FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky poet and five Kentucky arts organizations will benefit from nearly $150,000 in grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works funding for federal fiscal year 2013, the agency announced.

The arts organizations will receive a combined $123,500 in funding. In addition, Kentucky poet Sarah Gorham, of Prospect, has been awarded a $25,000 NEA Literature Fellowship. Gorham is also president and editor of Sarabande Books, a small press devoted to the publication of poetry, short fiction and literary nonfiction. Sarabande Books will receive an Art Works grant as well.

“Year after year the NEA funds the work of Kentucky artists, arts organizations and other entities, showing its support for the people of the Commonwealth who are dedicated to work in the arts,” said Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency. “I congratulate all of the grant recipients and thank the NEA for its continued support of the arts in Kentucky.”

The NEA, an independent agency of the federal government, will award 832 grants totaling $23.3 million through its Art Works funding category. Nonprofit arts organizations in 47 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive funding. The supported projects span 13 artistic disciplines and fields and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. In addition, the NEA will award Creative Writing Fellowships to 40 outstanding poets for a total of $1 million.

All five arts organizations are arts council Kentucky Arts Partnership grantees. Following are brief descriptions of the NEA grants and recipients:

Actors Theatre Of Louisville, $50,000: To support the 37th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, a showcase of new theatrical work featuring American playwrights. Actors Theatre will fully produce seven full-length plays, multiple 10-minute plays, and an anthology project to be performed by its Acting Apprentice Company.

Appalshop, Whitesburg, $15,000: To support the Appalachian Media Institute youth media programs for high school students. Professional independent filmmakers and media artists will teach students the history, aesthetics, ethics, and practice of documentary media, resulting in the production of documentary films and radio programs.

Sarah Gorham, Prospect, $25,000 Literature Fellowship: The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement.

Kentucky Opera Association, Louisville, $12,500: To support the development and premiere of “The King's Man,” as part of the Composer Workshop collaboration. The one-act opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and librettist Terry Teachout is set in 1785 and will focus on the estranged relationship between Benjamin Franklin and his son William Franklin.

Lexington Philharmonic, $16,000: To support a residency by the chamber sextet Eighth Blackbird. Culminating in a performance of composer Jennifer Higdon's concerto for sextet, “On a Wire,” the three-day residency will feature the ensemble in a Kicked Back Classics Concert of chamber music, a pre-concert Inside the Score lecture, open rehearsals for middle and high school students, school concerts, and a new music reading session for high school and college students and amateur musicians.

Sarabande Books, Louisville, $30,000: To support the publication and promotion, including two video trailers, of print and e-books by Laura Kasischke, Patricia Vigderman, Joanne Dominque Dwyer, Thomas Heise and Kiki Petrosino. The press also will publish Red Holler, an anthology of contemporary Appalachian poetry, prose, and graphic narratives.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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