EDISON, NJ - In November 2015, the Axis Dance Company, in partnership with the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI), an Edison community-based organization that supports independent living for people with disabilities, and the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions, will explore perceptions of disability and its relationship to dance through physically integrated community dance classes and a performance at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced this week, that Rutgers University is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.

Rutgers is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support the presentation of the Lula Washington Dance Theater and Axis Dance Company as entries in the Dance Symposium Series mounted by the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University-Newark. The Series marks its tenth anniversary in 2015.

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The Institute will present The Lula Washington Dance Theatre at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater on February 26, 2015, in conjunction with the 35th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series on February 21. Lula and company members will also teach a master class for junior and senior students in the dance program at Newark's Arts High School. NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "I'm pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to Rutgers University. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives."

“We at the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience are thrilled to receive this support from the NEA,” said Mark Krasovic, Institute Associate Director. “We believe that the arts – in all their creative and critical rigor – have an essential role to play in cultivating a more livable city and world. This generous grant will help put this belief into action.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

For more information about the Dance Symposium Series at Rutgers University-Newark, visit the Institute’s website at Ethnicity Rutgers, and follow us on our social media platforms;

ACI is proud to have partnered with Rutgers University-Newark on this grant and looking forward to bringing Axis Dance Company to NJ in November 2015.