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Redfern Awarded NEA Grant for Shows Exploring Addiction, Culture, and Identity

July 18, 2017
East African singer and songwriter Somi will bring her blend of jazz and R&B to the Redfern in October.
East African singer and songwriter Somi will bring her blend of jazz and R&B to the Redfern in October.

Community Outreach to Schools and Local Organizations Incorporated into Programs

Keene State College today announces a grant provided to the Redfern Arts Center from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund four performances and several community-engagement activities related to drug and alcohol addition, culture, and identity. Keene State’s Redfern Arts Center is the only arts center within a public college or university in New Hampshire to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) since 1998. The Monadnock Region has received the most funding in New Hampshire from NEA in all of the state.

“We are grateful to the NEA for this funding, and pleased that there is strong support for the arts in the expression of, and education around, issues that directly impact our lives, including our sense of culture identity, and the struggle of addiction,” said Redfern Arts Center Director Shannon Mayers. “This grant helps us to further deliver on our mission of bringing the arts to our community, and engage patrons in thought-provoking issues that affect our society today, and for years to come.”

The NEA funding supports the presentation of Mapping Identities: Humanity and Culture through Performance, which explores the intersections of identity, culture, and creativity. Four performances during the 2017–18 Season weave together a shared conversation of what it means essentially to be human.

Artists include Moonfish Theatre from Galway, Ireland; acclaimed East African vocalist, songwriter, and scholar Somi; Hervé Koubi celebrates the cultural identity of an all-male dance company with Algerian and Brukinabé dancers; and Theater of War’s Addiction Performance Project uses theater to help increase awareness of the struggle of addiction, and to humanize people who have been impacted by this tragic epidemic.

During the season, the Redfern will be collaborating with the Cheshire Historical Society, Monadnock Cultural Center, Mariposa Museum, and the Monadnock Folklore Society to create a special exhibit of Irish immigration in the greater Monadnock region. As well as Health Science and Counseling Departments at Keene State, Keene High School, and Monadnock Regional High, and the Monadnock Alcohol & Drug Abuse Coalition to offer other creative activities to raise awareness of addiction among both high school and college students.

Visit the Redfern Arts Center’s webpage for more information on performances, including times and tickets.