NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that Northwest Arkansas’s TheatreSquared has been selected for two grant programs.

According to a press release, the money will support the 2022 Arkansas New Play Festival and, through the American Rescue Plan, assist in the company’s ongoing efforts to chart a path past the COVID-19 crisis.

“Support from the NEA is crucial,” said Martin Miller, Executive Director. “TheatreSquared is thrilled to have this important support for our state’s leading laboratory for bold new plays, and to help lay the foundation for Northwest Arkansas’s theatre to emerge even stronger from the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic.”

The Grants for Arts Projects award is designated to support the upcoming Arkansas New Play Festival and marks eleven consecutive years that the company has received support for new works from the NEA. T2’s Arkansas New Play Festival has helped incubate more than 60 plays.

The playwright-focused festival links authors with a director, dramaturg, and professional cast for an intensive two-to-three week laboratory process, culminating in staged reading performances. Staged readings have been held in venues throughout Fayetteville, Bentonville, Little Rock and streamed online.

Through the Arkansas New Play Festival, TheatreSquared seeks “to give voice to playwrights whose timely and relevant stories resonate with the moment we live in—in Arkansas, in mid-America, and as a nation,” the release states.

The Arkansas New Play Festival is one project among 1,248 across America that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

Additionally, TheatreSquared will receive additional support in the form of an American Rescue Plan award. This grant was created to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.

TheatreSquared will use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. The combined grants total $180,000.

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.

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcements, visit arts.gov/news.