The Brattleboro Reformer, December 30, 2013

GUILFORD -- National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa recently announced that Vermont Performance Lab is one of 895 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Vermont Performance Lab is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support research and development residencies and the presentation of new works by three nationally and internationally known choreographers: Sara East Johnson, of Brooklyn, Alex Ketley, of San Francisco, and Thierry Thieû Niang, Paris.

In May 2014, VPL will partner with the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts to bring French Vietnamese choreographer Thieû Niang to New England for a three-week workshop and residency where he will work with 25 local participants ages 60 to 90 to stage a powerful reimagining of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

In June 2014, VPL will embark on a composer-choreographer residency with Johnson and her company LAVA to support creation and development of Ancestors, a full-length hybrid circus/dance work in collaboration with DJ Tikka Masala and Mamie Minch.

In August 2014, Ketley will arrive to Vermont for a five-week residency with VPL where the aim is for Ketley to become acquainted with rural communities in Vermont through dancing. Dancing and stories will be captured to create a dance film, "No Hero Vermont."

"VPL promotes synergistic collaborations between artists and local residents, and supports the desire of many artists to make new work in ways that extend beyond the walls of the studio or theater," said VPL Director Sara Coffey. "We are thrilled to have the support of the NEA that enables us to bring these national and international artists to our communities where they can both develop their work and engage deeply with our community."

Vermont Performance Lab is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Over the last seven years, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 1,700 students, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities.