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NEA grants of more than $85 million awarded for arts project nationwide include $65,000 in support of TDF's National Open Captioning Initiative and National Autism Theatre Initiative

Date: Jun 14, 2017


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National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $65,000 to TDF to support TDF’s National Open Captioning Initiative and TDF’s National Autism Theatre Initiative. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. 

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as TDF, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

“We’re grateful to the NEA for recognizing the importance of making theatre accessible to people with physical and developmental disabilities,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director.  “This award will help us continue to serve theatres across the United States with open captioning for audiences members with mild to severe hearing loss and autism-friendly performances for families with children and adults on the autism spectrum.”

TDF’s National Open Captioning Initiative (NOCI) provides presenters and regional theatres with a replicable model, resources, and training in the implementation of open caption services for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing. Since 2004, NOCI has partnered with 41 arts organizations in 21 states.

TDF’s National Autism Theatre Initiative (NATI) assists partner theatres across the country in the staging and implementation of sensory friendly performances for individuals with autism or other developmental/cognitive disabilities, and their families. Since its inception in 2012, NATI has partnered with 17 arts organizations in 11 states, as well as Dublin, Ireland.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to  For more about TDF go to: