Doug Varone and Dancers to receive $40,000 FY17 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $40,000 to New York City's famed Doug Varone and Dancers for the creative development of the new dance-theatre work entitled Strange Loop. The Art Works category focuses on 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.

"The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Doug Varone and Dancers, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer."

Doug Varone is collaborating with Oscar Award-winning director and playwright Eric Simonson on Strange Loop, which will interweave dance, theater, and video. Varone and Simonson will work as co-directors to realize an interdisciplinary project inspired by Douglas Hofstader's 2007 novel, I Am a Strange Loop. Simonson has begun the collaboration by writing a script treatment from which he and Varone will develop a staging in the style of a silent film. The narrative of love and loss will unfold through movement, without spoken dialogue. Through intimate, gestural movement - an embrace, a turning of the head, or even mouthed words - the performers will portray the minute increments in which daily lives unfold. The choreography will establish character, motive and story with the assistance of visual projections by Wendall Harrington. Strange Loop is being developed over the course of 2017 and will receive private and public in-progress showings in NYC, before its ultimate premiere in early 2018.

"Understanding the power of art to change lives in our country, we are honored once again to receive funding from our government to create and present work that matters. As touring artists we've witnessed this from both the stage and the classroom in communities all over the United States. We will continue to work tirelessly to build dialogues that educate the imagination, underscoring the importance that the NEA plays in the lives of all Americans," said Doug Varone, artistic director of Doug Varone and Dancers.

"NEA funding is tremendously important to all arts organizations who receive NEA grants. Not only do these funds support the creation of new American artwork, which will then tour around the country and perhaps even abroad, they also support artist and collaborators' salaries and fees, employing artists and directly impacting our economy," said Paul Menard, executive director of Doug Varone and Dancers.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.



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