National Endowment for the Arts Awards $20,000 Grant to Independence Community College for Playwrights-in-Residence Program

Independence, Kansas – January 24, 2024 – Independence Community College (ICC) is honored to announce that it has been awarded a prestigious grant of $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support its acclaimed playwrights-in-residence program at the William Inge Center for the Arts. This grant is part of the NEA’s first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2024, totaling over $32 million in arts funding nationwide.

Out of the 1,288 grants awarded by the NEA, only approximately 70 were allocated to colleges or universities, with ICC standing out as the sole community college recipient in the category of Projects in the Arts: Theater. The William Inge Center for the Arts, renowned for its dedication to fostering emerging playwrights and theatrical talent, will utilize this grant to further enhance its innovative playwrights-in-residence program.

“This grant from the National Endowment for the Arts is a testament to the outstanding work being done at Independence Community College and the William Inge Center for the Arts,” said Taylor Crawshaw, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are deeply grateful for this support, which will enable us to continue nurturing artistic excellence and providing invaluable opportunities for our students and the wider community.”

The playwrights-in-residence program at ICC’s William Inge Center for the Arts is a cornerstone of the college’s commitment to arts education and community enrichment. Through this program, emerging playwrights receive mentorship, resources, and a platform to develop and showcase their work.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the NEA, which allows us to continue our playwrights-in-residence program and its educational activities,” said Dee Byrd-Molnar, William Inge Theatre for the Arts Director. “Programs such as this are infrequent in rural America and we are proud this grant aids The Inge Center to further support talented playwrights, foster creativity, and enhance art education in our area.”