While out in San Francisco, I was thrilled to discover that the Exit Theater had been awarded one of the coveted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Direct Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. As you may know, the Exit Theater hosts the San Francisco Fringe Festival, where Monkeyhouse performed in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 Monkeyhouse was also featured in DIVAfest, an Exit Theater initiative to support plays and new work by female artists.
The Exit's four stages in the Tenderloin district have been a vital hub for San Francisco's arts community for the last 26 years. Artistic Director and Founder, Christina Arguello continually creates opportunities that encourage collaboration and foster artistic experimentation. Hundreds of directors and companies including Mary Zimmerman, Banana Bag and Bodice, Mark Jackson and Sean Owens, have presented pieces under the auspices of this nonprofit.
When I returned home, Susan Hammond forwarded an email to me listing all of the organizations in Massachusetts that received these grants. I noticed that the City of Somerville was awarded $25,000 and that the Boston Dance Alliance received $50,000. That's when I realized how important these grants were to Monkeyhouse, even though we had not even applied for one. Monkeyhouse depends on an ecosystem of arts organizations to survive and I thought it might be useful to illustrate how some of the other grantees have influenced our growth. So for the next few weeks Monkeyhouse will devote a posts to this topic and call the series NEA Grantee of the Day.