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National Endowment for the Arts issues grants

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#1 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

It appears that the current round of grants includes more for developing new forms of expression, and less for support of some more conventional programs. In particular, some shows that have received grants for decades saw their grants reduced substantially. The Metropolitan Opera saw Great Performances grant cut, and saw the grant for Live from Lincoln Center ended.

Performance Today from APM saw its grant slashed as well.

Paula Kerger, PBS’s president and chief executive, called the reduced grants “disappointing.”

“The N.E.A. and PBS have been longtime partners,” she said in a telephone interview. “We do what is the mission of the N.E.A. We bring arts to every home across the country.”

She said that while she understands the endowment’s problem of balancing traditional and innovative projects, “for us this is a huge impact, and we have to scramble and try to fill the gap,” adding that she is particularly concerned about “American Masters,” “Great Performances” and “Live From Lincoln Center,” which the endowment helped to create in 1976.

Neal Shapiro, the president and chief executive of WNET, said that if “Great Performances” and “American Masters” could not make up the funds elsewhere “then obviously we cannot help as many regional arts organizations and independent filmmakers share their work with the nation.”

A Lincoln Center spokeswoman, Betsy Vorce, said that “while we regret any cut, we’re hopeful that the money will be restored next year,” adding that “Live From Lincoln Center” would not be “materially affected.”

Other programs receiving less than in 2011 include “The PBS NewsHour,” whose $50,000 is half that of last year; the documentary series “Independent Lens” which also got $50,000, down from $170,000; and the documentary series “POV,” which received $100,000, down from $250,000.

WNET did receive $75,000 toward production of a new series, “The Elastic Animation Festival,” and its companion Web site, and PBS received $50,000 for creation of mobile applications. A number of individual documentaries and smaller PBS programs also received funds, as in years past when the category was Arts on Radio and Television.

Among the radio grants were two to NPR totaling $120,000 to support music programs and Alt.Latino, a podcast about Latin alternative music. American Public Media sustained a major cut to its classical music programming, including “Performance Today,” receiving $20,000, down from $150,000 last year.

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