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Challenge America grants for arts education and outreach announced

The West Virginia Commission on the Arts of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has announced that the next deadline for Challenge America West Virginia State Partnership grants is Feb. 1, 2006, for projects that begin July 1, 2006, and end June 30, 2007. A letter of intent is due Dec. 1, 2005.

The grants are available to non-profit arts organizations, colleges and universities and schools. The focus of Challenge America grants is on arts education and outreach documentation and evaluation, with funds available for projects in the areas of arts education, access to the arts, positive alternatives for youth, cultural heritage/preservation and community arts development.

Successful grant applicants will be required to provide a one-to-one match for the funds (i.e., one dollar for every dollar granted). The maximum grant that will be awarded is $15,000.

Challenge America encourages arts organizations to offer outreach programs that will extend programs into adjacent communities. The program is an opportunity to strengthen America’s communities through the unique power of the arts. For more than 35 years the NEA has helped build a network to place the creative vitality of art experiences at the center of community life for all Americans. Challenge America focuses new resources to expand the reach and impact of NEA activities in every congressional district.

For more information about the Challenge America grants, call Rose McDonough, program coordinator for the arts section of the WVDCH, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 152, or e-mail rose.a.mcdonough@wv.gov.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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