NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES GRANT FOR GWINNETT BALLET THEATRE’S THE DANCE PROJECT
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced a $10,000 matching grant awarded to Gwinnett Ballet Theatre in support of The Dance Project, an educational initiative providing dance education for children in Title 1 schools in Gwinnett County.
Initially supporting “The Dance Project” with matching funds are The Hudgens Family Foundation and the Target Foundation. The Dance Project is now supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works. Palmetto Grant Consultants were actively supportive in receiving these grants.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre began The Dance Project in 2005 as outreach to neighboring Shiloh Elementary School. With the studio’s move to Lawrenceville in 2012, The Dance Project also moved its focus and scope. Under the leadership of Whitney Sue Jones, the program has been expanded and academically enhanced. Ms. Jones is a teacher at Magill Elementary as well as an instructor and alumna of GBT.
The NEA grant along with the Hudgens Family Foundation and the Target Foundation will allow 108 young students from Title 1 schools in Gwinnett to participate in a total of 16 weeks of ballet classes over the school year. The project includes classes as well as dancewear and shoes, instructional handouts and cd’s, plus tickets to GBT’s The Nutcracker and GBT’s Spring Concert. Children showing aptitude and a desire to continue their dance education are eligible to enter the GBT Scholarship Program.
GBT Artistic Director Wade Walthall says, “The benefits of dance training are undeniable. The discipline provides physical, mental, and spiritual development that continues to provide assets throughout life. For this reason it is important to reach out to diverse communities. We at Gwinnett Ballet Theatre are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for the possibility to do so. We also thank everyone else involved in this valuable endeavor.”
The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to encouraging excellent arts engagement opportunities for people of all ages. The Arts Engagement in American Communities grant program is designed to help organizations in underserved communities become familiar with the NEA's grant making process and learn to write competitive grant applications. Each fiscal year, the NEA identifies communities which have not been successful in applying for NEA funding. NEA staff then works with organizations in these communities to submit grant applications. Like all NEA grant making, these grant applications are then reviewed for artistic excellence and artistic merit.
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