Montclair, New Jersey - National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts (SMAPA) to support in-school dance education residencies in Newark and Paterson, New Jersey. The Art Works category is the NEA's largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
"The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Through the work of organizations such as SMAPA in Montclair, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are."
Sharron Miller, Founder and Artistic Director, is extremely grateful to the NEA for this award. "With this grant, more students in Paterson and Newark will be enriched through the art of dance." SMAPA's holistic philosophy nurtures the creative possibilities within each student while building arts skills, fostering self-discipline and self-esteem, and inspiring students to believe they can achieve.
SMAPA's in-school dance residencies provide students exposure to and participation in multiple dance forms including creative movement, rhythm tap, West African, ballet, and hip hop. Although dance is taught as a pure art form, SMAPA residencies also allow for the integration of other areas of academic study.