The LIVE Center Awarded $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

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The LIVE Center (or the Center for Live Interactive Virtual Education) within George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has been approved for a $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This funding will support future programming from this groundbreaking center at Mason: the LIVE Center Mentoring Series.

Developed to expand the reach of the LIVE center’s groundbreaking virtual instruction technology and the connections it makes possible, the LIVE Center Mentoring Series is a new project that offers direct access to exciting classes and conversations with globally recognized artists, choreographers, and performers. Students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Mason will be joined by high school and university students from around the country, broadening access to exceptional training and connections in the professional dance world. This grant will fund three iterations of the LIVE Center Mentoring Series during 2022. The first class is anticipated for May 2022, and will be shared live with about 300 participants across the United States. More details about the dates and participating artists will be announced as they are finalized.

"This is a unique opportunity to connect leading artists with the next generation of performers in a supportive and meaningful way," said Christopher d’Amboise, Heritage Professor of Dance and leader of the LIVE Center.

Christopher d'Amboise in front of the Window Wall
Christopher d'Amboise teaching a class in front of the LIVE Center Window Wall, in the Fall of 2021.

In 2019, d’Amboise saw a need for video conferencing that allowed for life-sized, full body interaction. From this, the concept of the Window Wall was created: a teacher in a remote location could be projected live and life-sized onto the wall of a studio, while a live feed of the students is projected for the teacher.

This concept became the basis for the flagship initiative of the LIVE Center. By eliminating the barrier of distance, theWindow Wall expands possibilities for virtual teaching, performances, and one-of-a-kind events.

The LIVE Center Mentoring Series project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts in Fairfax, VA is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

To stay in the know, visit the LIVE Center site.