An innovative walkway of rain gardens and art space planned for the Hill District is one of several local projects and arts groups receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for 2013. These are among 832 grants totaling $23.3 million being funded throughout the country and Puerto Rico.
Curtain Call, the proposed $1.5 million meandering walkway designed by artist/landscape architect Walter Hood that would connect Centre and Fifth avenues alongside the Consol Energy Center, was approved by the Pittsburgh Planning Commission in 2009 but not funded. The Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County has been trying to raise money through foundations and other sources to pay for it.
The NEA is providing $50,000 toward this project.
Among other local groups receiving NEA funds are:
• Silk Screen (aka Silk Screen: Asian American Film Festival), $10,000: Silk Screen brings to Pittsburgh films, filmmakers, actors and directors from across Asia -- from Turkey to Japan, including Israel and other countries in the Middle East.
• City of Asylum, $23,000: To support the Jazz Poetry Festival. American jazz ensembles and international poets, sometimes censored in their home countries, will perform collaboratively and individually in this free street festival.
• Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, $10,000: To support "New Works: Ted Hearne and Mathew Rosenblum," a commissioning and performance project. The Hearne work will be scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, while the Rosenblum work, titled "Falling" (based on a James Dickey poem), will be scored for amplified ensemble of bass-baritone voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano/sampler and percussion.
• Pittsburgh Symphony Society, $60,0000: To support the Composer of the Year project, an artist residency with composer Mason Bates. The orchestra will perform the composer's "The B-Sides" with principal guest conductor Leonard Slatkin and "Desert Transport," a work inspired by a helicopter flight over the Arizona landscape, to be conducted by Juanjo Mena.