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Texas Folklife to Receive Two National Endowment for the Arts Grants



Sheree Scarborough



Texas Folklife to Receive Two National Endowment for the Arts Grants


Awards are among 1,023 Made Nationally



Austin, Texas – May 6, 2015 – Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.


In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make a total of $ 75,000 in awards to Texas Folklife: a $40,000 Art Works award  to fund Stories from Deep in the Heart and a $35,000 State and Regional Partnerships award to fund the Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round.


NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the ones from Texas Folklife represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.

The NEA grants to Texas Folklife will go to support two of Texas Folklife’s highly successful programs. Stories from Deep in the Heart, a year-round program that trains high school students, teachers, and administrators in producing broadcast quality audio documentaries about the stories, folklore, and cultural traditions of their families and communities, was granted $40,000. Radio broadcasts and a website will make these documentaries available to the public.

As the NEA-designated Folk & Traditional Arts organization for the state of Texas, Texas Folklife has partnered with the Texas Commission on the Arts to revitalize their longstanding Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program, which received $35,000. Apprentices will be selected by an application process to work with master artists in a variety of disciplines.  Building on efforts to diversify the Big Squeeze, Texas Folklife’s statewide accordion contest for young players, a handful of apprenticeship spots will be reserved for Cajun/Zydeco and Polka accordion traditions. A series of public programs throughout the state will showcase the masters and their apprentices.

“Texas Folklife is happy to count on continued support from the NEA,” said Texas Folklife’s Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “Stories from Deep in the Heart is one our most popular current programs, while Texas Folklife’s longstanding Apprenticeship Program is foundational to our work. The NEA funds will help us go further toward achieving our mission to preserve and promote the state’s living heritage by building on this momentum and increasing awareness of the diverse arts and cultural traditions of Texas.”

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to


About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For 30 years, Texas Folklife has honored the cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.

1708 Houston St.

Austin, Texas 78756

(512) 441-9255

(844) 386-2091