USF Jesters to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

(Photo Supplied/University of St. Francis)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for the 2018 fiscal year.

Included in the announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to the University of Saint Francis for the Jesters program. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the University of Saint Francis Jesters, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”

“It’s truly an honor for our program to be recognized by the NEA once again,” said Jesters Program Director Allison Ballard. “This is the third consecutive year the Jesters has received this grant from the NEA, and I believe it speaks to the depth of this program and how it has touched both the participants and the community as a whole.”

Sponsored by the University of Saint Francis since 1978, the Jesters is a performing group of people with mild to severe developmental disabilities. The purpose of the Jesters is to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities by engaging them in the creative arts. The vision is to develop self-expression, self-esteem, socialization and other life skills while providing learning opportunities to the USF community and the community at large.

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