The International Storytelling Center (ISC), home to the world-renowned National Storytelling Festival and Storytelling Live! Teller-in-Residence series, has been awarded two major grants: a $100,000 Humanities Access Matching Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and a $30,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The NEH Access Grant was awarded based on projects aimed to provide cultural programming to underserved groups in our region and across the nation. ISC will focus the funds on expanding outreach efforts to serving youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations. “The humanities help us study our past, understand our present, and prepare for our future,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to support projects that will benefit all Americans and remind us of our shared human experience.”
The NEA Art Works grant will directly support Storytelling Live!, a seasonal artist residency program with master artists representing a broad range of storytelling traditions from the United States and abroad. In addition to storytelling performances, the artists will offer workshops and present special programs intended to serve seniors and youth. “The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the International Storytelling Center, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
Both endowments are celebrating fifty years of supporting research and programming for the arts and humanities. As the National Storytelling Festival approaches its own 50th anniversary, the funds are expected to help celebrate the festival’s rich history by broadly publicizing the festival’s important accomplishments over five decades. “We are honored to have the support of these prestigious organizations who value excellence in the arts and humanities,” said Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the ISC. “Storytelling connects with the lives of people. It creates a shared experience. When we connect through stories, empathize with someone else, we see our shared humanity- a key foundation for building a better world.”