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Clifton Center Receives $30,000 NEA Grant For Louisville Heritage Festivals

The Clifton Center

The Clifton Center has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to fund their Louisville Heritage Festivals, a series of four mini-festivals celebrating musical traditions from around the world.

This grant from the NEA is classified as an Art Works grant, a category that focuses on “the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.”

"The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Clifton Center, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts," NEA Chairman Jane Chu said in a release. "Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer."

Cynthia Adelberg is the Clifton Center’s interim executive director. She says the Louisville Heritage Festivals are modeled on successful recent programs like "Into the Garden: A Festival of Iraqi Art and Culture" and the "Celebration of Kentucky Mountain Music."  Each festival will feature a variety of activities.

“They might take Appalachian music and have a dance program,” Adelberg says. “They may take a couple of the artists into some of the neighborhood schools. They will have panel discussions, maybe a situation where different musicians might get to jam with the stars or the folks who are brought.”

Adelberg says the Center focuses on providing a multi-faceted event that will appeal to a diverse audience.

“And I think that’s what appeals to the NEA,” she says. “It brings people together in a bit deeper way to understand the culture they are focusing on.”

The project team will be led by John Harris, former executive director of the Clifton Center, and will include Nathan Salsburg, Louisville guitarist, author, and curator of the Lomax Archive. Details, including dates of the individual festivals, will be announced in January.