NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COMPOSERS NOW AND CIVITELLA RANIERI
Composers Now, under the artistic direction of Tania León, has announced the expansion of its Creative Residencies initiative with a new partnership with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, based in the Umbria Region of Italy. Two composers, each selected by Composers Now, will receive a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship consisting of a six-week residency at the center in addition to travel, room and board. Residencies will take place in 2016 and 2017. Read the entire press release
MAP FUND AWARDS UNIV. OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS GRANT FOR LEÓN'S LITTLE ROCK NINE, JOINING THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, VIRGINIA B. TOULMIN FOUNDATION, & FRED DARRAGH FOUNDATION
The Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP Fund) has awarded the University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts and Communication a grant to support Little Rock Nine, an opera composed by Tania León with libretto by Henry Louis Gates Jr. See www.mapfund.org/grant_876.html for more information. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the Fred Darragh Foundation have already awarded grants to the University in support of the commission, development, and premiere of the opera.
León and Gates will create a two hour score based on the true story of nine African-American students who, in 1957, under federal troop escort, entered all-white Central High School to obtain an equal education. Little Rock and "The Nine" came to symbolize the federal government's commitment to eliminating separate systems of education for blacks and whites. The Little Rock Crisis of 1957 was "the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War," with nine black children seeking equal education at its center. The opera promises to "give voice to those who were mostly seen through grainy newsreels," and asks "[what will] win out: betrayal or courage, rage or principle, hate or the dignity of rising by learning?" A universal and original story of heroism in the face of racial prejudice, the opera is expected to resonate with a diverse audience. For more information, visit UCA's website.
New York Times / Arts Beat's Allan Kozinn writes: An Opera About Little Rock Integration, With Libretto by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Read the press release: The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Brings Major Support to the Opera The Little Rock Nine by Tania León and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.