Deep Center has been named one of only 57 national recipients of the 2019 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town award.
Of the $4.1 million awarded across the country, Deep will receive $150,000 to support Still Astronauts, a project of its Block by Block program.
"Launched in 2011, Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative-placemaking grants program. It supports projects that integrate arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities by transforming them into lively, beautiful, and resilient places," says a Deep spokesperson.
Still Astronauts, a project of Deep’s Block by Block program, "will employ creative writing and art-making to engage young and adult writers and artists along with policymakers and adult stakeholders in research, art-making and storytelling, community-building, and envisioning change for Chatham County’s birth-to-prison-pipeline," they say.
Partners include the City of Savannah, the Chatham County Juvenile Court, the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, and the Savannah Police Department. Still Astronauts gets it title from a poem, “No Longer Astronauts,” by Deep author Nadine Niang about the harmful effects of America’s juvenile justice system.
“Deep Center is following our young leaders in addressing Savannah’s most pressing issues for youth and their families,” said Dare Dukes, executive director of Deep Center. “And our region’s birth-to-prison-pipeline is right at the top of that list. We are grateful for the NEA’s support in helping Deep Center’s community elevate the dialogue, share the hard truths, and celebrate visions for changing the way Savannah supports its young people.”
“These awards made to organizations across the United States are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Deep are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”