Over 2 Million Votes Cast For Ovation's innOVATION Grant Program Northside Workshop in St. Louis wins $15,000 Viewers' Choice innOVATION Grant for its "Community Build The Arts" Initiative

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ovation, the only multi-platform arts network, is announcing the Viewers' Choice winner in its first annual innOVATION Grant Program. After more than 2 million votes were cast, the $15,000 grant was awarded to Northside Workshop in St. Louis for its "Community Build the Arts" initiative, which is spurring community revitalization and engagement.

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Sixty organizations submitted their projects to be judged through votes by Ovation community members and viewers on Ovation's Facebook page. The site received an average of 25,000 votes a day over the course of the two-and-a-half-month voting period. Northside Workshop, which highlighted its "Beautification of Vacant Space" program, was the clear winner.

"This was the first time we asked our viewers to weigh in on Ovation's Advocacy efforts and the response was incredible," said Sonia Tower, VP of Corporate Relations, Ovation. "Thanks to our partnership with Americans for the Arts, and to the guidance we received from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), we were able to showcase some of the most inspiring stories from organizations all over the country that are making a difference in their communities, through arts-centric revitalization projects. It is our hope that the innOVATION Program will not only help support and sustain these kinds of programs, but encourage further innovation through the arts."

Northside Workshop's "Community Build the Arts" initiative includes the "Beautification of Vacant Space" program, which teaches middle school students to develop creative strategies for addressing urban abandonment in their community by incorporating into their curriculum socially engaged art and education courses like studio art, beekeeping and gardening.  In addition, Northside Workshop created "The Year of Listening Project," which consists of a creative survey to help identify community needs by listening and sharing stories in order to co-generate ideas that have the potential for the most positive impact.

"We believe the best way to address community and cultural issues is through experiential programs and hands-on activities," said Juan William Chavez, Director of Northside Workshop. "The innOVATION Grant will help fund the expansion of the outdoor classroom and purchase of materials, studio supplies and equipment for the "Beautification of Vacant Space" program. The funding will also aid in the development and implementation of free programs to be included in the Year of Listening Project. We are very grateful to Ovation and all of the people who voted for us for their support."

The innOVATION Grant Program is administered in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education. In October 2012, $95,000 in grants were awarded to five recipients across the country. These included Beet Street ($25,000), The Lanesboro Arts Center ($25,000), The Tacoma Arts Program ($25,000), Artsquest ($10,000), and CulturalDC ($10,000).

"It is stunning to see the level of ingenuity and creativity that community arts groups are putting into their cities and neighborhoods," said Robert L. Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts. "It is also quite inspiring to see the number of great examples and the level of support these groups received in the form of online votes from arts supporters across the country."

About Ovation
Ovation is a network devoted to artistic expression. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 48 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com . In addition, Ovation is also active in the social media space. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations about the network and the arts:  http://Ovtn.tv/fb.

About Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

SOURCE Ovation



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