January 21, 2016
The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (CAC)—The National Endowment for the Arts has announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award to the CAC to support Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort in March 2016 and zoe | juniper’s Clear & Sweet in September 2016.
In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives—no matter who you are or where you live—they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
“With the deepest gratitude to Jane Chu and the NEA, the CAC is pleased to present the work of these two stellar artists—violinist Regina Carter and choreographer Zoe Scofield. Alongside the beautiful music and unforgettable performances that they bring, we hope our audience finds this work to be a useful lens for investigating their own forbearers and heritage, the shared and unifying identities of the American South, and the deep and diverse roots of culture that weave throughout our region. On behalf of the CAC and our Board of Trustees, it is a great honor to bring these artists to the City of New Orleans as we begin the celebration of our 40th Anniversary Season.”
                                                                   —Neil A. Barclay
                                                                      CAC Director and CEO
Coming soon on March 11, 2016, the CAC will present Grammy Award-winning violinist Regina Carter’s performance of her new album, Southern Comfort. The performance will engage in a dialogue surrounding the region’s shared history and identity, exploring her family roots through the folk music of her childhood and that of her ancestors. As an artist that celebrates African Americans interested in history and cultural identity, the CAC hopes Regina Carter will draw in audiences to participate in a wider dialogue about identity and culture.
In September 2016, the CAC will present zoe | juniper’s Clear & Sweet, a multidisciplinary piece that incorporates dance, vocals, visuals, and Southern Baptist Sacred Harp Singing to explore choreographer Zoe Scofield’s complicated connection to her Southern roots. Using the format of Sacred Harp Singing as a starting point, the company will integrate singers throughout the audience to create an immersive experiential environment.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Founded by Congress in 1965, the NEA continues to shape America's cultural landscape through funding and support that gives Americans the opportunity to learn, affirm, and celebrate our rich and diverse cultural heritage while promoting equal access to the arts in every community across the country.
One of the NEA's core grant programs is Art Works, whose guiding principles underline its work. Art Works refers to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. In addition to traditional presenting programs, this area supports artistic works and events that present multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary art forms including performance art, interactive and participatory works, multimedia performance, and arts/science collaborations that go beyond the boundaries of a traditional art form. The NEA Art Works grant helps support presentations in the CAC's 2016 Spring and Fall Performing Arts Season. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov
The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a multidisciplinary arts center dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of the art of our time. Formed in 1976 by a passionate group of visual and performing artists when the movement to tear down the walls between visual and performing arts was active nationwide, the CAC expresses its mission by organizing world class curated exhibitions, performances, and public programs that educate and enlarge audiences for the arts while encouraging collaboration among diverse stakeholders composed of artists, institutions, communities, and supporters throughout the world.

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