Chicago Opera Theater Awarded Significant NEA And Opera America Grants

Chicago Opera Theater (COT) today announced that the company has been awarded both a $30,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a $15,000 Civic Practice Grant from OPERA America's Opera Fund for fiscal year 2019. The Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supports the production and programming of Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick," which will make its Chicago premiere at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph) Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. Art Works, the Arts Endowment's principal grantmaking program, received 1,605 applications for this round of grantmaking, and awarded 972 grants in this category.

"The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit

Chicago Opera Theater received a $15,000 Civic Practice Grant from OPERA America's Opera Fund for the expansion of existing partnerships with several refugee service organizations in order to provide free admission and facilitate additional support for refugee communities to attend and enjoy opera. Chicago Opera Theater seeks to offer refugees an access point to opera, with the intention of building a base for each individual's cultural life in the city. For more information on OPERA America's Civic Practice Grants, visit

"Receiving these two prestigious grants is very gratifying for us," said Chicago Opera Theater's Stefan Edlis & Gael Neeson General Director Ashley Magnus. "We are grateful for the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and OPERA America. Recognition from these particular institutions aligns with our mission of presenting innovative opera and enables the art form to be more accessible and inclusive of all communities, a development that is vital to the advancement of opera in the 21st century."

Additionally, Chicago Opera Theater has named Chris Thoren, previously the Associate Director of Communications, Henry & Frances Fogel General Manager, Strategy and Communications. Thoren's title is in honor of Henry and Frances Fogel's incredible support of COT and the nationwide impact of Henry and Frances' generous guidance, arts advocacy and philanthropy. The title is supported by generous donations from Gregory O'Leary and Patricia Kenney, Sage Foundation, and William and Janet Jentes. During their time at Chicago Opera Theater, Thoren spearheaded COT's 2017 rebrand, streamlined the company's marketing strategy and oversees all of the organization's public-facing communications.

"I could not be prouder to be affiliated with the generosity and arts leadership of Henry and Frances Fogel with this title," said Henry & Frances Fogel General Manager Chris Thoren. "I look forward to continuing my work with our incredible leadership team to further Chicago Opera Theater's mission of expanding the tradition of opera as a living art form.."

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