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Big Ears Festival to receive $20,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019, including an Art Works grant of $20,000 to Big Ears Festival for continued work to showcase music and art at the annual Knoxville event.

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” Carter said. “Organizations such as the Big Ears Festival are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

Big Ears Festival is an annual event that brings together musicians and artists who span generations and transcend genres, and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides free programming to the community thanks to generous festival sponsors and partners. Described as “one of the most quietly earth-shattering, subtly luminous festivals the world over” by the Oxford American, Big Ears Festival has established itself as one of the most exciting and imaginative cultural gatherings in the world.

The mission of the Big Ears Festival is to bring artists and audiences together to create and share transformative experiences. Big Ears works to nurture and support artistic expression and cultural education that transcends traditional boundaries; strengthens and builds relationships; and connects across communities through genre-defying music, film and arts programming and interactive experiences.

“We are grateful that the National Endowment for the Arts has recognized our work to bring enriching artistic experiences to the community,” Big Ears Founder and Executive Director Ashley Capps said. “The NEA funds will help us continue to present interactive and engaging new programming while serving as a platform for young artists and innovative work in our community.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit To learn more about becoming a Big Ears “Friend of the Festival,” visit To keep up with Big Ears news and announcements, “like” Big Ears Festival on Facebook, follow @BigEarsFestival on Twitter and join the newsletter.

Published May 31, 2019

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