PRESS RELEASE: The Word to receive $100K grant by the National Endowment for the Arts


Denver, CO—The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The Word is recommended to receive $100,000. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as The Word, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

"We are honored to receive this support from the NEA for our work building supports for storytellers from the margins, so that as we are moving forward from these very challenging years we are walking forward together." - Viniyanka Prasad, Executive Director of The Word.


The Word will use the funds to support an increase in organizational capacity to assist with the 500% growth of its programs from 2017 through 2022. In the past fiscal year, The Word supported 1500 artists and publishing creatives through its core programs and served over three (3) million booklovers through new opportunities to connect with storytellers, book-makers, and booksellers from marginalized communities. The Word will continue to build new opportunities in the arts, using the NEA's support to increase staff and partnerships, thereby increasing vibrant representation and economic opportunities through the literary arts.


The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.


For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.