National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced on April 23 that Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc. (JAM, Inc.) is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.

JAM, Inc is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support current and future JAM programs throughout the Southern Appalachian region.

JAM, Inc’s Connect project will enhance and promote traditional musical programs through outreach to school systems and civic organizations by convening meetings to introduce the program to new communities.

The organization will also be offering workshops to instructors, developing teaching aids and producing promotional material. The JAM program model, currently in 22 communities throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, provides instruction in traditional music and dance to youth. It began in 2000 in Alleghany County, N.C. as an after-school program by traditional musician and guidance counselor Helen White.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States,” said Shigekawa. “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.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts has a remarkable history of supporting Folk and Traditional Arts, while it also seeks out and welcomes innovation in the arts from aspiring organizations,” said Edward Baker, newly appointed president and executive director of JAM, Inc. “We are truly honored to receive this grant.”

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. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts 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, visit the NEA website at