In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA has awarded a grant to The Fenway Alliance to deepen the experience of its annual Opening Our Doors festival through an intergenerational Opening Our Doors Arts Residency program (OAR). In partnership with local underserved youth and seniors, OAR uses the arts to engender deeper conversation and connection among participants. Two talented local artists and one talented local architect, Aithan Shapira, Norah Dooley, and Kim Poliquin, respectively, will lead a workshop at OAR Salons throughout the year, and create projects to showcase at the 16th annual Opening Our Doors. Workshops will encompass visual arts, storytelling, and green architectural design, and seek to foster meaningful dialogue between youth and seniors.
Through its grant-making to nonprofits across the US each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity. NEA Chairman Jane Chu states, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funds for new projects such as The Fenway Alliance’s represent an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”
FA Executive Director Kelly Brilliant thanks the NEA for this investment: ‘We are honored to be awarded funding from the NEA. It enables us to deepen our longstanding Opening Our Doors festival experience for local youth and seniors—two populations who have much to offer each other and the Arts. We believe that art-making and conversations–led by experienced local Artists—are important ways to foster rich dynamic place-making”.