Wayne State Art Collection to receive $10K grant from National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to the Wayne State University Art Collection for its efforts to bring awareness of contemporary Middle Eastern art and culture to the underserved Middle Eastern population. Challenge America grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations-those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

"The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"This grant will enable Wayne State University to expand awareness of Middle Eastern culture by using its art collection to impact cultural perception and change through the important work of one of our esteemed alumna, Shiva Ahmad," Grace Serra, University Art Collection curator.

ImageExpanding Access to the Arts through Diversity
The Wayne State University Art Collection (UAC) "Expanding Access through Diversity" project is an equity and inclusion initiative designed to bring awareness of contemporary Middle Eastern art and culture to the underserved Middle Eastern population, at Wayne State and in the Detroit Metropolitan area, through guest artist visit, community lecture and commissioned public work of art by Iranian-American artist Shiva Ahmadi. These programs are designed to shed light on Middle Eastern art and culture, and to deconstruct stereotypes associated with this diverse and wide ranged ethnic culture in Detroit, America and around the globe.

This program will be a prelude to a 2020 exhibition of the artist's work at the University. It will be the beginning of an ongoing education and engagement effort for both students and the broader community. The project goals are to create a collection that reflect the rich diversity of the community, and to use it as a mechanism to create the feeling of equity and inclusion. For more information about Wayne State's University Art Collection, artcollection.wayne.edu.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit https://www.arts.gov/news.

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