Spooky Action Theater Receives National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Fast-Track Grant to Support the Production of ‘Kwaidan’ by Roberta Alves

National Endowment for the Arts Spooky Action receives Challenge America Fast-Track Grant to support the production of Kwaidan


The Grant will help bring guest artist Izumi Ashizawa to Washington DC and promote outreach activities.

Izumi Ashizawa.
Izumi Ashizawa.

(NEA) Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Spooky Action Theater Company (SAT) is one of 150 not-for-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant. SAT is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support the production of Kwaidan, a play based on Japanese folk tales and ghost stories, collected by author Lafcadio Hearn and directed by Izumi Ashizawa, with related outreach activities.

“The main focus of the grant is to support bringing guest artist Izumi Ashizawa to Washington for the production,” celebrates Artistic Director Richard Henrich. “And with this grant it will also be possible to extend our outreach program, including audience talkbacks with actors and specialists, and additional activities that engage the Asian American community in Washington.”

Spooky Action Theater's Artistic Director Richard Heinrich.
Spooky Action Theater’s Artistic Director Richard Heinrich.

The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers $10,000 matching grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. Challenge America Fast-Track grants support two major outcomes: public engagement with diverse and excellent art and livability, or the strengthening of communities through the arts. In this FY 2014 funding round, the NEA received 294 eligible Challenge America Fast-Track applications requesting $2.94 million in funding. The NEA will award 150 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1.5 million to organizations in 46 states, including 33 first-time NEA grantees, or 22 percent of all CAFT grantees in this round.

“The NEA was founded on the principle that the arts belong to all the people of the United States,” said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “We’re proud that Challenge America Fast-Track grants bring more opportunities for arts engagement to underserved communities.”

See the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support atn www.arts.gov.

Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn (May 29 – June 22, 2014)

“Ghostly Japan,” as captured by American novelist Lafcadio Hearn. These folk tales and supernatural stories are embedded in the Japanese mind and heart – they speak to a world of spirit everywhere around us, revealed in astonishing ways. Kwaidan is rich in visual imagery, movement and puppetry inspired by traditional Japanese forms, combined with modern stagecraft.

For more information about Spooky Action Theater,
see our website, or call (202) 248-0301.


Spooky Action Theater
1810 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009


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