For many writers groups and nonprofit literary organizations battered by the recession, help is on the way. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by president Barack Obama in February, included fifty million dollars in arts funding that is being allocated by the National Endowment for the Arts.
funding for the arts
David Grant, president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, announced this week that he will step down by June 2010. Grant has helmed the New Jersey-based philanthropic organization—best known as the sponsor of the Dodge Poetry Festival—since 1998.
Officials at Louisiana State University (LSU) say funding cuts under consideration by the state legislature could threaten the survival of the Southern Review and LSU Press. The revered literary journal and the state’s only university-supported publishing house were among those singled out in the university's preliminary budget reduction proposal.
The New England Review has until the end of 2011 to become self-supporting or it will lose its sponsorship, Middlebury College announced this week. The thirty-year-old magazine was included in a list of recommended cuts released on Tuesday by the Vermont college’s Budget Oversight Committee.
President Obama announced yesterday that he has nominated Rocco Landesman, a theatre owner and producer, as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Landseman, whose appointment must be confirmed by Congress, will fill the post recently vacated by Dana Gioia.
Copper Canyon Press is the latest publisher to receive an International Literary Exchange Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The public agency announced last Thursday that the press, based in Port Townsend, Washington, will receive $117,000 to support the translation, publication, and promotion of a bilingual anthology of Chinese poetry.
Although the current recession is hammering all sectors of the literary economy, including publishers of books and magazines, booksellers, and service organizations—not to mention writers themselves—one of the community's smallest but most important components is proving particularly vulnerable.
Since Dana Gioia was named chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in January, the organization has awarded nearly $1 million to poets and translators of poetry and over $2 million to literary arts organizations. But the highest profile project of Gioia’s term so far begins this month, when six theater companies—from New York City; Chicago; Minneapolis; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Portland, Oregon—will begin a yearlong tour of 100 small and midsized cities across the U.S. to perform a selection of plays by William Shakespeare. A seventh theater company will tour 16 U.S. military bases.