Company of Folk Receives $30k Grant From NEA


DATE:  January 1, 2017

CONTACT: Clark “Bucky” Halker 


Company of Folk to Receive $30,000 Grant from The National Endowment for the Arts


Chicago—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $30,000 to Company of Folk for their latest project entitled “The Art of Work.”


The NEA Art Works category focuses on 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 arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Company of Folk, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”


Bucky Halker, the Director of Company of Folk, said “We are especially pleased that the NEA has provided us with this award as it provides an opportunity for us to work with some superb artists in Chicago and to bring their art to underserved audiences throughout the city.”


“The Art of Work” supports a year-long program series highlighting artistic traditions of Chicago workers and their vital contribution to the city’s artisitc and cultural life.  Artists represented in the series create art as part of their daily jobs: ornamental iron workers, a labor musician, and Japanese shamisen musicians. Others create art where class, ethnicity, and community intersect to shape their art: an Irish ironworker turned accordionist, a Guatemalan day laborer and marimba master, and a Mexican muralist with a powerful labor and immigration images and themes.


They share life-long ties to the art of labor, which legendary folklorist Archie Green and others long argued was undervalued in our culture and society.


The series features 16 programs at 4 sites, chosen because of history and location, including Pullman, McKinley Branch Library, Back of the Yards, and the Illinois Labor History Society.


For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit


For more information on “The Art of Work” contact Company of Folk: or call 773-275-4959