Fort Lee, New Jersey-National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company for a series of performances that will celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year through traditional and contemporary visual arts, music, and dance. The Challenge America category features NEA support for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations-those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
"It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring."
"The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company members and Board are extremely honored to receive this grant from the NEA," said Nai-Ni Chen. "America is a diverse nation where we have found culturally adventurous audience who are crossing many boundaries to seek the company's exceptional performances. We are thankful for this support, which enables us to create extraordinary experiences for the public."
NEA's support will enable Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company's programs throughout the year, especially the amazing Lunar New Year Celebrations at NJPAC, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Staten Island University, Lehman College and other sites, reaching over 20,000 annually. For upcoming events, please visit www.nainichen.org. Nai-Ni Chen is celebrating Women's History Month with a new production A Quest for Freedom with the Ahn Trio.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
About the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
Bringing the dynamic freedom of American modern dance together with the elegant splendor of Asian art, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is one of the most visible Asian American dance companies in America. Ms. Chen's unique choreography transports audiences beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, rising beyond form into the spirit.
One of the few Asian American professional dance companies with an extensive season of touring and performing around the world, Nai-Ni Chen has also developed Arts in Education residency programs in school districts to bring culture and arts into educational settings. Its colorful and engaging programs and workshops have reached over one million young audience members in the NY/NJ area. The Company is currently in residence at New Jersey City University and has been a Principal Affiliate of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since its inception.
The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has the honor of having received more than fifteen awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Other funders include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; the Hyde and Watson Foundation; Horizon Foundation, The Irving and Laurie Blanchard Foundation; the E.J. Grassman Trust; PSE&G; the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Verizon; Sony; New Music/USA; Chase Manhattan Bank; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and others.