The National Endowment for the Arts has approved more than $85 million awarded for projects nationwide on June 14. Among these grants is $65,000 in support of the Theatre Development Fund’s National Open Captioning Initiative (NOCI) and National Autism Theatre Initiative (NATI).
“We’re grateful to the NEA for recognizing the importance of making theatre accessible to people with physical and developmental disabilities,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director in a statement. “This award will help us continue to serve theatres across the United States with open captioning for audiences members with mild to severe hearing loss and autism-friendly performances for families with children and adults on the autism spectrum.”
NOCI provides presenters and regional theatres with a replicable model, resources, and training in the implementation of open caption services for audience members who are deaf or hard or hearing.
TDF’s NATI assists partner theatres across the country in the staging and implementation of sensory friendly performances for individuals on the autism spectrum or other developmental/cognitive disabilities, and their families, the statement says.
The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
The Trump Administration continues to place severe cuts to the NEA for the 2018 fiscal year. The proposal for the upcoming year calls for the eventual elimination of the federal agency, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu in a statement. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as TDF in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
If you wish to take action in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts, visit Playbill.com/NEA for a script you can use when calling your representatives and more.