Texas Performing Arts nets $500,000 Mellon grant for arts and civil disobedience series

Paterson Joseph in his one-man show "Sancho: An Act of Remembrance" at TPA's McCullough Theatre Jan. 25-26.

Texas Performing Arts has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience,” a three-season series of performances, artists’ residencies, lectures, and community conversations.

The series begins in August of this year. Texas Performing Arts (TPA) is the University of Texas at Austin’s performing arts presenter.

Kathy Panoff, Texas Performing Arts Director and Associate Dean of UT College of Fine arts, said the idea for the series grew from the increasingly contentious climate in America, as demonstrated by world-wide protests for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, environmental protection, the guarantee of racial equality, and the current national controversy regarding the continued display or removal of monuments honoring Confederate generals across the U.S.

Panoff said that the programming will be a broad exploration of protest and civil disobedience.

“’The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience’ allows us to explore how work in the performing and visual arts has the ability to become, in and of itself, an act of civil disobedience with the capacity to drive social and political change,” said Panoff. “The proposed programming is informed by the inherent power of the arts to provide a safe space to explore the most contentious social issues of our time.”

‘We are sincerely thankful for this renewed support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

The recent grant is the third TPA has received from the Mellon Foundation since 2011, In all, the Mellon Foundation has granted TPA programming a total of $1,350,000.

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