USF Jesters to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
February 8, 2018
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to the University of Saint Francis for the Jesters program. 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.
“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the University of Saint Francis Jesters, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring.”
“It’s truly an honor for our program to be recognized by the NEA once again,” said Jesters Program Director Allison Ballard. “This is the third consecutive year the Jesters has received this grant from the NEA, and I believe it speaks to the depth of this program and how it has touched both the participants and the community as a whole.”
Sponsored by the University of Saint Francis since 1978, the Jesters is a performing group of people with mild to severe developmental disabilities. The purpose of the Jesters is to enhance quality of life for people with disabilities by engaging them in the creative arts. The vision is to develop self-expression, self-esteem, socialization and other life skills while providing learning opportunities to the USF community and the community at large.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. To learn more about the USF Jesters, go to art.sf.edu/community-programs/jesters.
Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. In 2016, the University of Saint Francis expanded its presence to downtown Fort Wayne. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.