American Guild of Organists Awarded $25,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programs and career development for organists, choral conductors, and composers in 2018, including the AGO National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 2–6. The Guild has received regular support from the NEA since 2005. The $25,000 “Art Works” grant matches the largest amount the arts endowment has ever given to the Guild.

“This grant covers the full breadth of the AGO’s educational activities for current and prospective members as well as our programs of outreach to the public,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “The AGO promotes lifelong learning opportunities ranging from Pipe Organ Encounters for beginning youth and adults to a professional certification program for organists and choral conductors. Thousands of people will benefit from educational workshops and extraordinary performances of organ and choral music at the AGO National Convention in Kansas City.”

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the American Guild of Organists, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring.”

“The NEA’s funding sends an uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people,” Thomashower added. “The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is created by talented composers, performed by skilled musicians, and appreciated by the widest audience possible. It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation.”

In February, the NEA announced that $25 million in grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in every state and across all artistic disciplines in 2018; $24 million of that is earmarked for Art Works, the NEA’s largest funding category. Art Works focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The NEA will give 936 Art Works grants to organizations in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in 2018. By comparison, the NEA awarded 970 Art Works grants totaling nearly $26 million in 2017.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, read the NEA’s full announcement here.

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