Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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USF Jesters Awarded $15,000 Grant From NEA

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. The NEA chairman has approved the University of Saint Francis (USF) for a grant in the amount of $15,000 for its Jesters program.

The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from the University of Saint Francis offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The University of Saint Francis Jesters group has provided meaningful multidisciplinary performing-arts opportunities to children, youth and adults with mild to severe intellectual/ developmental disabilities (ID/DD) since 1978. During the funding period the existing program will be enhanced, and new components will be developed including:

– Expanded opportunities for people with ID/DD to participate in Jesters

– Development opportunities for those who want to learn more about effectively engaging people with ID/DD in arts activities

– Paid student art internships, to include four to six people with ID/DD

– Support/training to organizations interested in replicating the program

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to