The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $60,000 to North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in support of programs for performing and visual artists.
NCCU’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program, directed by Department of Music Associate Professor Lenora Hammonds, received $10,000 for scholarships and visits by guest artists to enhance the education of students studying music, dance, theater and visual arts and other creative disciplines. The NEA support came as one of 1,144 grants available through Art Works, a major national funding initiative that celebrates creativity and cultural heritage and promotes mutual respect for differing beliefs.
The university also received funds through the NEA as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This $50,000 grant in will provide operating costs for the Teaching Artist Certificate Program.
According to Hammonds, NCCU was the only arts education program in the state to be funded for both Art Works and CARES. The university’s Teaching Artist Certificate, introduced in 2017, is a one-of-a-kind program offering comprehensive, online job-readiness training customized for artists who also teach.
Students learn skills such as how to design and implement arts experiences for general audiences, manage auditorium performances, engage in school residencies, and develop cultural-arts programs for educational and community-based organizations. The program helps teaching artists find innovative ways to work with schools and arts organizations as well as prisons, hospitals and other community-based programs.
NCCU faculty also are collaborating with the North Carolina Arts Council to facilitate a bi-weekly online forum, Teaching Artist Tuesdays. The series of lessons provides instruction and support for North Carolina’s teaching artists as they navigate the COVID-19 landscape. To register, please visit www.nccu.edu/teaching-artist-tuesdays.
“Teaching Artist Tuesdays is an important forum for sharing and discussion,” Hammonds said. “Through this work, artists may discover innovative ways to work with school teachers, arts organizations and inspiring ways for students to learn.”
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency dedicated to offering Americans opportunities to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.
Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts education and promotes equal access to the arts across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
For more information, contact Teaching Artist Certificate Program Director Lenora Hammonds at [email protected] or 919-530-6653.