Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hooray for Joe's!

NEA Awards Joe’s Movement Emporium $50,000 Our Town Grant
Mount Rainier and Gateway Arts District Emerge Through Art Lives Here Campaign

Joe’s Movement Emporium has been awarded $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help enliven the Mount Rainier town center and promote the Gateway Arts District. Through Art Lives Here, an 18-month campaign, partners in the project will engage citizens through participatory public arts projects, pair artists with businesses and create pop-up installations, lease blighted commercial spaces and establish a Downtown Arts Season. The NEA is investing almost $5 million in small towns and arts organizations across the country to support creative placemaking. Joe’s is one of 80 selected among 300 applicants.

     “I am thrilled to have the support from the NEA’s Our Town grant because it reaffirms how special the creative community is in Mount Rainier and the Gateway Arts District,” said Brooke Kidd, Executive Director and Founder of Joe’s. “This project [Art Lives Here] will continue to build on our community programming, support business-artist partnerships, and bring visibility to the wonderful artists and programs that we have here.”   

     Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects are designed to improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. 

     Mount Rainier is considered by many to be the cultural heart of the Gateway Arts District and through several initiatives community leaders have improved and increased its profile in recent years. “People who experience Mount Rainier tend to fall in love with the neighborhood,” said Michelle Darden Lee, spokesperson for the project. “Our charge now is to serve as a bridge between the numerous creative efforts already established in the community and present that to the rest of the beltway area and beyond.”

Joe’s Movement Emporium is the community performing arts center of World Arts Focus, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1992. The mission is to promote participation and practice in dance, movement, and performing arts traditions from around the world while using the arts as a key tool to revitalize community. Founded in 1992, World Arts Focus provides educational and cultural programs incorporating dance, movement and performing arts traditions from around the world. For more information call (301) 699-1819 or visit

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

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