National Endowment for the Arts Funds Piece by Piece to Connect Mosaic Artists with Residents of Skid Row Supportive Housing
National Endowment for the Arts Awards More Than $27.6 Million Across Nation, Includes $20,000 awarded to Piece by Piece
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Los Angeles — Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million, including an Art Works award of $20,000 to Piece by Piece.
The funding supports a visiting artist series that brings artists together with residents of the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles. Artists will lead workshops that provide hands-on instruction in advanced mosaic art technique. Homeless and formerly homeless residents of supportive housing will participate in eight distinct offerings, each involving multiple sessions, supporting the development of advanced art skills and promoting innovation in the Mosaic Art discipline.
“The opportunity to invite Artists recognized for their contributions to the field of Mosaic Art enables our participants, and our teaching artists as well, to stretch their creative muscle and explore new ground," said Managing Director Lisa Marsh. "The impact on artistic output is amazing! And our collective tool kit is expanded, such that our Artisans are able to both build exemplary bodies of work and take on complex and innovative commission assignments.”
Piece by Piece participants, all low-income residents of Skid Row and South Los Angeles, study and practice many months in order to attain Artisan status within the program. Directed Studies workshops help nurture talents using newly-acquired skills. Multiple-week sessions focus on completion of a personal work of art using a specific approach, guided by the instructor.
Said Program Director Dawn Mendelson, “We all get very excited when a Visiting Artist is calendared to teach. We invite Artists with exceptional talents that can help us to learn new approaches. The environment is deeply creative and inspiring. We have observed our Artisans take risks and make huge advances in developing a unique aesthetic that they can call their own.”
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 multiple arts disciplines.
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 Piece by Piece offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
Piece by Piece is a non-profit organization operating in Skid Row and South Los Angeles to fulfill its mission to provide low-income and formerly homeless people free mosaic art workshops using recycled materials to develop marketable skills, self-confidence, earned income and an improved quality of life. Learn more at www.piecebypiece.org.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Endowment . Go to arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline - See more at www.arts.gov.
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As we head in to 2023, we wanted to take a minute to look back at 2022, and all that was accomplished at Piece by Piece. Thank you for your ongoing support, none of this would have happened without your investment in the Piece by Piece mission.
Kelley Knickerbocker returned to Piece by Piece to work with participant artists to practice using a variety of materials, creating a piece that flowed from a quiet, regular layout to having a more vibrant energy.
In November, artist Instructor Ellen Dinerman offered a unique take on our books theme. She challenged Piece by Piece artists in a series of workshops that studied the history and development of type and typefaces, and also examined unique techniques used to create lettering in mosaic