Academic journal article Afterimage

Challenge America Introduced

Academic journal article Afterimage

Challenge America Introduced

Article excerpt

The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Chairman Bill lvey announced Challenge America: Positive Alternates for Youth, a new program that awarded $1,735,000 as 196 grants. Challenge America encompasses all 50 states as well as the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia and focuses on artist residencies in schools and civic/community organizations that provide youths with a safe environment to explore their artistic abilities.

Congress appropriated $7 million in Fiscal Year 2001 for Challenge America, and the response- 536 applications from organizations spanning the country requesting over $4.7 million-has proven significant. Funded projects primarily serve young people in grades six through 12 from areas ranging from rural towns lacking in job opportunities and an art community to low-income urban neighborhoods. Some of the youth are physically or emotionally challenged, some have been involved with the juvenile justice system, some are struggling with academic and social demands.

Partnerships are a key element of Challenge America projects. Community faculties including school districts, youth service organizations and health care organizations, are partnering with various media, music, literature, folk and traditional arts, dance, opera and theater organizations. Challenge America has three ways its funds are distributed-Fiscal Year 2001 saw approximately 400 small project grants awarded around the country through its Fast Track grants. …

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