DPAA Awarded NEA Grant to Support Opera Artists-in-Residence Program

The project is among 1,130 projects across the country, totaling more than $31 million.

By: May. 26, 2023
DPAA Awarded NEA Grant to Support Opera Artists-in-Residence Program

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) an $18,000 grant through its Grants for Arts Project. The grant expands DPAA’s current Opera Artists-in-Residence (AIR) program and includes additional support for the artists’ professional and artistic development. The project is among 1,130 projects across the country, totaling more than $31 million, selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2023 funding. The expanded AIR program starts in September 2023.

DPAA’s Opera Artists-in-Residence program provides opportunities for pre-professional singers to increase their performance experience as they transition from the university or conservatory educational experience into the professional opera field. Selected through audition, AIRs are not only featured artists in DPAA’s Ballet, Opera, and Philharmonic performances; they serve as Dayton Opera ambassadors, offering education and community engagement programs throughout southwest Ohio.

Expanding the AIR program allows for a greater focus on artistic training and professional portfolio preparedness. In addition, it gives the Artists-in-Residence opportunities to engage with the community by arranging opera recitals and concerts in senior living facilities, schools, and smaller venues throughout the region. Performance experience remains the focus of AIR participants; however, DPAA recognizes the importance of a well-rounded skill set for long-term success. As such, the program provides the AIRs time to acquire a working knowledge of finance, marketing, engagement, and production in the arts, equipping them to compete in a demanding arts industry.

“I’m thrilled,” says Kathleen Clawson, Artistic Director of the Dayton Opera and Dr. Ron Anderson and Robb Sloan-Anderson Chair. “This generous NEA grant will provide our AIRs with many opportunities and enhance their experience. Not only will the artists benefit, but the Dayton region will as well. An extended residence means more opera outreach and learning programs will be accessible to all ages, contributing to DPAA’s driving purpose of ensuring everyone has the opportunity to fall in love with the arts.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to support a wide range of projects, including Opera Artists-in-Residence, demonstrating the many ways the arts enrich our lives and contribute to healthy and thriving communities,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D. “These organizations play an important role in advancing the creative vitality of our nation and helping to ensure that all people can benefit from arts, culture, and design.”

DPAA’s 2023-2024 season features AIR performance opportunities in three opera productions (Die Fledermaus, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Tosca). AIRs will also create and perform a production specifically intended for middle- and high school students, entitled Dive Into Opera (January 2024).

DPAA believes that every voice is important and that the arts are for everyone. With inclusion, diversity, equity, and access as pillars of all our programs, the AIRs engaged in the program will reflect the diversity of our community and present a repertoire intended to uplift all.


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