$20,000 Grant Will Help Support Six Free Public Concerts & Six School Visits
SEATTLE, WA—May 19, 2011—Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, today announced that Seattle-based Music of Remembrance has been recommended for a grant of $20,000 to help support six free Sparks of Glory concerts-with-commentary. The series integrates live concerts of Holocaust-related music with Holocaust education. Music of Remembrance is one of 1,145 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency’s second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute more than $88 million to support projects nationwide.
An independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts advances artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”
Praised for its performances of Holocaust-era chamber music by composers banned or murdered by Nazis, Seattle’s Music of Remembrance is equally well-known for its critically acclaimed commissions of new works by American composers. The NEA has been a supporter of MOR’s Sparks of Glory Musical Witness series from its inaugural days, but this is the organization’s largest grant from the NEA to date, and it may speak to their understanding of how well the popular program works.
Explained MOR Artistic Director Mina Miller, “Sparks of Glory is a visiting series that lets us meet up with different audiences around Seattle. We will visit our two current partners, the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle, and Historic Seattle’s Good Shepherd Center in the Wallingford neighborhood. We also plan to perform at a downtown senior residence, and on Mercer Island. The NEA’s support is crucial because these are all free concerts, to help new listeners discover the remarkable musical legacy that we perform.”
MOR is the only independent organization in the U.S. devoted to performing the music of Holocaust-era composers and musicians, and raising awareness of the artistic resistance that the Third Reich encountered. Over the season, the series of 90-minute concerts will give audiences a chance to explore rarely heard Holocaust-era works as well as contemporary responses to the Holocaust. At every concert, Artistic Director Mina Miller will introduce the works, give a short biography of the composers, and discuss the musical, historical and social context of each piece. The concerts are briefer than MOR’s mainstage presentations at Benaroya Hall, but they feature the same leading chamber musicians, drawn frequently from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony.
Besides the six Sparks of Glory community concerts, MOR also plans to make six on-site visits to educational institutions. Each visit will be associated with one of the Sparks of Glory programs, with Artistic Director Mina Miller giving a multimedia presentation on the Holocaust era and its music, and hosting a Q&A with students and musicians.
About Music of Remembrance
Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique spiritual and cultural role in Seattle and throughout the United States by remembering Holocaust musicians and their art through musical performances, educational programs, musical recordings and commissions of new works. Since its 1998-99 inaugural year, MOR has presented two major concerts annually at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) each fall and Holocaust Remembrance Day each spring. Since 2005-06, MOR’s Sparks of Glory outreach series has combined free public concerts with commentary by Artistic Director Mina Miller, reaching beyond the concert hall through performance residencies around Seattle. More information available at www.musicofremembrance.org.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.