LSU to Receive National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Grant

By Elsa Hahne

January 10, 2023

ana maria otamendi

Ana María Otamendi, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano

BATON ROUGE — LSU has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. The grant will support the Collaborative Piano Institute at the LSU School of Music, a three-week annual summer program for up to 100 pianists, singers, composers, string instrumentalists and bassoonists.

This year’s edition will focus specifically on issues of race, underrepresentation and bias in classical music. Eight Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) faculty and guest artists will be supported by the NEA to deliver more than 70 lectures, discussions, master classes and live performances from June 4 to 24, 2023 — as well as private lessons and ensemble coaching sessions for participants who come from all over the world, with preference for people from underserved and underrepresented communities. The live performances will be free and open to the public.

The grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. "Projects such as this one with LSU strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

Learn More About This Award