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The Grunin Center Awarded $50,000 Grant From NEA As Part Of CARES Act

originally published: 07/31/2020

The Grunin Center Awarded $50,000 Grant From NEA As Part Of CARES Act(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and Ocean County College, for the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, is proud to have been approved for a $50,000 award. This grant will support dance partners for limited engagements with OCC students and the community that focus on bridging social issues and the arts. 

“We are honored by and so grateful for the NEA’s crucial support at this time, which allows us to provide programming for our community and, in turn, support these amazing dance organizations,” said Jaclyn Wood, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Grunin Center.  

Dance programs planned for the Grunin Center include the following:  

Drew Dollaz, choreographer and flexing pioneer, will be in residency for a week, honing choreography; hosting movement workshops; and performing his original work, #Imperfect, which draws parallels between childhood bullying and inherited traumas carried down through our lineages. This work considers how the cumulative scars of oppression can allow racism, sexism, and homophobia to manifest and will challenge students and teachers to identify underlining social problems.  

10 Hairy Legs, a male repertory company, will perform some of the group’s standard repertoire along with a new curated work to highlight music from New Jersey native Gia Maione Prima. This performance is designed to expose the community to a variety of concert dance forms, including themes on the LGBTQ community. 10 Hairy Legs also plans to work with OCC students to hold a community dance day, and, in addition, the troupe will demonstrate ways to use dance to stay active and connect with your family. 

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Carolyn Dorfman Dance, NJ’s premiere modern dance company, will create and perform new choreography to the spectacular music of the incomparable Louis Prima for the opening of the Gia Maione Prima Studio Theatre. Hailed as the consummate storyteller, Dorfman, a child of Holocaust survivors, has also created a celebrated body of work that honors her Jewish legacy: its trials and triumphs, its treasured uniqueness, and, most importantly, its universal connections. Dorfman, founding artistic director of Carolyn Dorfman Dance, will work with students to explore how to use art to impact humanity.  

As America witnesses an unprecedented public dialogue on racism, legacies of systemic inequality, and a new willingness to address these issues publicly, Nimbus Dance will work with local students to choreograph and present Dance Speaks Out:Lynchtown/ThisTown. The piece features rare professional performances of iconic American modern dances – Charles Weidman's 1936 masterwork, Lynchtown, and Pearl Primus’ renowned 1943 solo Strange Fruit – that explore race, violence, and mob mentality, and illustrate the sociopolitical foundation of America’s early modern dance movement. Artistic Director Samuel Pott will speak with high school and college dance students about the creative process, his vision, and techniques for creating new works.  

The Grunin Center is currently working to finalize the scheduled residencies and virtual hybrid performances for this project. 

The NEA received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. Grants of $50,000 were offered to 846 organizations, while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. 

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”  

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 Arts Endowment 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.  

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College, is a performing arts center dedicated to providing art and entertainment to Ocean County and the Jersey Shore. Featuring premiere acts from across the globe, the Grunin Center’s intimate venue allows patrons to experience once-in-a-lifetime from venerated artists, hometown musicians, and unique entertainers. Music performances of all genres, theatre, film, and dance make their way to the Grunin Center stage each season.  

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