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Online Media Grant One of 895 NEA Art Works Funded Nationwide

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Arts Alliance Ann Arbor
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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $45,000 grant to the Arts Alliance as one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant.

Arts Alliance is the fiscal sponsor of Artrain Inc. in the production of CriticCar Detroit, a project conceived of by Michigan-based journalist Jennifer Conlin.

CriticCar is an innovative arts journalism initiative with a mission to enliven arts journalism and infuse cultural criticism with excitement by inviting “citizen critics” — from first-timers to experts — to express their views on the cultural events they experience.

CriticCar visits Detroit area arts and cultural events ranging from the traditional to the experimental, records 30 to 90 second video critiques and observations from attendees and then posts the videos on YouTube and other social media sites for viewing and sharing.

Said Arts Alliance and Artrain president and CEO Debra Polich: “CriticCar is truly a collaborative project as evidenced by the partnership between The Arts Alliance, Artrain and CriticCar Detroit founder Jennifer Conlin. We look forward to collaborating with CriticCar fans and supporters to meet the NEA’s one-to-one grant match requirement too.”

The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit

The Arts Alliance advocates for and supports the Washtenaw County creative community. Artrain has traveled the nation for the past 40 years, bringing art and cultural exhibitions and educational programs to many communities. Last year, the Arts Alliance entered into a partnership agreement with Artrain. The organizations remain independent nonprofits while sharing office space, resources and staff.

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