Congressman Leonard Lance to Witness Direct Impact of National Endowment of Arts (NEA) Funding with Class for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
WHAT: Congressman Leonard Lance, co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, will attend, meet with families and give remarks at Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theatre for Everyone Class. The class for students with autism and other developmental disabilities is made possible by direct funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a program that has been recommended for elimination under the current federal budget. The class will be led by teaching artist Leslie Fannelli.
WHEN: Monday, April 17, 2017, at 4:30pm
WHERE: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ 07041, Black Box Theater (3rd Floor)
Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theatre for Everyone project is a series of programs that serve the needs of children with autism and other social and cognitive disabilities. Project activities include autism-friendly performances; outreach performances at local schools and centers for children with disabilities; a yearlong creative drama class for children with disabilities; and the inclusion of a school for children with disabilities in the Adopt-A-School Project, Paper Mill’s highly regarded theater arts education initiative for underserved New Jersey schools. Paper Mill’s award-winning Autism Advisory Team provides ongoing expertise for these programs.
In 2016, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for the fiscal year. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $40,000 to Paper Mill Playhouse to support the institution’s Theatre for Everyone programs. 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 proposed federal budget calls for the elimination of four independent cultural agencies — the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For decades, arts and cultural leaders have fought regular battles to maintain federal funding. Although the budgets of the four organizations slated for elimination are negligible as a percentage of the larger federal budget, they play a vital role in a cultural economy built on a system of federal stimulus. Federal dollars are used to leverage state, local and private funding that supports a complex network of arts organizations, educational entities, museums, libraries and public broadcasting affiliates.