For Immediate Release 
October 9, 2015

IRT Receives $30,000 Award from National Endowment for the Arts

Indianapolis—Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million, including an Art Works award of $30,000 to benefit the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), which supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

The award will support Finding Home: Indiana at 200, a new theater work created by over 30 Indiana writers, curated by IRT playwright-in-residence James Still and woven together through the songs of balladeer Tim Grimm. This work, part of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Project, will debut in October of 2016 as part of the IRT’s 2016-2017 season as IRT’s contribution to the state’s Bicentennial observances.

“The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

Finding Home: Indiana at 200 uses Indiana historical events and the writers’ personal reflections on those events as a communal meditation about our own sense of belonging. In the spirit of folk tradition and a co-authored text, the production will use spoken word text and song, inviting audiences to reflect on what they know about Indiana, and what its future might hold.  

Writers hail from a variety of mediums--poets, journalists, playwrights, novelists--and are widely inclusive in age, gender and race. The created piece will add to the IRT's 14-play Indiana Series and is one of the boldest theatrical experiments in IRT's history.

 “As the state’s leading professional theatre, it’s important for the IRT to bring fresh perspectives to Indiana’s bicentennial,” said Indiana Repertory Theatre Board Chair, Michael Harrington. I am proud that the IRT will be showcasing the work of so many writers from across the state, representing the voices of many Hoosiers across our history.”

Founded in 1971, the IRT is the largest and fully professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and has grown into one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of IRT is to produce top-quality, professional theatre and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping us build a vital and vibrant community.