[Vancouver, WA]—National 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 $15,000 to the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, to bring Hawaiian Poet Laureate Kealoha Wong’s The Story of Everything to California in the Fall of 2017. 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 the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
“We are so grateful for NEA’s support and encouragement to bring The Story of Everything to a wider audience. We commend Kealoha for his creative vision, energy, and commitment to carry forward this outstanding performance, which helps audiences wrestle with the question of whether it is productive to polarize western science and Indigenous knowledge; to widen conversations about the intersections of culture and science, especially around climate change; and to motivate youth, especially Native Hawaiian youth, to see science as something doable” said NACF President and CEO Lulani Arquette.
The Story of Everything is an epic spoken word poem at the heart of a larger performance embracing dance, music, and visual imagery that focuses on climate change; explores big bang theory and evolution; and reminds listeners of the veracity of Indigenous knowledges.
Seven additional performers – including five dancers, five musicians, and a traditional chanter – will accompany Kealoha for the October performance and community outreach workshops for local schools, universities, and Native American tribes. Through partnership with Bioneers, an environmental, social justice non-profit located in San Francisco, and support from the Engaging the Senses Foundation, NACF is proud to bring The Story of Everything’s performance and outreach workshops to a multi-generational and multi-cultural audience to San Rafael in October 2017.
The Story of Everything has been supported by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Community Inspiration Program since 2015. To learn more about the social impact of The Story of Everything, please read our 2017 report Progressing Issues of Social Importance Through the Work of Indigenous Artists; A Social Impact Evaluation of the NACF’s Pilot Community Inspiration Program by clicking here.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov