, honoring the state's top tradition-bearers, at its Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 12-14, in downtown East Lansing. Learn more at:

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at