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Louisville Arts Group Receives $280,000 Grant

A Louisville artist collective is the recipient of a $280,000 grant to create a theatre production that will join Appalachian, West African and urban arts together, the group announced Monday.

Roots & Wings is one of 38 recipients of the National Grants Program from Artplace America, a collaboration between several foundations, federal agencies and financial institutions that supports community development through the arts.

There were nearly 1,300 applications for this year's grants. Another Kentucky-based project, Appalshop in Whitesburg, also received a 2015 grant. In 2014, Artplace America awarded a $250,000 grant to YouthBuild Louisville and IDEAS for work in Louisville's Smoketown neighborhood.

Roots & Wings is the producer of the West End Poetry Opera and the Smoketown Poetry Opera, multidisciplinary performances incorporating music, spoken word and dance.

The West End Poetry Opera was presented at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in May of this year, and again last weekend at the Smoketown Arts Festival.

Roots & Wings was created with the support of Bridge-Kids International and IDEAS. Other key partners include the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and Metro Louisville’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.