SpeakEasy Stage Receives $10K from National Endowment for the Arts

VIOLET

JAN 9 – FEB 6, 2016

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Watch a video of the first rehearsal, featuring more than 70 voices singing “Raise Me Up.”

(Boston) – SpeakEasy Stage will receive an Arts Work Award of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help fund a unique collaboration between the company and area gospel choirs as part of its upcoming New England premiere production of the acclaimed Broadway musical VIOLET, running January 9 – February 6, in its home in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.

The news came December 8, 2015, as the NEA announced 1,126 awards totaling more than $27.7 million to recipients in 49 states plus America Samoa, Guam, and the District of Columbia in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016.

In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so.   This new round of awards inaugurates the organization’s next 50 years of funding, an NEA spokesman noted in a separate release:  click here

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 13 arts disciplines or fields.

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 SpeakEasy Stage Company offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

“We want to thank the NEA for their support, which will allow us to collaborate with local gospel choirs to enrich our production of Violet, engage our audiences in a new way, and deepen and strengthening our connections to the community.”

Featuring a powerful folk, rock, and gospel score, VIOLET tells the story of a North Carolina woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery across the South in 1964.  The show, featuring music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics and book by Brian Crawley, was a 2015 Tony Award nominee for Best Musical Revival.

The project which the NEA is supporting has three components:

  1. It will allow SpeakEasy partner with some local gospel choirs and singers and incorporate them into our production of VIOLET.
  2. It will allow SpeakEasy to highlight a different facet of the Boston arts community and engage our audiences in a new way.
  3. It will allow us to deepen our ties to the community, through outreach to the communities the choruses serve.  This engagement piece will also involve pre- and post-show discussions and artists forums throughout the run of the show.

 VIOLET will run for five weeks, from January 9 to February 6, in the Virginia Wimberly Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.   Ticket prices start at $25, with discounts for students, seniors, and persons age 25 and under.

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Press Contact: Jim Torres, Director of Marketing & Communications
617-482-3279 (office); 617-529-1670 (cell); jimtorres@speakeasystage.com