The Baltimore School for the Arts Foundation has received a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support TWIGS, its free multidisciplinary arts education program for Baltimore City children. The award was one of 1,029 Art Works grants from the NEA.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Baltimore School for the Arts, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
“This is the first time in TWIGS’ history that it has received one of these highly competitive grants by the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Dr. Chris Ford, director of the Baltimore School for the Arts. “We’re absolutely thrilled; more importantly, it enables us to be able to serve more of Baltimore’s children, who might not have access to arts opportunities otherwise.”
BSA’s TWIGS program offers free classes in dance, vocal and instrumental music, stage production and design, theatre, visual arts, and visual storytelling to students in the second through eighth grades who reside in Baltimore City. Each year, the program serves about 700 students from 60+ Baltimore City Public Schools.
TWIGS also serves as a feeder to the highly selective high school, currently ranked the top public school in Baltimore City by U.S. News and World Report.
Competition for NEA grants is significant. In this second funding round for FY 2017, the agency received 2,063 eligible applications. The value of NEA funding is not only its monetary impact but also its reputation. An NEA grant confers a seal of approval, allowing an organization to attract other public and private funds beyond the required 1:1 match. In 2016, the ratio of NEA dollars to matching funds was 1:9 or $500 million.