Press Release

The Telling Room Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

PORTLAND, Maine — National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced April 23 that The Telling Room is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Telling Room is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support their Young Writers and Leaders afterschool program for immigrant and refugee youth.

Young Writers & Leaders (YWL) is a free, afterschool literary arts program for teenaged refugee and immigrant English Language Learners. The program runs for nine months each year, engaging each student in weekly afterschool sessions that provide one on one literacy tutoring and college prep assistance, creative writing and arts programming, and job skills and leadership training.

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts.”

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants 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 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Panels of outside experts reviewed applications and convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, they seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for their students’ stories. They believe that the power of creative expression can change communities and prepare youth for future success. More information is available at