Muse Machine receives National Endowment for the Arts grant


DAYTON – Muse Machine is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA announced grant recipients earlier this month, and Muse Machine was selected as the only arts education recipient in Ohio.

The grant supports the project Making Art, Engaging Community, which brings together internationally acclaimed theater company Ping Chong + Company and local artists for an eight-week residency program at Stivers School for the Arts and Ruskin Elementary in Dayton. The residencies will explore the themes of identity, belonging and sense of place. Drawing from their significant personal and family experiences, students will be creatively mentored to use oral histories to create original theatrical performances for sharing with the community during winter 2020.

The NEA’s priority in grant making is artistic excellence and merit.

“We’re honored to receive this recognition from the NEA,” Executive Director Mary Campbell Zopf said. “This project was recognized for its potential to celebrate cultural heritage, enrich humanity and build community.”

Dayton has a changing demographic, and there are as many as 13 languages being spoken in these schools.

“These artists love to work with culturally and linguistically rich communities and help students develop a mutual respect for the lives that everyone brings to school each day,” Campbell Zopf said.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal and to celebrate.”

The project is also supported by funding from Allegro Fund of the Dayton Foundation, Iddings Foundation and Vectren Foundation.

Muse Machine is a nationally recognized arts education organization, providing creative experiences and resources for young people through central and southwestern Ohio and Kentucky. Since 1982, Muse has engaged thousands of students through academically relevant programs along with highly acclaimed student performances.

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Teaching artist Ryan Conarro of Ping Chong + Company works alongside Muse Machine teachers. artist Ryan Conarro of Ping Chong + Company works alongside Muse Machine teachers. Courtesy photo

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