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NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release - December 18, 2002
Press Contact: J. M. Bailey (617) 971-9383

Boston Cyberarts Receives Major Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Boston Foundation

Boston, MA -- Boston Cyberarts is the recipient of two major grants that will fund programming in the upcoming 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival: a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a $30,000 grant from The Boston Foundation.

This is the first time the NEA has funded Boston Cyberarts. The grant came under the agency's Creativity/Multidisciplinary program and will be used to fund several specific Festival events. The NEA's announcement of this and other grants in the current funding cycle is expected to be made today.

The Boston Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country and an important supporter of Boston Cyberarts. The Foundation was a major funder of the Festival's Community Sites program in 2001, which brought cyberarts programming to community groups in Dorchester, Roxbury, and the South End. The current grant, one of five being made to arts groups at this time, will be used for institution-building and programs aimed at cultural economic development.

"We are very grateful for this tremendous vote of confidence by two pre-eminent funding organizations," said Festival Director George Fifield. "In these difficult economic times --and especially with the recent drastic cut in the Massachusetts Cultural Council's budget -- these two major grants will provide much-needed support to the community of artists working in new technologies." 

He added, "More important, though, is that both the NEA and The Boston Foundation recognize that the partnership of art and technology can provide not only interesting creative possibilities but an invaluable boost to regional economic development as well."

The Boston Cyberarts Festival was launched in 1999 with a start-up grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Cultural Economic Development program, a program that is being suspended because of the 62% budget cut that agency sustained for the upcoming fiscal year. Other early supporters of the Festival include the Phoenix Media Communications Group and the University Park Hotel @ MIT, both of whom are continuing their involvement in 2003.
Dozens of organizations have already signed up to participate in the 2003 Festival, taking place April 26-May 11, 2003. Among the highlights are the North American premiere of Tod Machover's Toy Symphony, presented by the MIT Media Lab, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Boston Cyberarts; and a conference on digital and interactive public art presented by Urban Arts at the Mass College of Art, in collaboration with Harvard, Boston University, and the Festival. Other institutions planning to participate include the Boston Public Library, Boston Musica Viva, the DeCordova Museum, Art Interactive, the Copley Society, Mobius, and many others.

More detailed information on the scheduled events will be on the Festival's website at bostoncyberarts.org beginning in January.

# # #

The 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival is an international biennial festival that brings together artists in all media who are using computers to advance traditional artistic disciplines and to create new interactive worlds. The Festival will take place at museums, galleries, theaters, educational institutions, and public spaces in and around Boston from April 26 to May 11, 2003, and on the Festival’s website. For further information, call 617.524.8495 or visit bostoncyberarts.org.

Boston Cyberarts Festival
9 Myrtle Street
Boston, MA 02130

Telephone 617.524.8495
Fax 617.524.9968
bostoncyberarts.org

 


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