Waterfall Arts in Belfast has been selected to receive one of the 162 grants of $10,000 awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has noted, “Art works everywhere, which is why the NEA’s Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.”
The funds will be used to undertake a major assessment of Waterfall Arts’ Belfast building, the former Governor Anderson School. The assessment will include structural and energy systems analysis, investigation of moisture problems and the determination of options that will make the building handicapped accessible.
Waterfall Arts’ Facilities Committee, under the leadership of Matt O’Malia of Belfast’s award-winning GO Logic Homes, and Waterfall Arts staff will develop a long term, high efficiency renovation plan incorporating the information obtained through these assessments by the end of June 2012.
“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that art organizations do in underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art and design works for all Americans.”
As a contemporary arts center, Waterfall Arts offers classes, residencies, exhibitions, studio space and art and cultural events for all ages and abilities. With its mission of creating community in harmony with nature through the transformative power of the arts, the organization plays a vital role in increasing availability to the arts in a community with limited access due to economics and geographic location.