National Endowment for the Arts


NEA Funding Will Support Educational Programs in 2019

NEW YORK CITY — The American Guild of Organists (AGO) has been awarded a $20,000 Art Works grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support educational programs and career development for organists and choral conductors in 2019. The Guild has received regular support from the NEA since 2005 totaling $200,000.

“It is an honor for the Guild to be recognized again by the NEA, the most prestigious independent federal agency in the United States responsible for funding and promoting artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation,” stated AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “This Art Works 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.”

The AGO promotes lifelong learning opportunities ranging from Pipe Organ Encounters (POEs) for youth and adults to a professional certification program for organists and choral conductors. This summer, more than 100 participants are expected to attend POEs, which include a POE Advanced and a POE Technical, while more than 100 people will improve their skills and opportunities for employment through the Professional Certification Program. Thousands of people will benefit from educational workshops and extraordinary performances of organ and choral music at seven AGO Regional Conventions held from coast to coast this summer.

Art Works is the NEA’s principal grant making program. In February, the Arts Endowment stated that it received 1,605 Art Works applications for this round of grant making, and will award 972 grants in this category totaling $27 million. “The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The NEA’s funding sends a positive, uplifting message to the entire organ community: our instrument and its music are vitally important to the American people,” Thomashower added. “NEA grants such as this represent our tax dollars at work. The award validates the AGO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that music for the organ is appreciated by the widest audience possible.”

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, visit


  1. Siri Sokol says:

    Do you admit female memberships?

    • Bill Valentine says:

      Dear Siri,

      The American Guild of Organists does not discriminate against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, disability, or medical condition. You can find a link to our Code of Professional Standards on our website:

      Bill Valentine

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