West Virginia Public Broadcasting Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

Apr 16, 2014

These Mountain Stage performances from the 1980s will be digitized as part of the Digital Archive Project.
Credit Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) acting chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that West Virginia Public Broadcasting is one of 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support digitizing 30 years of Mountain Stage programs into a consistent and accessible format for all audiences.

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The NEA grant will provide the seed money for a multi-year effort that will preserve approximately 2,000 hours of music as a comprehensive, searchable, digital archive that will be accessible to all audiences through web and mobile application.

“The NEA is pleased to announce that West Virginia Public Broadcasting is recommended for an NEA Art Works grant, said Shigekawa. “These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation's artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape.”

Called the Mountain Stage Digital Archive Project, more than 800 program episodes will be transferred from five different formats: reel-to-reel tape, DAT tape, mini disc, CD, and hard drive to digital. The total cost for the project is estimated to be more than $100,000 and take up to three years to complete.

“This grant will be the foundation for saving these unique, irreplaceable performances by musicians from all over the world,” said Scott Finn, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. “It’s important that these recordings are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

“It will take a lot more effort and fundraising to make this project a success and we are grateful to the NEA for giving us a solid start,” Finn said.

A fundraising event is planned for May 17 and proceeds from the Paul Fox Memorial Golf Tournament on May 26 will also benefit the project. In addition, individuals may donate to the Mountain Stage Digital Archive Project any time by clicking the “Donate Now” button of the Mountain Stage website at MountainStage.org.

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 enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.  The NEA received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $76 million in funding. Of those applications, 886 are recommended for grants for a total of $25.8 million.

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

West Virginia Public Broadcasting tells West Virginia’s story through high-quality programming and services including West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, Mountain Stage®, wvpublic.org and Ready To Learn®.

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