Milkweed Editions to Receive $60,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


Milkweed Editions to Receive $60,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Milkweed Staff — 02/07/2018

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this is an Art Works grant of $60,000 to Milkweed Editions.

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus 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/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to Milkweed Editions, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said Chu. “At the NEA, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring.”  In fact, despite proposals from the Trump administration calling for the elimination of the NEA and other federal agencies, 2017 grants from the NEA supported artistic programming in every U.S. state and jurisdiction. The NEA also provides creative writing and literary translation fellowships directly to writers, including many published by Milkweed Editions.

Here at Milkweed Editions, our publishing program is sustained by a healthy mix of revenue, including revenue from the sales of books we have published as well as support from readers, private foundations, and government agencies—including the NEA and the Minnesota State Arts Board. (The NEA has supported Milkweed Editions since our founding in 1980.) Over these past several decades, NEA dollars have funded the publication of dozens of works of literature, enabling us to support the artists we publish directly, to employ staff, and to serve readers across the nation by engaging them in the kinds of conversations that are sparked uniquely by literature—conversations that connect communities and serve as tools of understanding and hope for cultural, political, environmental, and personal change. 

“As if the foregoing were not enough, I feel compelled to add that the dollars granted to our organization by the NEA have been a remarkably good investment,” says Publisher and CEO Daniel Slager. “Apart from the fact that arts organizations such as ours use these grants to leverage additional support, the NEA—a relatively small agency, with an annual budget of less than $150 million—is one of the nation’s leading investors in the broader arts and culture sector, which contributes $704 billion to the U.S. economy annually, or 4.2% of our GDP. If only all federal expenditures were this productive!”

This $60,000 grant will support the publication of eleven books over the coming year—a mix of poetry, novels, and nonfiction—that represent the height of artistic ability, are authored by writers with diverse lived experiences, and explore important conversations in American culture today. In addition to working closely with the authors as they develop and refine their manuscripts, Milkweed will design beautiful covers and interiors for these works of art, and introduce these new books to readers across the country. 

Share your support for the NEA and its critical programming by using #NEA2018 and #ThankYouNEA.

Learn more about how the NEA supports literature here.
Learn more about how to support the NEA here.