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Inge Center lands prestigious $50,000 NEA grant 

David Henry Hwang speaking at the 2012 Inge Festival TributeThe William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College (ICC) has landed a prestigious award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) of $50,000.

The grant will support the annual William Inge Theatre Festival--the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas, which is in its 32nd year of honoring great contemporary playwrights.

“We are excited that the national theatre community acknowledges both the uniqueness of the Inge Center and the incredible contribution of William Inge to the nation’s literary heritage, in addition to the American theater,” said Peter Ellenstein, Inge Center artistic director.

“The NEA funding supports exciting additional new programming for the 2013 Inge Festival celebrating William Inge’s 100th birthday,” he said.

“The NEA award illustrates that outstanding programs at ICC enable the college to successfully compete with some of America’s most respected and largest institutions,” said college president Daniel Barwick.

The NEA awarded ArtsWorks grant to 150 recipients in the category of Theater and Musical Theatre nationwide.

The grant is also the largest to any Kansas organization in any arts category this round.  The other Kansas recipients are the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art ($35,000), and the Lawrence Arts Center ($20,000).

"I'm proud to announce these 832 grants in 13 artistic disciplines to the American public, including the William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs."

The NEA received a total of 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works, and 832 were recommended for NEA grants totaling $22.3 million.  Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit the NEA website at

The William Inge Center for the Arts is hosted by Independence Community College, which is a major funder.  Further funders include the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art,

The Inge Center is best known as sponsor of the annual William Inge Theatre Festival, the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas.  The 32nd Annual Inge Festival takes place May 1-4, 2013, and celebrates the legacy of William Inge his 100th date of birth. The Inge Center has helped developed hundreds of new plays by professionals, students and community members over the last decade.

The Inge Center is named for the late William Inge.  He was a native of Independence, and a graduate of Independence Community College.  He was an acclaimed writer and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in drama for his drama “Picnic” and an Oscar for best screenplay for “Splendor in the Grass.”

For more information, call (620) 332-5492, or visit