National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $20,000 to the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) for the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) created in partnership with South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). This is one of 1,015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.
“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
“The CAA is honored and fortunate to have the National Endowment for the Arts’ continued support for the Underwater Museum of Art,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. “Support at the federal level affirms the importance and uniqueness of the UMA and ensures its sustainability. We thank the NEA for funding our project and for its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.”
Named in 2018 by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is presented as part of CAA’s Art In Public Spaces Program and augments SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.
With support from the Alys Foundation, Visit South Walton, Visit Florida, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, 30A Company, and the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, UMA sculptures are deployed with SWARA’s existing USACOA and FDEP permitted artificial reef projects that includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in approximately 57 feet of water. The 2020 installation will join the seventeen sculptures previously deployed on a one-acre permit patch of seabed off Grayton Beach State Park, further expanding the nation’s first permanent underwater museum.
For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.