National Endowment for the Arts to Support EMPAC for Fifth Consecutive Year

February 19, 2021

National Endowment for the Arts to Support EMPAC for Fifth Consecutive Year

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center to receive Grants for Arts Projects award

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will receive a Grants for Arts Projects award this year to support the commissioning of new time-based art works at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).

Grants for Arts Projects is the principal grants program of the National Endowment for the Arts, awarding a total of nearly $25 million to support 1,073 projects in the arts across America in this first round of fiscal year 2021. This award marks the fifth consecutive year that EMPAC has received funding from the Arts Endowment.

“EMPAC is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year,” Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers said.

The Center has been at the forefront of presenting a robust series of virtual performances and programs since the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic necessitated closing the building to the public last March. EMPAC remains focused on the development of new tools and processes for remote collaboration and production.   

“Especially in these times, the national engagement for the arts is critical for our society,” EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel said. “The reflection of urgent issues by artists through their work enables new perspectives. Artworks offer essential moments of focus and concentration in our fragmented lives. We are thankful for the continuous trust the National Endowment for the Arts puts in our curatorial program and the ongoing production support for artists at EMPAC.”

The National Endowment for the Arts grant provides pivotal support for five ambitious new works of contemporary time-based art and strengthens artists access to evolving technologies. In particular, this grant supports the production and presentation of visual art, performance and music by women-identifying, trans and non-binary artists of color, Indigenous and immigrant artists. The commissioned artists will be supported through a series of remote artistic residencies and ongoing collaboration with EMPAC curators and technicians.

Visit the Arts Endowment for more information on projects included in their recent grant announcement.


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit