By Amanda Schenk

The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation recently was awarded a $20,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant marks the first time the Cleveland-based conservatory has received such funding since it opened to the public in 2008.

The grant will support a six-month-long artist apprenticeship program. The conservatory will invite two artists, Hong Hong and Claudio Orso-Giacone, to create new work and act as mentors to engage Northeast Ohioans through hands-on art-making activities. Hong and Orso-Giacone will also provide adult studio workshops and offsite community arts workshops, give artist talks and exhibit work during their residency.

“The Morgan Conservatory is one of Cleveland’s best-kept secrets yet is recognized nationally as a leader in the art of handmade paper and books. Support from the NEA increases our visibility and allows us to grow artist engagement in Cleveland communities,” said Leonard D. Young, The Morgan Conservatory’s interim executive director, in a news release.

Claudio Orso-Giacone taught woodblock printing at The Morgan Conservatory’s Studio Open House in April. As an apprentice, he will provide adult studio workshops and offsite community arts workshops, give artist talks and exhibit work this summer. Photo courtesy of The Morgan Conservatory.

Five other Northeast Ohio institutions received NEA grants:

  • The Northeast Ohio Center for Choreography in Akron (National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron) received $20,000 to support its Integrated Dance Lab and Media Lab residencies;
  • The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland received $88,000 to support a randomized controlled trial examining the arts’ ability to improve health, resilience and well-being in individuals with chronic health conditions;
  •  GroundWorks DanceTheater in Cleveland received $15,000 to support commissions and creative residencies with choreographers Brian Brooks and Robyn Mineko Williams;
  • The Playhouse Square Foundation in Cleveland received $20,000 to support  the commission, development and premiere of “Cartography,” a new theatrical work conceived and created by Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers; and
  • Professional Flair, Inc. (The Dancing Wheels Company & School) in Cleveland received $15,000 to support activities that will further inclusivity in dance for people with disabilities.

A total of 16 grants were given in Ohio. All told, the NEA awarded grants in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. jurisdictions.

Mary Anne Carter, NEA acting chairperson, approved more than $80 million in grants in May as part of the agency’s second major funding announcement for the 2019 fiscal year. Of the 1,592 Art Works grant applications received, The Morgan Conservatory was one of only 977 to receive funding.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” Carter said in a news release. “Organizations such as The Morgan Conservatory are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create and be inspired.” CV

Lead image: Resident artist Hong Hong taught The Morgan Conservatory’s summer 2017 interns techniques used in creating her signature large-scale paper pours. She will return to the Morgan as an apprentice through our National Endowment for the Arts funding in fall 2019. Photo by Bob Perkoski courtesy of The Morgan Conservatory.