NEA Awards More Than $27.6 Million in Grants, Including $30K to Open Letter [Yay!]

Somehow I convinced myself that the official release date for info on this year’s National Endowment for the Arts Awards was on Thursday instead of yesterday, otherwise this would’ve been online earlier.

Anyway, here’s the official press release with my comments below:

National Endowment for the Arts Awards More Than $27.6 Million Across Nation
Includes $30,000 awarded to Open Letter Books.

Rochester, NY—In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $30,000 to Open Letter Books to publish four works of literature in translation.

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.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives—no matter who you are or where you live—they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from Open Letter Books offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

“The NEA’s funding to Open Letter is one of the key reasons for our continued success,” stated Chad W. Post, founder and director of Open Letter. “It allows us to continue to introduce English readers to important and innovative voices from around the world, both by helping subsidize the costs of translation, and by allowing us to do additional marketing for these books.”

The four titles included in this project are: The Brother by Rein Raud, translated from the Estonian by Adam Cullen (Estonia), One of Us Is Sleeping by Josefine Klougart, translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken (Denmark), Gesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno, translated from the Spanish by Andrea Labinger (Argentina), and Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (Brazil). All four titles will be published in 2016, and both Josefine Klougart and Guillermo Saccomanno will go on reading tours in the fall.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.

To see the complete list of grantees by category, download this PDF. Here are some of the highlights that I think Three Percent readers will most be interested in:

Center for the Art of Translation: $35,000
Coffee House Press: $65,000
Graywolf Press: $80,000
Milkweed Editions: $50,000
Archipelago Books: $70,000
Words Without Borders: $30,000
Rain Taxi Review of Books: $10,000
Ugly Duckling Presse: $15,000
White Pine Press: $15,000
Nightboat Books: $10,000
Feminist Press at CUNY: $55,000
BOA Editions: $25,000
Copper Canyon Press: $70,000

Our grant for 2016 isn’t quite as high as the one for 2015, which makes it even more important than ever to donate to Open Letter so that we can continue to offer internships, maintain the Translation Database, pay translators a decent rate, introduce readers to international voices, run the Three Percent website, administer the Best Translated Book Award, and provide numerous benefits (tangible and not) to book culture as a whole. Without significant support, we won’t be able to keep all of these things going, so please consider donating to us. Every dollar helps.

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