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National Endowment for the Arts Awards Grant to CSO

More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide
Includes $15,000 awarded to the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $15,000 to the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s education programs. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

CSO Executive Director Samantha Teter said “We are thrilled to be recipients of an NEA grant, the CSO’s first in over ten years.  Our education program is one of the largest arts education programs in the region and reaches more than 25,000 students each year. We’re proud that the NEA considers our education programs as ‘a highly innovative and laudable initiative’. This funding will allow us to continue to inspire, engage, and enrich the lives of students in Hamilton County and eleven surrounding counties through music.”

Funds from the NEA will be used to support Sound Beginnings, a comprehensive educational program for elementary students, both typically developing and atypically developing children.  This program includes an instrument check-out program allowing music teachers the opportunity to borrow orchestral instruments to use in their classroom teaching and a four concert and activity series of Sensory Friendly concerts, appropriate for families and children with Autism, Down Syndrome, brain injuries, and those typically developing.  Also included in this program is the CSO’s Ensembles in the Schools and Young People’s Concert programs.  More information about these programs is available at or

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

For more information about the CSO’s award, please contact Samantha Teter.


The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera continues to inspire, engage, and enrich the greater Chattanooga community as it enters its 85th season. Conducted by Music Director Kayoko Dan, the CSO consists of top players from the Chattanooga area as well as from across the southern region. Well known for its education and engagement events, the musicians of the CSO perform to more than 30,000 students each year throughout the greater Chattanooga Community.

Samantha Teter
Executive Director
Phone: 423.267.8583 ext. 2104
Address: 701 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402



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