FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 5, 2014
CITY OF ASYLUM RECEIVES NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS GRANT
PITTSBURGH, PA—National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced this week that City of Asylum is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.
City of Asylum is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support City of Asylum’s annual Jazz-Poetry concert.
City of Asylum’s Jazz-Poetry concert brings together musicians and poets from all over the world in a free, one-night-only collaborative performance. The acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer, Oliver Lake, serves as music director for the event; past participants have included Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, poets Yusef Komunyakaa, Toi Derricotte, and Joy Harjo, City of Asylum’s resident exiled writers Huang Xiang, Horacio Castellanos-Moya, Khet Mar, Israel Centeno, and Yaghoub Yadali, plus special guests such as the Flying Wallendas.
“In 2015, we’ll be celebrating our 11th annual Jazz-Poetry concert,” stated Henry Reese, co-founder and President of City of Asylum. “After more than a decade of Jazz-Poetry, I’m happy to announce that this generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts will help keep this very special community event free and accessible to all.”
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to City of Asylum. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”
Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov. Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.
About City of Asylum
Founded in 2004, City of Asylum is a model for arts-based community development, bringing writers, readers and neighbors together through global literature and cultural exchange. Located on Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s Northside, City of Asylum’s campus of redeveloped houses serve both as homes for exiled writers and as public artworks. It has presented more than 250 authors and musicians from 42 countries in free readings and concerts. Sampsonia Way, the publishing arm of City of Asylum, specializes in banned books in translation and anthologies of contemporary writing from countries where free speech is under threat; www.SampsoniaWay.org, its online journal of free speech, literature, and justice serves as a virtual home for persecuted writers and serves a growing global audience online.