Alberta Bair Theater Receives NEA Artworks Grant


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced that the Alberta Bair Theater is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. ABT is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support three concerts in the theater’s 2014 New Music in the Old West series—presenting musicians who bring a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, championing new music, and initiating groundbreaking collaborations. Series concerts include ETHEL with Robert Mirabal, International Guitar Night, and Carpe Diem String Quartet. Project activities, including school student matinees, residencies, master classes, and outreach are planned in conjunction with the New Music for the Old West series.     

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. 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."

William Wood, ABT executive director, said the project’s goal is to awaken Montana’s young, non-classical music audiences to the power of music and how it brings people together. 

“Alberta Bair Theater has made the financially risky but artistically important commitment to engage Montana audiences in an eclectic mix of live musical performances each season,” Wood said, “and New Music for the Old West encourages Montanans to sample the empowering experiences found in different musical genres.”  He added that each concert and accompanying outreach in the series is designed to challenge, engage, and entertain.

Concerts in the series include the pioneering string quartet ETHEL, in collaboration with Native American flutist Robert Mirabal, January 21, 7:30 pm;  the world’s premier touring guitar festival  International Guitar Night, February 15, 7:30 pm;  and the classical string quartet Carpe Diem, on October 17, 7:30 pm.  For ticket information, contact the ABT Box Office at (406) 256-6052 or online at   The concerts are made possible by Art Works and L. Eileen Orser.

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 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.

For a complete list of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

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