Mesa Arts Center Receives NEA Grant to Support Jazz from A to Z Program
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that Mesa Arts Center is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Mesa Arts Center is recommended for a $58,000 grant to support the Jazz from A to Z program. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and 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 the strengthening of communities through the arts.
Jazz from A to Z is a collaborative program between Mesa Arts Center; Mesa Public Schools (MPS); Arizona State University; and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Orchestra, orchestra leader Wynton Marsalis, and Education Department. Jazz from A to Z, which enters its third year for the 2012-2013 academic school year, enriches the historical and cultural knowledge of Mesa students and teachers with a cross-curricular study of both jazz and American history. Student and teacher participants will gain knowledge and skills through a focused study of jazz in clinics and workshops; demonstrate their understanding through performance, classroom instruction, project creation; and experience exemplary works of art in live form through a public performance. By creating a "community of jazz scholars,” the project spurs a deeper understanding of our nation's history and a meaningful appreciation of one of America's greatest cultural resources: jazz. The program is comprehensive and includes master classes for MPS junior high and high school jazz bands, a Band Director Academy for jazz instructors, workshops for teachers and students, a jazz festival in April 2013, a National History Day exhibit, a Young People’s Concert introducing elementary and middle school students to jazz music, a Regional Jazz Festival, and a public performance featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Mesa Arts Center. The program is expected to reach over 10,000 students and several hundred teachers.