(Beverly Hills, CA June 16, 2017) For the first time in its young history, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council with three separate grants for its Dance @ The Wallis and GRoW @ The Wallis programs. The grants were announced this week at the NEA in Washington, D.C., and at the California Arts Council’s headquarters in Sacramento, California.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Work Grant:
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 $10,000 to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Wallis’ first. The Arts Work Grant will support Dance @ The Wallis in 2017-18, which will present seven distinct engagements of six dance companies, several of which will be based in Los Angeles, such as Daniel Ezralow’s Ezralow Dance next month and Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance project which begins a year-long residency in October. Performances will take place in the Bram Goldsmith Theater, and The Wallis will engage partnerships with local schools to arrange for K-12 students to attend weekday matinee performances. In addition, free tickets will be offered to local social service organizations.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
“The Wallis’ board, staff and community are deeply honored to receive first-time funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to support Dance @ The Wallis, a vital and exciting part of our programming,” said Rachel Fine, The Wallis’ Managing Director. “The Wallis intends to play an integral role in the establishment of Southern California as a major center for dance, and this grant from the NEA provides both generous funding and tremendous validation for our ambitious goals, which include becoming a home for outstanding Los Angeles-based dance companies.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.
About the California Arts Council’s Artists in Schools “Exposure” Grant:
The California Arts Council’s Artists in Schools “Exposure” grant of $16,000 will support GRoW @The Wallis’ School Partners Program that serves nearly 10,000 underserved pre-K through 12th grade students through matinee performances, in-school workshops, professional development for teachers, and arts activities. Students receive multiple opportunities to experience performances on The Wallis’ stages and receive arts education programs on their campuses.
The CAC “Veterans Initiative in the Arts” grant for $6,000 seeks to increase equity, access and opportunities for veterans to participate in quality arts programming that is sensitive and responsive to their unique experiences. The program provides project and partnership support for nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies and veterans’ assistance agencies to reach veterans, active military and their families. The Wallis’ recent partnership with CRE Outreach brought together seven veterans whose true stories were woven together to create The Hero Within presented on the Lovelace Studio Theater stage this past April. The Wallis plans to collaborate with CRE Outreach on a similar project in the 2017-18 season.
“We know the benefits of arts education—to improve test performance, reduce dropout rates and increase participation in higher learning,” said Donn K. Harris, California Arts Council Chair. “The Wallis’ School Partners Program, which will serve pre-kindergarten through twelfth graders through our Artists in Schools Exposure program, allows students to step outside the classroom for real-life arts immersion. Opportunities like these help fuel the fire and drive necessary within our youth to prepare them for success in school, in the workforce and in their communities.”
“The work of The Wallis is also indelible to the veteran community,” continued Harris. “Providing an outlet for creative expression promotes healing and camaraderie, and prevents the marginalization of our military members. The California Arts Council is proud to support arts engagement programming for those who have served or are serving.”
“All of us at The Wallis are thankful and deeply honored to receive this recognition for our GRoW @ The Wallis initiatives,” said Fine. “It is our mission to make the arts accessible to the greater Los Angeles community. The support from Gregory and Regina Weingarten along with the Annenberg Foundation, our Board and our many educational and outreach partners, and the tireless work of the education staff under Mark Slavkin’s leadership have moved GRoW @ The Wallis to the forefront of arts educators in California.”
The Wallis is one of 49 grantees chosen for these programs. The news of The Wallis’ grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed online at http://arts.ca.gov/news/pressreleases.php.
To view a complete listing of all Veterans Initiative in the Arts grantees, visit http://arts.ca.gov/programs/files/CAC_VIA_Grantees_2016-17_FINAL.pdf.
About the NEA
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit www.arts.gov to learn more about NEA.
About the California Arts Council
The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.
Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.
About GRoW @ The Wallis
GRoW @ The Wallis, a gift of Gregory and Regina Weingarten and The Annenberg Foundation, is the innovative and comprehensive education campus with a slate of offerings that collectively serve more than 10,000 learners of all ages each year. Arts education is integral to the mission of The Wallis, and GRoW has enabled the institution to work towards its highest education goals: connecting audiences with the very best in the performing arts; fostering the next generation of performing artists and audiences; using the power of the arts to build community and address pressing social issues; and responding to critical needs in the greater community through arts leadership, collaboration and partnership.
About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 175 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 28 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards since opening in 2013, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW @ The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. For more information, visit www.thewallis.org.