NEA Awards $20,000 to Houston Symphony for Community-Embedded Musicians Initiative

NEA Awards $20,000 to Houston Symphony for Community-Embedded Musicians InitiativeNational Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $20,000 to Houston Symphony to support the Community-Embedded Musicians (CEM) initiative. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

"The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America's artists and arts organizations," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Houston Symphony, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences."

"We are honored to be selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for this generous support," said Mark C. Hanson, Executive Director and CEO, Margaret Alkek Williams Chair. "Every member of the Houston Symphony is committed to improving the quality of education in Greater Houston through access to the arts. This grant in support of the Community-Embedded Musicians program, which serves more than 16,000 Houstonians each year, will directly enhance the impact of the orchestra's growing education and community engagement activities."

The Houston Symphony is a national leader in developing innovative educational and community programming such as the CEM initiative, the first of its kind for a 52-week, full-time American orchestra. In addition to being talented musicians, the four CEMs have exceptional teaching ability and passion for community work. These musical ambassadors lead the program in a wide variety of education and community settings, providing everything from in-depth school residencies to health and wellness initiatives including musical therapy.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony's four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, visit or call 713-224-7575.

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