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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spy Hop Productions receives NEA grant to support the Youth Documentary Arts Program

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                   
 Contact: Virginia Pearce, Virginia@spyhop.org801-532-7500

Spy Hop Productions receives NEA grant to support the Youth Documentary Arts Program
Grant part of NEA announcement of 863 grants and $22.543 million in funding nationwide

Salt Lake City (November 18, 2011) —The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman today announced that the agency will award 863 grants to organizations and individual writers across the country. Spy Hop Productions is one of the grantees and will receive $20,000 to support the Youth Documentary Arts Program, which gives young people the opportunity to explore the art and craft of documentary filmmaking. The 863 grant awards total $22.543 million, encompass 15 artistic disciplines and fields, and support projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Spy Hop’s Youth Documentary Arts Program is a unique arts and humanities program comprised of four separate classes that provide the participants opportunities to explore stories and issues pertinent to their lives and communities. Participants in the program are immersed in the practical and theoretical aspects of documentary work while developing a variety of skills and abilities. The program enables students to develop and hone innovative processes and technical skills which include story development, the creative process, nonfiction filmmaking styles, camera operation, cinematography, sound engineering and editing. All of YDAP classes (PitchNic Doc, Reel Stories, Write-Shoot-Ride, and Watch This!) provide youth with the opportunity to work with experienced documentarians while exploring their creativity and a variety of compelling topics, such as stereotypes, diversity, tolerance, racism, cultural knowledge, tradition, urban development, environmental preservation, and community itself.
 “Art Works is the guiding principle at the NEA,” said agency Chairman Rocco Landesman. “And I’m pleased to see that principle represented through the 823 Art Works-funded projects included in this announcement. These projects demonstrate the imaginative and innovative capacities of artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.”

“Spy Hop Productions is honored that the NEA recognizes the important and creative work that takes place in our studios on a daily basis. As art education is disappearing from our schools, I believe that it is critical that we provide our young people with an outlet to creatively express themselves through quality arts programming. We thank the NEA for their commitment, hard work, and their on-going support toward preserving and protecting the arts for everyone,” says Kasandra VerBrugghen, Executive Director of Spy Hop Productions.

In March 2011, the NEA received 1,686 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $84 million in funding. The resulting funding rate of 49 percent of eligible applications reflects both the significant demand for support and the ongoing vitality of the not-for-profit arts community despite current financial challenges. Art Works grants are awarded based on the applications received by the NEA and how those applications are assessed by the review panels.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.

About Spy Hop Productions
Founded in 1999, Spy Hop Productions is a nonprofit youth media arts and education center whose purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world.  Spy Hop’s mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and the web.  Recognized by the White House as one of the top arts and humanities based organizations in the country, Spy Hop was chosen as a finalist for the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Award given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. www.spyhop.org           

Virginia Pearce
Director of Marketing & Community Programs


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