Seattle's Music of Remembrance Awarded NEA Art Works Grant

$15,000 Grant Will Help Support MOR’s Sparks of Glory Outreach Programs

Seattle, WA (May 1st, 2013)—National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa has announced its recommendation for a grant of $15,000 to Music of Remembrance (MOR). MOR is the only independent organization in the U.S. devoted to performing the music of Holocaust-era composers and musicians, to educating people of all ages about those artists’ extraordinary legacy of resistance to tyranny and oppression and to commissioning new Holocaust-inspired music by today’s leading composers. The NEA grant will help support MOR’s Sparks of Glory outreach program.  This unique program features a series of free public concerts-with-commentary, combined with performances and educational presentations at schools, colleges and community centers. Seattle-based MOR is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA “Art Works” grant.

Sparks of Glory is a series that connects us with diverse audiences around Seattle and across the state,” said MOR Artistic Director Mina Miller. “We will return to the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle and bring our programs to a broad range of other partners across Western and Central Washington. The NEA’s support is crucial because it allows us to offer these concerts free-of-charge to new listeners who will discover a remarkable musical and moral legacy.”

Through these concerts, MOR’s audiences explore rarely-heard Holocaust-era music as well as contemporary responses to the Holocaust. At every concert, Miller introduces the program and discusses 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 primarily from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony.

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts."

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for “Art Works” grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. “Art Works” grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff, and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

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. MOR also received an NEA grant for its 2011-12 season to support its commission of the musical drama Another Sunrise by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

About Music of Remembrance
Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique 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. MOR has also produced six CDs—five on Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label—and two documentaries, both by award-winning filmmaker John Sharify. 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.

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