DATE:   [May 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET]

 Woodford Theatre to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

[Versailles, KY]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Woodford Theatre for its arts-meets-activism education initiative The Girl Project (TGP). The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Woodford Theatre in Versailles, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“This is a milestone for TGP and the girls in our program as we are going into our sixth year. Not only will we have the ability to continue to provide this valuable program to students across Central Kentucky, but it helps put us on the map,” said co-founders of TGP Vanessa Becker Weig and Ellie Clark. “We are grateful for the NEA’s recognition of the importance of this program and its continued growth.”

Woodford Theatre’s The Girl Project (TGP), founded in 2012 by Ellie Clark and Vanessa Becker Weig, is an art-activism initiative that empowers teenaged girls to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls in contemporary media culture through the performing arts. Girls across Central Kentucky are recruited to audition for TGP. Guest artists from around the country lead the girls in devised theatre, multimedia, dance, and other performing arts workshops, each addressing a facet of media misrepresentation and sexism. Participants write, devise, and perform a theatrical performance based on their workshop experiences. The Girl Project: Next Generation, developed by Margaret McGladrey, is an outreach program for middle school girls. It introduces participants to TGP alumni who serve as their mentors in fostering discussion and creating devised theatre addressing girlhood, self-image, and current events. TGP also hosts the Voices HEaRd community festival, a performance weekend that impacts an even larger audience by partnering with more than 40 theatre artists across the state.

“We believe this program could benefit thousands of girls and women every year. Woodford Theatre makes every effort to bring positive change to our community and we appreciate the NEA’s trust in our programs, said Woodford Theatre Executive/Artistic Director Trish Clark.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit