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6 OC Organizations Win NEA Grants
The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that it will award $27.7 million to support 1,126 projects in 49 states plus American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and Guam in the first round of FY 2016 funding.  Included in this round of grants are awards to 6 Orange County organizations, totaling $150,000.:
To support the exhibition "Your Body is a Space That Sees" with an accompanying catalogue. The exhibition will display a series of approximately 40 original, large-scale artworks by Lia Halloran utilizing cliche verre, a 19th-century photographic process, to create cyanotype prints sourced from Harvard University's historic collection of astronomical glass plates. The exhibition and catalogue will highlight the contributions of women in astronomy. Concurrent public activities will include lectures, panel discussions, gallery talks, and a dedicated project blog.
To support a contemporary art exhibition and associated activities. 
To support the Dance and Movement Portfolio, which will include the presentation of international and national artists. Artists to be presented may include the Akram Khan-Israel Galvan dance collaboration "Torobaka" (England), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in a program designed for Irvine Barclay Theater's 25th anniversary. The Portfolio also may feature Jessica Lang Dance in collaboration with architect Renzo Piano, and Diavolo, with a week-long residency culminating in the premiere of "L.O.S.T." In addition, the project will include a residency and work-in-progress showing of emerging local company Backhausdance. Education and outreach activities will include master classes and discussions at schools and dance organizations. Additional activities will feature cross-disciplinary discussions with university students and faculty as a partner in University of California Irvine's Illuminations Arts and Culture Initiative, and lectures, special events, and social media activities for the public.
To support the annual American Composers Festival, celebrating the works of the late composer Stephen Paulus (1949-2014). The festival, titled Organ Splendor, will be conducted by Music Director Carl St. Clair and will feature organ compositions by Paulus, such as "Pilgrim's Hymn" and Organ Concerto No. 4. The program will include additional repertoire for the organ, such as "Lux Aeterna" by Morten Lauridsen and a world premiere of a new work by Wayne Oquin. Performances by the orchestra and guest organists Paul Jacobs and Christoph Bull, will be held at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall featuring the 4,300-pipe C.B. Fisk organ.
To support the presentation of performances celebrating the work of American composers. Titled American Icons: John Adams, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, the project will celebrate the three composers' significant birthdays: Philip Glass's 80th and the 70th for both John Adams and Steve Reich. Programming will feature performances by artists such as Glass, pianist Maki Namekawa, the Bang On A Can All-Stars, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as well as teaching artist John Zeretzke, who may lead public workshops exploring the connections between the works by Reich and non-Western music. Concerts and events will be held at venues such as the Irvine Barclay Theatre, the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, and Logan Creative.
To support the annual Pacific Playwrights Festival. The festival will feature world premiere productions and staged readings of previously unproduced plays by established playwrights and emerging writers. Previous festivals have featured world premiere productions of "Of Good Stock" by Melissa Ross, and "Mr. Wolf" by Rajiv Joseph, as well as staged readings of "Going to a Place Where You Already Are" by Bekah Brunstetter, "The Whistleblower" by Itamar Moses, and "Orange: an illustrated play" by Aditi Brennan Kapil.



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Poet & Former NEA Chair Dana Gioia Appointed California Poet Laureate 


Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Dana Gioia as California Poet Laureate.

The role of the California Poet Laureate is to spread the art of poetry and creative expression from classrooms to boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists and enthusiasts, and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced our great state through creative literary expression.

Over the course of a two-year term, the California Poet Laureate provides public readings and engagement in urban and rural locations across the state, educates civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression, and undertakes a significant cultural project.

Gioia succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera who served in the position from 2012 to 2014 and now serves as United States Poet Laureate.

Gioia, 64, of Santa Rosa, has been the Judge Widney professor of poetry and public culture at the University of Southern California since 2011.  Gioia was born in Hawthorne, California, the son of a Sicilian father and a Mexican mother. He attended Junipero Serra High School in Gardena and became the first person in his family to attend college.

As chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009, Gioia launched several nationwide programs to expand public support for the arts and for arts education, with a focus on fostering youth creativity and expression. These initiatives include the Poetry Out Loud contest for high school students, the Big Read program to promote community reading initiatives across the country and Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a project to support returning troops and their families.

The California native's body of work has received wide critical acclaim, including his 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter? which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award and triggered national discussion on the role of poetry in American public culture. Gioia is also a winner of the American Book Award and was honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008 for his public service in support of the arts.

If you visit Mission Viejo, reside there, work there or study there, the City of Mission Viejo seeks your input on its arts offerings in a brief online survey here by DECEMBER 10 at 12 Noon.
Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. 
It is a powerhouse in advancing Orange County's arts ecology, a trailblazer in advocating workforce development through arts education, a leader in building future audiences and a trendsetter in the world of nonprofit arts councils.

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