The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its first round of grant for the fiscal year 1999, awarding 639 grants totalling $19.5 million. Fully $17 million of that amount is dedicated to Creation & Presentation awards. Of the remaining amount, $1.7 million will be bestowed in leadership initiatives, and $800,000 is earmarked for literature fellowships.
As usual, the cultural mecca of New York City received a large share of the money, and many theatres are among the beneficiaries. The New York Theatre Festival received one of the largest grants, netting $104,000. Lincoln Center Theatre took in nearly half that, at $51,000.
Off-Broadway, such companies as the Vineyard Theatre Company ($25,500), the Signature Theatre Company ($39,500), New York Theatre Workshop ($33,500), Ensemble Studio Theatre ($12,000) and Primary Stages ($9,000) found themselves richer.
The NEA also reached the more avant-garde troupes of Off and Off-Off Broadway. La MaMa E.T.C. won $8,500, while Franklin Furnace received $7,500. Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theatre did even better, nabbing $31,500. Other companies to benefit include Saratoga International Theatre Institute ($12,500), Target Margin Theatre ($6,000) and Tectonic Theater Project, Inc. ($16,500).
In other parts of the country, San Jose Repertory Theatre culled $12,000, San Diego Repertory Theatre got $59,500, Princeton's McCarter Theatre netted $62,500, San Diego's Old Globe Theatre garnered $31,500 and Chicago's Northlight Theatre grabbed $5,000. The round of grants represents 24 percent of the NEA's $80.5 million grant-making budget. The agency total budget is $98 million. The NEA will announce additional awards in the spring.
-- By Robert Simonson