Image courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.
The Arts Council for Long Beach will receive a $20,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), it was announced today.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the independent federal agency’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017.
The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest and focuses 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 the strengthening of communities through the arts,” according to the agency.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Arts Council for Long Beach, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” Chu said in a statement. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
The grant will support the arts council’s Cambodia Town Mural Project, an initiative that will add up to nine public murals along Anaheim Street between Long Beach Boulevard and Junipero Avenue by summer.
The project is in partnership with Cambodia Town Inc., the United Cambodian Community (UCC), Homeland Cultural Center and the offices of Councilmembers Dee Andrews and Daryl Supernaw. It’s additionally funded through a matching grant from the California Arts Council, according to the arts council.
One of the murals will be created through a community workshop at the UCC, facilitated by a professional artist. Participants of all ages will conceive, design and paint the mural.
“UCC is looking forward to the partnership with Arts Council, Cambodia Town, Inc. and Homeland Cultural Center,” said UCC Director Susana Sngiem in a statement. “The murals will create community pride in Cambodia Town and unite the diverse community in increasing the vitality and beauty of the neighborhood. Community members are very excited to showcase the beauty and values in Cambodia Town.”
Up to eight murals will be painted by artists chosen through the Call for Artists, which the arts council will announce in late January. A short video of the project will be made by a videographer also chosen through a call.
“Cambodia Town, Inc. is excited to participate in the Cambodia Town Mural Project,” said Pasin Chanou, chairman of Cambodia Town, Inc., in a statement. “We believe the murals will help to highlight the diverse cultures in Cambodia Town, and attract visitors and increase business opportunities in the district.”