Logo for the National Endowment for the Arts

Canopy Studio is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. This grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” says NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with Canopy Studio strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

“We couldn’t be more honored to be approved to receive the Challenge America award, one of only 29 entities in Georgia to do so,” says Ann Woodruff, Canopy Studio’s Executive Director. “This grant ensures the continued implementation of our Outreach Program with a goal to reach our pre-pandemic levels of assistance.”

This grant will support Canopy’s Outreach Program to continue to reach a wider audience and reflect the diversity of the Athens community-at-large, bringing the opportunity for personal enrichment through aerial arts to everyone regardless of age, ability, or socioeconomic status. In 2022 174 scholarships were awarded totaling more than $35,000 worth of support to our students for classes, private lessons, or 1:1 instruction within group classes.

Aerial arts is more than just hanging upside down and having fun. It’s about growing confidence, self-esteem, creativity, and in some cases, reaching developmental milestones. Canopy offers a unique path to resiliency through art, sport, camaraderie, and the physical and mental fitness that so often follows. Through the Outreach Program our goal is to continually identify barriers to entry and make it easier for students to apply for help and afford taking classes at Canopy.

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

About The National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), established in Congress in 1965, is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. 

The NEA’s primary activities include grantmaking to nonprofit arts organizations, public arts agencies and organizations, colleges and universities, federally recognized tribal communities or tribes, and individual writers and translators. Grant applications are reviewed by panels of arts experts and individuals from across the country. All grants must be matched one-to-one by nonfederal sources, except for individual grants to writers and translators. NEA funding is appropriated by Congress annually. 

About Canopy Studio

Canopy Studio is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to enriching the culture of our community and the lives of individuals through flying dance trapeze, movement education, and performance arts. Canopy is a resource for local artists and all individuals, regardless of background, age, or physical ability, providing instruction in movement arts and a much-needed venue for viewing and participating in performances.

Canopy Studio began as a small group, under the leadership of Founder Susan Murphy, who believed in the idea of a dedicated aerial arts center, where community members of all ages and abilities could learn the art of aerial dance and performance. Don Carson, Susan’s husband, was the builder, and Jennifer and Bob Segrest and Chris Evans were the architects of this ambitious and visionary project. In 2002, nine months after breaking ground, Canopy’s doors opened.