CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The Center for the Arts at Kayenta is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $25,000. 

Scenes from the inaugural Kayenta New Play Lab program, Ivins, Utah, August 2023 | Photo courtesy of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.” 

“This recognition from the NEA is coming at a spectacular time for us at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta,” executive director Miranda Wright said. “Over the past 12 months, we have activated a national network of artists and relationships with other venues, enabling us to bring world-class talent, present performances not otherwise found in our region and nurture the incredible community of local artists here in Washington County.

“We are well on our way toward becoming Southern Utah’s premier multidisciplinary arts presenter, and this is being recognized by national arts partners and organizations.” 

This grant will support the Kayenta New Play Lab, an opportunity for local and national playwrights, actors and theater directors to develop new plays for today’s audiences. In total, the NEA will award 958 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $27.1 million that were announced as part of its first round of fiscal year 2024 grants. 

The Kayenta New Play Lab is a unique opportunity for theater artists and audiences to converge to create and witness the development of new work. Six playwrights will be selected to participate in this program by a panel of locally and nationally recognized experts. Local playwrights will be joined by playwrights from major theater centers across the country.

Scenes from the inaugural Kayenta New Play Lab program, Ivins, Utah, August 2023 | Photo courtesy of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

Following a 10-day development residency, each play will be presented as a staged reading for summer audiences, followed by engaging discussions and opportunities to meet the artists. This dynamic program fosters creativity, connection and national collaboration. 

“Supporting the creation and development of new work is a vital piece of our vision at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta,” Wright said. “Our New Play Lab aims to support artists – both locally and nationally – as they tell the stories of the past, present and future, for the benefit of us all, as we continue to learn and grow into the ever-changing world around us.” 

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. For more information about the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, including their upcoming event schedule, visit kayentaarts.org.

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