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Portland Opera To Receive $30,000 Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts

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This Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Anthony Davis will be performed in March 2022 and will be directed by Nataki Garrett and conducted by Kazem Abdullah.

Portland Opera has been approved for a $30,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the company's upcoming production of The Central Park Five.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Anthony Davis will be performed in March 2022 and will be directed by Nataki Garrett and conducted by Kazem Abdullah. Portland Opera's project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Portland Opera that help support the community's creative economy," said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. "Portland Opera is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts."

"We are so grateful to the National Endowment of the Arts for their support of this production of The Central Park Five, and we're so excited to share this important opera," says Sue Dixon, General Director of Portland Opera. "Their commitment to supporting and celebrating artistic vitality and leadership nationwide helps us create and share public programming, like this brilliant new piece, with the community."

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2020, The Central Park Five takes us to New York City in the late 80s-when five Black and Latino teenagers were falsely accused of rape and assault, and coerced into confession. Their high-profile case spiraled out of control, turning the accused, and their families, into victims of prejudice and grave injustice.

After serving prison sentences for crimes they did not commit, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were exonerated through DNA evidence. This brilliant new work is about what happens when justice is not served, and the powerful court of public opinion fails us-especially in cases of white female victims, and accused Black men. Ultimately a story of freedom, The Central Park Five champions our five innocent heroes' refusal to plead guilty on their paths to exoneration.

For more information about Portland Opera's production of The Central Park Five, including cast and creative team and ticketing information, visit https://www.portlandopera.org/performances-tickets/21-22-season/the-central-park-five/

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


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