Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pueblo lands another NEA grant

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Pueblo Performing Arts Guild a $10,000 grant through its Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program. Given to 162 entities nationwide, this type of grant "supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability."


This is the second CAFT grant the PPAG has received, and it will also fund the multi-use artspace PPAG is in the process of creating. The money will fund Phase III of the project, "completion of the schematic design and design plans."

Read the full press release after the jump.

NEA Chairman Landesman announces Challenge America Fast-Track grants
Pueblo Performing Arts Guild one of only 162 grantees nationwide

Pueblo—As National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has noted, “Art works everywhere,” which is why the NEA’s Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Pueblo Performing Arts Guild (PPAG) was selected to receive one of the 162 grants of $10,000 awarded to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”

PPAG plans to create a multi-use creative industry facility that strengthens our community and enhances the economic impact of creative industry in Pueblo. The 2012 Challenge America Fast-Track Grant will fund Phase III of our project with completion of the schematic design and design plans. Drawing from the needs expressed by our membership and community artists which include: (1) access to rehearsal and performance space, (2) support through shared operating expenses, and (3) increased promotion, support, and collaboration for the arts in our community, the PPAG board of directors envisions a multi-purpose facility that achieves these goals. As well, through PPAG’s participation in government and civic planning meetings that address downtown development, there is broad support and a clearly-defined opportunity for this project to be a major catalyst in the downtown revitalization process.

The first phase of the project, funded in 2011 by a Challenge America Fast-track grant, studied the feasibility of a multi-use creative industry facility. National consultants from Artspace determined that Pueblo is, “… a viable candidate for a mixed-use project that includes affordable live/work space for individual artists and their families, a rehearsal/performance facility, and space for arts organizations as well as for creative businesses.” Phase II, an art market survey determined the demand and mixed use needs of the Pueblo creative industry community.

Susan Fries, Executive Director of PPAG, says, “Based on our research and findings in 2011, we anticipate an open concept design for the facility that encourages community involvement, collaborative explorations, experimental space, and increased opportunities for emerging artists.”

The program is called Fast-Track because of its expedited review timeline. PPAG was notified approximately six months after applying. Also, with 375 eligible applications submitted from across the country, there was significant competition for funding for these grants. PPAG is only one of four successful recipients of the Fast-Track grant in Colorado. PPAG’s grant award is evidence of the artistic excellence and artistic merit of the development of a multi-use creative industry facility.

Please see the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support.

PPAG is a non-profit organization that exists to provide support to its membership in the form of (1) collaborating for marketing, performances, and education opportunities, (2) raising awareness in the community as to the availability of local and regional arts productions and events, and (3) promoting and providing sustainable infrastructure for the creative industries. PPAG’s vision is to create a downtown arts district.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


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