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RPO Receives NEA Grant to Support Merry Mount

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2013
Media Contacts:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, [email protected]
RPO Info:,,,

RPO Receives NEA Grant to Support Merry Mount
Grant one of 895 Art Works grants funded nationwide
Hanson’s opera to be performed at Kodak & Carnegie Halls

Rochester, NY – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced last week that the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The RPO is recommended for a $12,500 grant to support its performances of Howard Hanson’s opera, Merry Mount, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre (April 10 & 12) and at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring For Music festival (May 7, 2014).

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States," said Shigekawa. "Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The Art Works grant program supports projects in 13 artistic disciplines; examples of project types are commissions, residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions, publications, festivals and professional development programs. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $23.4 million, including three others from Rochester: the University of Rochester, BOA Editions, Ltd., and Garth Fagan Dance.

“We are honored and grateful for support from the National Endowment for the Arts for this important project, which will represent Rochester in a major way on a national stage” says RPO President & CEO Charles Owens. “Our concert production of this landmark American opera by longtime Eastman School of Music director Howard Hanson includes nearly 250 performers from the RPO, the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Bach Children’s Chorus of Nazareth College, and a gifted cast of solo vocalists, many of them with ties to Rochester.”

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents up to 150 concerts a year, serving nearly 200,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Notable former music directors include Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman; Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches 14,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO’s 2013-14 season highlights include Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik’s 20th anniversary celebration, and a performance at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

Media please note:  Images for Merry Mount are available at Details, including tickets and travel packages for Merry Mount, are available at and upon request. Interviews, as well as photo and footage opportunities, can also be arranged.