THE National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced $78 million in awards yesterday to arts projects and artists nationwide. New York, California, and Massachusetts will receive the most.
Government grants to artists ``help ignite a broad diversity of creative expression,'' says actress Jane Alexander, who chairs the endowment.
The NEA has also given money to symphonies, visual artists, dancers, music festivals, opera and musical theater companies, folk-arts programs, literary publishing, media arts centers, community groups, and museums.
New York is to receive 509 grants totaling $13.9 million; California will get $7.7 million for 323 grants, and the 82 grants to Massachusetts recipients amount to $2.9 million.
The endowment also awarded $7.6 million to 184 symphony and chamber orchestras, and $5.5 million to 113 professional dance companies.
The American Film Institute won three grants totaling $2.2 million for various projects, including its filmmaker and film- preservation programs.
The NEA awarded $4 million to support regional groups of state arts agencies, and $3.9 million to original producers of opera-musical theater.
All the awards, except those to individuals, require a match of at least $1 of private funds for every federal dollar granted, which officials expect will help raise about $500 million in matching funds. NEA's grant budget for the year is just under $150 million.