Kansas University has received a $21,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for commissioning Liz Lerman's "The Good Jew," a dance-theater piece that will be performed in November.
Jacqueline Davis, director of the KU Concert Series, said KU is commissioning the piece with the Pittsburgh Dance Council, the Boston Dance Umbrella and the Washington Performing Arts Council at the Kennedy Center. The NEA grant will be used to assist with the commissioning and touring of the company.
Davis said Lerman's work is extraordinary.
"Liz Lerman is a choreographer who works primarily with older dancers," Davis explained late Friday. "The piece is very interesting. It's about a mother who wonders if she's being `Jewish enough' to communicate the culture to her children."
Davis said Lerman will be in residence in Lawrence beginning Oct. 28. The piece, which will be featured in KU's New Directions Series, will be performed Nov. 2.
The NEA also announced that $20,000 was being awarded for artists' fees, administrative and promotional expenses, and travel expenses.
The Endowment awarded more than 1,200 grants totaling more than $47 million to support artists and arts organizations throughout the United States and its territories. Kansas received $121,890.
The grants, about one-fourth of those to be awarded this fiscal year, had been delayed pending reallocation of NEA funds by Congress.
Last year Congress required the Endowment to channel more funding through state arts agencies, increasing their allotment to $31.5 million from $26.1 million.
Here are the other grants awarded in Kansas:
Kaw Valley Arts Council Inc., Kansas City, Kan., $15,290, for position of assistant programming director.
National Association of Jazz Educators, Manhattan, $15,500, for performance and clinician fees, travel, technical production and promotional expenses.
Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, Manhattan, $45,000, for international conference for landscape architecture students.
Music Theatre of Wichita, Inc., $5,000, for musical theater summer productions.