A.R.T. Receives $85,000 NEA Art Works Grant to Support WITNESS UGANDA
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced last week that the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (A.R.T.) is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The A.R.T. is recommended for $85,000 to support the world premiere production of Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews' world premiere musical Witness Uganda, directed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus.
Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."
A.R.T. Managing Director Billy Russo commented: "We are very honored by the recognition from the N.E.A. for this incredibly generous support of Witness Uganda. As we begin rehearsals next week, such a strong vote of confidence in this production is inspiring."
Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
When Griffin, a young man from New York City volunteers for a project in Uganda, he finds himself on a journey that will change his life forever. Inspired by a true story, this rousing new musical staged by Tony-Award-winning director and A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, exposes the challenges confronted by American aid workers around the world and explores the question: "Is changing the world possible?"
Witness Uganda is the recipient of the 2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, ASCAP's Dean Kay Award, ASCAP's Harold Adamson Award, and a grant from Conde Nast c/o Summit Series. It was workshopped at Disney/ASCAP (hosted by composer Stephen Schwartz) and at the Vineyard Arts Project/Art Farm. It has been performed in concert around the world and at events including Summit Series in Lake Tahoe, The Lido Investment Symposium in Beverly Hills, The Rattlestick Theatre New Play Festival in New York City, and Patrick's Orphanage in Ndejje, Uganda.