[New York, NY]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $75,000 to the Academy of American Poets to support free programs that foster a national interest in poetry and showcase American poets. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Academy of American Poets, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
“Funding from the NEA is absolutely critical to our being able to share poems with millions of readers on Poets.org and through Poem-a-Day, and grow the audience for this important art form. We’re grateful to Amy Stolls and the literature program staff at the NEA for their efforts to ensure a robust literary field,” said executive director Jennifer Benka.
Support from the NEA will allow the Academy of American Poets to engage 20 million individuals across the U.S. with poetry (more than any other publicly funded organization) through Poets.org, Poem-a-Day, National Poetry Month, and American Poets.
Poets.org is the largest member-supported poetry website in the U.S. with over 16 million unique visitors annually, which, according to publicly available data, is more than the Museum of Modern Art. Poets.org holds a growing, curated collection of 7,000+ poems, searchable by keyword and embeddable on users own websites; 2,500+ poets’ bios; more than 1,000 audio clips and videos, many featuring content from our live events; and highlights from our substantial archive.
Poem-a-Day is the only daily digital poetry series distributing previously unpublished poems by today’s poets. Thanks to the series, the Academy of American Poets has become a leading publisher of contemporary poems, spotlighting new work by more than 260 poets each year. On weekdays, poems are presented with commentary by the poets and audio of the poets reading their work. On weekends, we feature classic poems. Daily poems in the series are sent to 148,500+ email subscribers; 455,000 social media followers; and posted on Poets.org’s homepage.
National Poetry Month, launched in April 1996, has grown into the largest U.S. literary celebration. For it, we produce and send materials to over 100,000 schools and libraries in all 50 states; conduct a nationwide PR campaign; highlight inspiring poetry events from cities across the U.S. on our National Poetry Month blog on Poets.org; serve as a national clearinghouse of information about Poem in Your Pocket Day, which inspires events in all 50 states; hold readings in NY and other cities; and produce Dear Poet, which invites students to watch videos of our Chancellors and write them letters, some of which will be posted on Poets.org (this year more than 2,000+ young people across the U.S. participated).
American Poets magazine, redesigned in 2014, has a distribution of 9,000 with readers in every state. The magazine presents poems, essays, and interviews featuring celebrated and emerging poets. Select content from American Poets is made available on Poets.org, extending its reach to thousands more readers.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov