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. This week, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $20,000 to Red Hen Press to help publish the promotion of two books of poetry, and one book of nonfiction in both print and electronic formats. 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 hone Red Hen Press offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
Red Hen Press Managing Editor Kate Gale was equally enthusiastic, saying “The core mission of this press involves publishing books, and it’s oddly the hardest part to get funded. To receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts doesn’t just help get our books out there, it also helps validate the press for local foundations.”
The press plans to publish poets Katharine Coles and Brynn Saito, and nonfiction author Seema Reza. Red Hen will get their works national syndication, help the authors set up events and readings, as well as connect the titles to other writers and media outlets. Coles and Saito are both established authors who use Red Hen’s commitment to diversity for their most cherished projects, but the press is also able, through its relations with NEA and other foundations to give first time authors like Reza a major platform for their work.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFa1115. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.