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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards TPA $500,000

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin (TPA) to support The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience, a series of performances, artists’ residencies, lectures, and community conversations over a three-year period through August 2021. This is the third award TPA has received from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2011, bringing total support of TPA programming to $1,350,000.

The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience is motivated by the increasingly contentious climate in America, as demonstrated by world-wide protests for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, environmental protection, the guarantee of racial equality, and the current national controversy regarding the continued display or removal of monuments honoring Confederate generals across the U.S. This broad exploration of protest and civil disobedience also allows for the inclusion of concepts like identity, voice, agency, and reflection.

“We are sincerely thankful for this renewed support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,” says Texas Performing Arts Director and Associate Dean Kathy Panoff. “The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience allows us to explore how work in the performing and visual arts has the ability to become, in and of itself, an act of civil disobedience with the capacity to drive social and political change. The proposed programming is informed by the inherent power of the arts to provide a safe space to explore the most contentious social issues of our time.”

Throughout the three-season exploration of The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience, TPA will to continue a long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary programming in collaboration with faculty, students, and interdisciplinary centers across campus. TPA will also engage community-based arts partners and will invite them to promote their own work in conjunction with this important and timely conversation. 2018-2019 Season Programming for The Power of Protest: Arts and Civil Disobedience will be announced in April, 2018.

Texas Performing Arts

Situated on the main campus of one of the largest and most prestigious research universities in the country, Texas Performing Arts serves The University of Texas at Austin campus and the Austin community at large through a diverse season of world-class fine arts performances, educational activities, and collaborative partnerships.

Texas Performing Arts presents an international season of music, theatre, dance, and conversation in our multiple venues, as well as the best in touring Broadway productions and concert attractions. As a university-based arts center it is also committed to serving the academic mission of the College of Fine Arts by supporting the work of our students, faculty and staff on our stages, classrooms, studios and production shops; and in the educational outreach programs it provides for the Austin community.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at