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Chameleon Arts Ensemble to Receive Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

December 13, 2016 – Boston, MA – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston for “Chameleon at 20,” a series of chamber music concerts (3 programs and 6 concerts) in the fall of 2017 celebrating the Ensemble’s 20th anniversary.

The Art Works category focuses 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 the strengthening of communities through the arts.

The centerpiece of Chameleon’s project will be a program exploring the evolution of the American sound. It will feature the original 1944, 13-instrument version of Aaron Copland’s masterpiece Appalachian Spring along with works by Arthur Foote, Charles Ives, Arthur Berger, and John Harbison. Creating a language distinct from European traditions became a keen interest of Copland’s in the mid-1930s, and his use of songs (like the Shaker melody “Simple Gifts” in Appalachian Spring), incisive rhythm, and relaxed, open textures, paved the way for music that would come to be described as American. Full details and dates will be announced in the spring. This is Chameleon’s second grant in three years from the NEA.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts. Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

Chameleon’s Artistic Director Deborah Boldin commented, “We are extremely grateful for the support and confidence the NEA has placed in our organization. That a small outfit like
 Chameleon has survived – and thrived – for 20 years is a testament to our cherished community of concertgoers, supporters, and artists. I can think of no better way to launch this celebratory year, and I thank the National Endowment for the Arts for helping us continue to create connections between old and new works and produce vibrant chamber music programs that speak to the ever-evolving nature of our art form.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit Follow the conversation about this and other NEA-funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall16 and @NEAarts.


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"Planning a good chamber music program is a delicate art unto
itself, and few in town have
mastered it as persuasively."

- The Boston Globe


“rediscovery, curiosity and
supersonic performing”

- The Boston Musical Intelligencer


“The crowd rose to their feet
within seconds. Smiles from
on stage and in the audience
testified to an exquisite afternoon.”

- The Boston Musical Intelligencer



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