NHSO Director Elaine Carroll during an "instrument petting zoo" at one of the NHSO's family concerts last year. Lucy Gellman Photo.
Four New Haven organizations have received a total $105,000 in the latest round of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). With the funding, which comes from NEA's Art Works grant program, they will be embarking on projects that range from community-based performances to exhibitions that talk across local collections.
In New Haven, grants will be going to a range of projects. Downtown, the Yale Repertory Theatre has received $30,000 for its production of Mary Kathryn Nagle's Manhatta, a work about the erasure of Native bodies from their land that premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2018. The New Haven production, which will be directed by Laurie Woolery, marks the East Coast premiere of the work. It runs Jan. 24 through Feb. 15.
Just a stone's throw away in the Ninth Square, Artspace New Haven has received $20,000 for an exhibition that will feature original, commissioned work from artists responding to objects housed at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Helen Kauder, executive director of the organization, explained that 12 artists will be tasked with responding to the museum's 12 collection areas, as a way to "keep the Peabody alive in the public imagination while it is closed for renovations."
The exhibition is slated for May of 2021; artists will begin work on it this summer.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas has received $40,000 to support programming for its June 2020 festival, which marks its 25th anniversary year in New Haven. At the time the grant was received, the proposed projects included "collaborations between physical theater ensemble Chaliwaté Company and puppetry company Focus; choreographers Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott; and musician Kaki King and data visualization designer Giorgia Lupi," according to the NEA's grant reporting system.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra, which last year welcomed Maestro Alasdair Neale as its new music director, has received $15,000 for concert programming that explores what it means to be an outsider, what it means to be an insider, and where those conceptions come from. In addition to one of its large classical concerts, it will be using the funding for some of its family programming and Harmony Quartet community concerts later in the spring.
As Carroll explained, Price started integrating both indigenous music and Black spirituals into her work early in her career, which was an extremely prolific one. Dvořák, who was white and European, came to the U.S. and wrote his ninth symphony "From The New World" inspired by many of the same sounds. But "she basically disappeared from history"—only one of Price's works was played during her lifetime—and he went down as one of world's greatest composers.
"People to this day say Florence Price sounds like Dvořák," she said. "And it's like, no, maybe Dvořák sounds like Price."
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression," said NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter in a press release Wednesday afternoon. "These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.”