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National Endowment for the Arts Awards More Than $27.6 Million Across Nation Includes $25,000 awarded to KCET's Departures Initiative

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Ariel Carpenter for KCET

747-201-5243 or acarpenter@kcet.org

National Endowment for the Arts Awards More Than $27.6 Million Across Nation Includes $25,000 awarded to KCET's Departures Initiative

Burbank, CA, December 9, 2015--In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $25,000 to KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern California, to support its Departures initiative focusing on the L.A. River.

The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "The arts are part of our everyday lives - no matter who you are or where you live - they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from KCET offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day." 

"We are grateful that the NEA supports our continuing exploration of the societal, environmental and cultural implications of the River's revitalization on Los Angeles neighborhoods," said Juan Devis, Senior Vice President, Content Development and Production. "By engaging with young Angelenos through our Departures program, students contribute their unique cultural narratives which greatly inform how the River plan continues to evolve."

Departures: Youth Voices is a digital literacy and civic engagement program that invites youth to explore their neighborhood where they investigate its cultural, social, and political history and take a critical look at the issues facing their community. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Youth Voices/L.A. River will serve approximately 60 youth from high schools located in L.A. River communities.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.

ABOUT KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.

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