Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant to Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington for its Teaching Artist Studio, a professional development program for teaching artists.

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus 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/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“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 Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, 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.”

[TA Studio] addresses a critical need in the community for training for underserved arts educators.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is a gold standard for quality arts education programs,” said Cary Clarke, Executive Director of Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington. “We are deeply honored to be recognized with an NEA Art Works grant. This investment in our Teaching Artist Studio program will help teaching artists throughout our region grow as educators and attain a new level of excellence in meeting the diverse arts learning needs of all children in our region.”

Young Audiences’ Teaching Artist Studio (TA Studio) is a professional development program for teaching artists in Oregon and SW Washington. TA Studio facilitators work with artists from all disciplines and media—performing, visual, literary, digital, and more—to empower them in their practice and enhance their impact on students’ lives and education. Launched in 2013, this program is the only in-depth, teaching artist–focused professional development offering in Oregon. It addresses a critical need in the community for training for underserved arts educators, and builds on other local arts education training efforts.

“This federal funding will leverage the generous support of our local community and ensure that more young people derive the transformative benefits of creativity in their classrooms,” said Clarke. “The impact in our region—and in kids’ and artists’ lives—will be profound.” Young Audiences’ TA Studio is also supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust this year.

Founded in 1958 as an affiliate of the country’s largest arts-in-education organization, Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington has grown into the region’s primary provider of in-school arts programs. Young Audiences offers a wide range of artist residencies, workshops, and performances in a variety of art forms across multiple cultures to over 72,000 children each year.

Since the appointment of Executive Director Cary Clarke in 2013, Young Audiences has become an even stronger and more relevant organization by launching an array of new, responsive programs. These include community-focused programs like the TA Studio, which is led by Tony Fuemmeler and Briana Linden, as well as collaborations with schools such as the Business of Music program, which pairs professional composers with a high school choir to create and perform new compositions and teach about careers in music.

For more information on the Young Audiences Teaching Artist Studio, visit

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

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