National Council for the Traditional Arts to Receive $150,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan

DATE: Thursday, January 27, 2022
CONTACT: Lora Bottinelli, Executive Director, media@ncta-usa.org

Silver Spring, MD — National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. NCTA is recommended to receive $150,000 and may use this funding to save jobs that directly support its 2022 festivals and national folklife initiatives. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as NCTA, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.” 

“We at NCTA are humbled to be awarded these essential funds from the NEA that will enable us to meet the dynamic current landscape of public programs and the specific needs of the folk and traditional arts communities with whom we work throughout each season. Not only do our festivals employ hundreds of artists and staff from across the country, these programs carry the complex stories of the American people and the lifeways that are embodied through the expressions of the artists at these events,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of NCTA.

The NEA ARP grant will benefit NCTA staffing whose primary responsibility is the presentation of folk and traditional arts through nationally recognized festival programs for the 2022 season at events across the country. Funding will ensure the staffing needed to sustain programming that directly benefits 1,500+ traditional musicians, dancers, craftspeople, and other tradition-bearers. These funds serve as a catalyst for NCTA to be nimble to the continuing demands and challenges of the festival programs, which reach more than a million people through in-person and virtual platforms. These in-person events generate tens of millions in economic impact for the sponsoring communities in which we work.

For nearly 90 years, NCTA’s festivals have contributed significantly to their host communities’ cultural and economic vitality, bolstered awareness and pride for local histories and folkways, fostered appreciation for other cultures, and strengthened community bonds. Funds from the ARP will help us sustain our active roles in the Montana Folk Festival, Lowell Folk Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, and our flagship event, the National Folk Festival, currently in Salisbury, MD—and future community partners for the continued expansion of these traditional arts programs across the country in anticipation of the United States Semiquincentennial in 2026. 

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.

For more information about NCTA’s current programs, history and mission, please visit ncta-usa.org.

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