New Albany Symphony Orchestra Receives $10,000 Grant from NEA

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that the New Albany Symphony Orchestra is one of 150 not-for-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant. The New Albany Symphony Orchestra is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support the "Short Ride on a Fast Machine" performance on April 6, 2014 featuring pianist Jon Kimura Parker-a multi-media performance designed to appeal to the musically-underserved hearing-impaired community.

The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers $10,000 matching grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Challenge America Fast-Track grants support two major outcomes: public engagement with diverse and excellent art and livability, or the strengthening of communities through the arts. In this FY 2014 funding round, the NEA received 294 eligible Challenge America Fast-Track applications requesting $2.94 million in funding. The NEA will award 150 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1.5 million to organizations in 46 states, including 33 first-time NEA grantees, or 22 percent of all CAFT grantees in this round.

NASO is also one of nine non-profit arts organizations in Central Ohio to receive a prestigious PNC Arts Alive Grant. "We are thrilled that "Short Ride on a Fast Machine" has not only been recognized by PNC Arts Alive, but that it has also received national attention from the National Endowment for the Arts," said Heather Garner, the executive director of the New Albany Symphony. "The Challenge America Fast-Track matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will fully allow us to present our vision for this project benefitting the hearing impaired. Through the use of dramatic sign language interpreters, large on-stage screens, and a laser light show, the beauty of this music will be made accessible to a previously underserved population in our community."

PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative to support visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways.

The NEA was founded on the principle that the arts belong to all the people of the United States," said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "We're proud that Challenge America Fast-Track grants bring more opportunities for arts engagement to underserved communities."

See the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support at

Now in its sixth season, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra (NASO) is a non-profit community orchestra made up of professional musicians, community players, and students. NASO provides musical enrichment for the community of New Albany through a series of four annual performances and educational programs that attract audiences from all over Central Ohio.

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