Eric Peters takes part in an aerial rope act during the Virtual Wise Fool Teen Circus Performance. Wise Fool New Mexico received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce a new project. (Courtesy of Eric Peters)
The National Endowment for the Arts announced its latest round of grants to arts organizations.
Fifteen New Mexico organizations will receive a total of $1,162 million from the NEA.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”
The NEA announced more than $91 million in grants which are broken up into three funding categories — Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships.
Santa Fe-based Wise Fool New Mexico will receive $30,000 from the NEA.
According to Wise Fool, the grant will be used to develop a bold and creative public production that will raise awareness about local racial injustice issues.
Wise Fool co-Executive Directors Oriana Lee, Alishiya Kapoor, and Kristen Woods said the organization is overjoyed to be chosen by the NEA.
“Wise Fool is a Social Circus organization, and our productions are designed to communicate across cultures, often without using a language,” the trio said. “Our giant puppets elevate and make issues more visible, more discernible; they also help break down prejudiced opinions and call to action. We can’t wait to work on this production since the topic of racial inequality is close to our heart.”
The trio said this year’s production will be thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, filled with circus acts, and capitalize on our impressive puppets and costumes. “Through dialogue between performers and the audience, we aim to build community, raise awareness, and stimulate a collective articulation of cultural respect. This will be a collaborative project between individual artists and organizations that share our engagement in social justice, multicultural equality, and reaching low-income communities,” they said. “The production will premiere in Santa Fe, and afterwards, we will offer smaller performances in schools, cultural centers, and the neighboring pueblo communities as part of our community outreach in 2023.”
Other NM organizations to get grants are:
$10,000 — Basement Films Inc. of Albuquerque.
$10,000 — Flamenco Works, Inc. of Albuquerque
$15,000 — Keshet Dance Company (aka Keshet) in Albuquerque.
$25,000 — Outpost Productions, Inc. (aka Outpost) in Albuquerque.
$20,000 — STEMart’s Lab in El Prado.
$10,000 — Zoeglossia Inc. in Las Cruces.
$30,000 — Center in Santa Fe.
$75,000 — Littleglobe Productions in Santa Fe.
$827,400 — New Mexico Arts at Santa Fe.
$25,000 — Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools.
$15,000 — Santa Fe Pro Musica in Santa Fe.
$20,000 — YouthWorks, Inc. of Santa Fe.
$10,000 — Paseo Project in Taos.
$40,000 — New Mexico State University Main Campus (on behalf of New Mexico State University Art Museum) at Las Cruces.
According to the NEA, the NMSU grant will be for “Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium,” an exhibition of devotional altarpiece paintings that are historically significant to Latin American cultures.
“This exhibition will include work by the museum’s permanent collection with new works by contemporary Latinx artists,” the NEA released.