JOLIET, Ill. – University of St. Francis (USF) was one of more than 150 organizations
to receive a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) through its new Challenge America Fast-Track grant program. The grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.
Recipients received a combined total of $1.53 million, and USF received $10,000.
The grant will fund a proposed Hispanic/Latino Music Immersion Project, which will feature performances by Latin guitarist David Burgess, composer Elbio Barilari and the Ondas Ensemble. Activities will include a public lecture, instrument demonstrations, and instrumental and vocal workshops for underserved high school and middle school students. A guitar master class for university and high school students will also be led by Burgess.
Said Bob Kase, dean of USF’s College of Arts and Sciences, “This provides the opportunity to support USF’s strategic plans for embracing, enhancing, and supporting Hispanic students. Through this unique award, USF can infuse a cultural understanding of the Hispanic and Latino arts through programming, performances, and artistic endeavors.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the population of Hispanics and Latinos in Will County has grown more than 140% between 2000 and 2010.
“This grant will further help us to embrace our rapidly growing Hispanic population in Will County,” said Kase. “It will serve as a nurturing seed for many future educational opportunities to promote, encourage, and protect the wealth of artistic opportunities within the Hispanic/Latino community.”
The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit www.stfrancis.edu.