- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 19, 2001

The Bush administration has been in office for nearly a year, but Republican views on arts funding have yet to affect the National Endowment for the Arts.
A survey of the NEA's newest package of 819 grants totaling $19.4 million reveals considerable variety and a wide range of political views, contrary to predictions that a Republication administration would squelch avant-garde art.
Only one grant is known to have been rejected from the NEA's winter package, which is to be released today. It is the smaller of the NEA's two annual grant announcements and reflects decisions made in November by the agency's 20-member council.
The council is made up of Clinton appointees, half of whom are serving on expired terms because the White House has not yet replaced them. One member's term expired in 1998, six expired in 2000 and one was to expire this year. One of six slots on the council for a member of Congress is also vacant.
Michael P. Hammond, President Bush's nomination for chairman of the NEA, is awaiting Senate confirmation. Mr. Hammond is dean of the Rice University School of Music in Houston. Rice received a $20,000 grant during this funding cycle for a publication documenting an architecture project on "shotgun houses," which are American row houses with African origins.
The rejected grant came from the Maine College of Art, which applied for funding for an exhibition by William Pope.L, a performance artist. He may be best known for a performance work in which he walked around the Harlem section of New York wearing a plastic male sex organ that occasionally deposited an egg onto the sidewalk.
The application for his project apparently was approved by the council but rejected by acting Chairman Robert S. Martin, a Bush appointee. NEA spokesman Mark Weinberg refused comment on the topic.
Mr. Pope.L this year planned to wear a Superman suit and crawl from his mother's house in the Bronx to the Statue of Liberty. It was not clear how the artist proposed to complete the last part of his journey, with the statue surrounded by water.
In other works, Mr. Pope.L, who is black, covered himself with mayonnaise to symbolize "bogus whiteness" for one 1991 work at the Franklin Furnace, a New York performance art space.
Although the vast majority of NEA grants went to dance, theater and opera companies, a few showed political tilt.
For instance, Feminist Press Inc. of New York received a $10,000 grant for its work with the International Woman's Writing Project. Upcoming books include "Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter" by South African author Pamela Jooste and "The Rape of Sita," a novel by Lindsey Collen exploring Mauritanian society.
Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Mich., received $5,000 to fund a special issue of Witness magazine, a liberal Episcopal publication. The issue will deal with aging in America.
The Austin Film Society received $20,000 for post-production costs for "Let It Roll: A History of the Texas Penitentiary," a documentary on an inmate-led revolt in the 1960s and 1970s.
Frameline of San Francisco received $16,000 for a film series sponsored by Modern Masters of Lesbian and Gay Cinema on filmmakers who influenced homosexual media in the past 25 years.
The Kitchen, a Manhattan theater, will get $20,000 for a workshop for students and young professionals known as the Sidney Kahn Summer Institute. The Kitchen and its parent company, Haleakala Inc., has featured explicit acts by feminist and homosexual performers.
Larger grants included $100,000 given to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for an upcoming national tour encompassing 95 shows in 24 cities in 16 states. The Art Institute of Chicago received $90,000 to support a touring exhibition, "Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure."
The oddest grant may be $20,000 given for the architectural design of an eagle aviary for the Zuni Pueblo, an Indian reservation in far western New Mexico.
Local grants to Virginia organizations totaled $132,000, including $60,000 to Associated Writing Programs of Fairfax for production and distribution costs of a job list, Web site, magazine and its 2003 conference in Baltimore. The Roanoke Symphony got $5,000 for a new work by composer Margaret Brouwer, to be premiered in the spring of 2003. The Virginia Waterfront International Arts Festival in Norfolk got $5,000 to fund performances by two dance companies.
Maryland received $140,000 in grants, including $15,000 to the Baltimore Choral Arts Society for a work titled "Sing for the Cure." Center Stage Associates in Baltimore got $50,000 to support production of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," and the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring got $18,000 to support the world premiere of "Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp," a play by Ernest Joselovitz.
The District got $641,000 in grants, including $30,000 to the Wooly Mammoth Theatre Co. for its production of "Big Love" by Charles Mee. The Washington Performing Arts Society received two grants of $40,000 and $20,000 for separate projects and the Shakespeare Theatre got $60,000 for the production of "The Duchess of Malfi," by Jacobean playwright John Webster.
The National Symphony Orchestra got $75,000 for a festival celebrating the contributions of foreign-born composers. Studio Theatre Inc. got $25,000 to support the production of Sophy Burnham's new play, "Imagined Prometheus." Dance/USA got $80,000 to support various round tables, regional forums and its 2003 winter council meeting.
Literary scholarships of $20,000 each were handed out to these regional writers: Matthew Klam of the District, Paul J. Hendrickson of Takoma Park, Barbara Hurd of Frostburg, Md., Chris Adrian of Norfolk and Christi Ann Merrill of Charlottesville.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, a sister agency to the NEA, also has 13 seats on its 26-member council waiting to be filled by the Bush administration. Its new chairman, Bruce Cole, started work there last week.

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