April 26, 2012, New York — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced yesterday that the Architectural League is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Architectural League is recommended for a $30,000 grant to facilitate the publication of a book, chronicling 30 years of its Emerging Voices program; the presentation of symposia throughout the country, featuring past winners of Emerging Voices Awards; and the production of a traveling exhibition, considering the program in the context of North American architectural culture. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
The Architectural League inaugurated the juried Emerging Voices series in 1982. It was conceived to focus attention on young and early mid-career architects and designers whose work presents a distinctive point of view and expression and has the potential for significant impact on the disciplines of architecture, urbanism, or landscape design. Over the course of three decades, Emerging Voices has recognized many significant figures of successive generations of American architects, from Steven Holl, Tod Williams, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in the early years, to Toshiko Mori, James Corner, Jeanne Gang, SHoP Architects, and more recently Chris Reed, WORKac, and Urban Lab. In 1994, the program was expanded to Canada and Mexico, and has recognized Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, Pierre Thibault, Tatiana Bilbao, and Michel Rojkind, among others.
Emerging Voices: 30 Years will simultaneously engage the history of the program and the history of contemporary American architecture from two perspectives: documentation of the work and influence of program participants, including how the careers and impact of specific individuals and firms have developed over time; and interpretation of how, collectively, the work of the Emerging Voices has shaped and reflected the evolving ideas, preoccupations, and production of American architects in the last three decades. The exhibition, book, and programs will allow the League to reach a national audience from students to design professionals to the general public.
Chairman Landesman said, “The arts should be a part of everyday life. Whether it’s seeing a performance, visiting a gallery, participating in an art class, or simply taking a walk around a neighborhood enhanced by public art, these grants are ensuring that across the nation, the public is able to experience how art works.”
Architectural League executive director Rosalie Genevro said “We are thrilled to have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts to help us document the thirty-year history of Emerging Voices, one of the League’s most influential programs. Emerging Voices has recognized the accomplishments and helped foster the development of many of North America’s most talented architects, and the history of the program provides a fascinating perspective on evolving ideas about buildings, landscapes and cities over the last three decades.”
The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.