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Which Georgia arts groups won NEA grants?

Bringing “Angels” to Atlanta; making the BeltLine shine; giving female convicts (and ex-cons) a chance to create; introducing the Addams Family to Dunwoody; these are some of this year’s cultural events that will be supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The federal program supports the arts all over the United States, offering more than $25 million in grants to encourage every artistic discipline.

Art on the BeltLine benefits this year with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. File photo (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

This week, the NEA made its first major announcement of grants for the year 2018, which include 21 grants totaling $370,000 to nonprofit organizations in Georgia.

The Georgia groups receiving some of the largest awards were:

•The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Inc., which was given $40,000 to support the Working Artist Project, a boon to mid-career artists, who receive financial and material support and a one-person exhibit of their work.

•The Savannah Music Festival, which received $40,000 to help the city keep putting on one of the best cultural festivals in Georgia.

•Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, granted $25,000 to support a production of “King Hedley II” by August Wilson.

•Atlanta Shakespeare Company, also known as the Shakespeare Tavern, which won $20,000 to provide a training program to help bring the Bard to young people.

“These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”

Photographer Sheila Pree Bright (whose work is seen here) was a winner of a Working Artist Award in 2014, a program created by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia. MOCA will receive a grant this year from the National Endowment for the Arts to continue operating the Working Artist program. File photo (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

One of the programs supported by an NEA grant is the New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, which brings high school and college students from across the country to the Horizon Theatre, where they spend a week in intensive play writing workshops. It culminates in performances of their short works.

Hosted without charge to the 20-or-so participants, this year’s event, May 28 to June 2, will be the 20th annual festival.

“We are truly grateful for the support the NEA has provided,” said Horizon’s co-artistic director Lisa Adler, “for not only Horizon and our commitment to the growth and education of young artists, but to so many other significant arts events and programs in the Atlanta area.”

This year’s NEA grants will also support a production of “Angels in America” by the Actors Express company; help a program that brings artwork to the BeltLine; allow Reforming Arts to offer arts education classes to incarcerated women; and assist the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in producing a theatrical version of “The Addams Family.”

The full list is here.

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