Springfield’s Westcott House earns $20K grant from national arts group

Money will fund educational programs for children, adults.

The Westcott House Foundation has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA awarded 37 grants totaling $615,000 to Ohio organizations and individuals.

The grant will be used to plan and offer a series of design educational programs for kids and adults called “Westcott Design Hub,” said Executive Director & Curator Marta Wojcik.

The program will use a variety of teaching tools from traditional arts supplies to LEGO Architecture Studio, Adobe Creative Cloud and more. In the past, Wescott has offered activity workshops such as LEGO, Architectural Photography, Froebel Blocks and Multimedia Design.

“This is a great opportunity to not only engage youth and adults in design activities that are otherwise not available in our community, but also provide design professionals and artists in our area a chance to teach and interact with the general public,” Wojcik said.

Since opening to the public in 2005, the Wescott House has received several grants from the NEA, and has been recipients of grant support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for Humanities. Wojcik said since these grants are competitive and funding is limited, it’s “always a great honor” to be selected.

Wright designed the Westcott House in 1906, and it was built in 1908. Nearly four decades later, the building was altered into a multi-unit apartment building that no longer reflected Wright’s design.

The efforts of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Westcott House Foundation led to extensive preservation and restoration work that ended with the museum opening nearly 18 years ago.

Most of the NEA awards — 28 out of the 37 — were distributed through NEA’s Arts Projects program, which is the agency’s largest program and covers a wide range of projects in 15 artistic disciplines and field, and range from $10,000 to $40,000.

Seven of the nonprofit organizations received Challenge America grants, with each totaling $10,000, that are “awarded in all artistic disciplines to reach historically underserved communities that have rich and dynamic cultural identities.”

Two Ohioans were awarded Literacy Fellowships including Connor Yeck, of Cincinnati, received the $25,000 Creative Writing fellowship in poetry and Teresa Villa-Ignacio, of Cleveland Heights, received the $10,000 Translation Projects fellowship.

As part of its first round of funding for federal fiscal year 2023, the NEA has recommended 1,569 arts grants nationwide totaling more than $34 million.

“Together, these grants show the NEA’s support nationwide for strengthening our arts and cultural ecosystems, providing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contributing to the health of our communities and our economy,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “I encourage everyone to explore these projects and the ways they help provide inspiration, understanding, and opportunities for us to live more artful lives.”

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