Press Release: March 26, 2018

Native American Theatre Company at the Autry Museum to Receive $15,000 Grant From the National Endowment for the Arts

Native Voices at the Autry is the country’s only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights.

Los Angeles, CA (March 26, 2018)—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $15,000 to the Autry Museum of the American West for Native Voices at the Autry. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports 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.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the Autry Museum of the American West, 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.” 

W. Richard West, Jr. (Southern Cheyenne), President and CEO of the Autry, said, “We are proud to accept this vital grant for Native Voices, a platform for emerging Native playwrights who go on to see their work staged at theatres around the country, including major events like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The support that federal agencies such as the NEA provides is crucial to ensuring that these opportunities will continue to be available for successive generations of diverse artists from all walks of life.” 

The NEA grant will go to Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company in the country devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. Founded in 1994 by Producing Artistic Director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) and Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott, Native Voices became the resident theatre company at the Autry in 1999. The theatre company is committed to putting Native narratives at the center of the American story in order to facilitate a more inclusive dialog on what it means to be American. The company provides a supportive, collaborative setting and numerous performance opportunities year-round for Native theatre artists from across North America. 

About the Autry Museum of the American West
The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant collections of Native American materials in the United States. 

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.