Thursday, March 15, 2018 HBCU Music Departments Benefit from NEA Funded Arts Program

CAAPA Master Class Series at Morgan State University featuring student baritone Christian Isaiah Simmons (rt), Music Master soprano N’Kenge (far left), and CAAPA Artistic Director Dr. Lester on piano.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Nationwide — Uniquely positioned as possibly the first and only nationwide Master Class Series, a program featuring African American classical music masters and designed to partner with HBCUs, is on the move with National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) federal funding. 

Now underway, the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA)’s national Master Class Series funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) presents the first session at Hampton University, Hampton, VA on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the R. Nathaniel Dett Auditorium (Armstrong Hall), 100 E Queen St, Hampton, VA at 3pm. Facilitated by soprano Angela Renee Simpson, the MasterClass Series, which is at no cost to the institutions, is part of the NEA’s $25 million in grants, the first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018, approved by NEA Chairman Jane Chu. CAAPA received $10,000 of the Art Works category budget, the NEA’s largest funding category supporting projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

So far, additional confirmed CAAPA MasterClass 2018 sessions include Southern University on Wednesday, March 21st; Howard University on Wednesday, April 11th; Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark-Atlanta University on Thursday, April 12th with Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Livingstone College, and Virginia State University pending final dates. MusicMasters scheduled to facilitate the sessions include bass/baritone Kevin Short and tenor and NEA Award recipient George Shirley, with Simpson who also serves as the program coordinator conducting the Master Class at Southern University.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one with CAAPA, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring.”

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