Press Release - Office of College Advancement

Friday, December 10, 2010
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

For Immediate Release:

Ohlone College Receives Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

$10,000 grant will support Smith Center Presents! in 2012

Fremont, CA—Ohlone College has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for Smith Center Presents! performances in 2012.

The NEA awarded 50 grants in total to support the creation and presentation of Folk and traditional arts nationwide. Ohlone is the only community college to receive this prestigious grant from the NEA. The money will be used to present high quality professional artists from India and China.

The Smith Center at Ohlone College has presented artists representing different world cultures during each of its seasons for the past 10 years, including the Vietnamese musicians “Breath of Asia”, Rhythm of Rajasthan, Shanghai Dance and Theatre Academy, the Hungarian Dance troupe Csardas, Diamano Coura, the West African Dance company, Argentinean musicians of Triangulo, the musicians and dancers of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, and many other performing groups.

Walt Birkedahl, Dean of the Fine and Performing Arts program at Ohlone College says, “There is so much cultural diversity in the community served by Ohlone College. It is Ohlone’s goal to represent the artistic contributions of world cultures as a way to educate and unite the community. We are excited about NEA’s recognition of our quality programs with this grant.”

The Indo-American Foundation and Citizens for Better Community (CBC) in Fremont were instrumental in helping the College to apply for this grant.

This grant and others will support high quality performances of Chinese and Indian performers during 2012. An important feature of this grant will sponsor performances for students, both at Ohlone and in public schools.

The Smith Center at Ohlone College has been bringing performing arts to the Tri-cities for over 30 years. The Smith Center Presents! Professional Artist Series, which began 15 years ago, provides funds to bring professional artists from a variety of cultural and performing arts disciplines, including music, theater, comedy, dance, and film.

Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Rocco Landesman announced in November the latest round of NEA funding, totaling $26.68 million, that will be awarded through 1,057 grants to nonprofit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at


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