The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service announced $1,067,500 in support of support 50 grants in 27 states, including an award of $30,000 to the Curtis Institute of Music, in collaboration with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, for the commissioning of a piece of music inspired by Cape Cod National Seashore, and performances by the Curtis on Tour program in Pennsylvania and on Cape Cod in honor of the National Park Service Centennial. Cape Cod National Seashore will host a performance on July 28 at 7 PM at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.
Imagine Your Parks is a grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts created in partnershipwith the National Park Service to support projects that use the arts to engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System. These awards are part of a larger National Endowment for the Arts announcement that the agency will make 1,142 awards totaling $80.9 million to organizations in all 50 states and five jurisdictions.
“As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, this year we are celebrating the magnificence of America’s national cultural treasures through art,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The Imagine Your Parks grant program unites our mission with the National Park Service by connecting art projects with the natural, historic and cultural settings of the National Park System and will inspire a new generation to discover these special places and experience our great heritage.”
“The Imagine Your Parks grants are helping us celebrate the NPS Centennial and the NEA’s 50th Anniversary with some incredibly diverse and interesting projects that continue to inspire more Americans of all backgrounds to connect with their national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The grants that were previously awarded are already demonstrating the success of the program through a variety of inspiring projects. A new generation of artists is connecting to national parks through their work, and motivating others to do the same.”
The Curtis on Tour project at the Curtis Institute, in collaboration with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, has been awarded this grant. Cape Cod has a long and rich history with the arts, and this effort will not only help us celebrate the NPS Centennial, it will engage musicians and the public in this special place that is such an important part of the American experience.”
Andrew Lane, of the Curtis Institute remarked, “Curtis on Tour has had a regular presence on Cape Cod and Nantucket for a number of years. As such, we are thrilled the NEA is supporting this project which highlights the rich natural and cultural resources of the Cape. Curtis is honored to take part in celebrating such significant milestones for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Parks Service.” Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival Executive Director Elaine Lipton added, “For 37 years the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival has been presenting outstanding chamber music on Cape Cod in the heart of the national seashore. Commissioning and performing a piece of music inspired by the seashore seemed like a natural way to celebrate the park and the arts, and we are thrilled that the NEA Imagine Your Parks Grant will allow us to do so.”
The Imagine Your Parks grant will support the Curtis Institute’s Curtis on Tour program, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative that embodies the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy. The tour offers students real-world professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. In addition to performances, musicians offer master classes, interactive programs, and community engagement activities while on tour. Curtis on Tour also facilitates solo performances of Curtis students and alumni with professional orchestras and recital series. Since the program was established in 2008, students, faculty, and alumni have performed more than 200 concerts in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. This summer’s tour includes performances at venues in Pennsylvania, and Woods Hole, Great Barrington, Eastham, Wellfleet, and Nantucket, MA. In March 2016, a Curtis on Tour ensemble offered an interactive program for students at Bourne High School during a tour to New England.
A unique aspect to this summer’s tour is the commissioning of a piece of music composed by Curtis alumnus Jonathan Bailey Holland that was inspired by the national seashore. The new work will be performed by a string quartet of Curtis students and alumni. Mr. Holland will introduce the piece at the July 28 concert at Salt Pond Visitor Center, and it will be played in its entirety The piece will also be performed at the Marine Biological Laboratory on July 24 and at the Nantucket Atheneum on July 31.