Vermont Performance Lab Receives Grant from National Endowment for the Arts to Support Contemporary Dance Creation in Vermont

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One of 895 NEA Art Works Grants Funded Nationwide

Guilford, VT — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced on December 11, 2013 that Vermont Performance Lab is one of 895 nonprofit 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 (Brooklyn, NY), Alex Ketley (San Francisco, CA) and Thierry Thieû Niang (Paris, France).

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

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."

VPL Director Sara Coffey says "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. 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."

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) 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.
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