National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) acting chairman Joan Shigekawa announced last week that Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The grant supports Rhythm World, CHRP’s 24th annual summer festival of American tap and percussive dance. Rhythm World is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive tap festival in the world. 

In making the December 11th announcement, Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts.”

As CHRP founder and artistic director Lane Alexander pointed out, the award will enable the organization to stretch their artistic horizons, while reaching larger audiences. Said Alexander, “Support from the National Endowment for the Arts allows us to take artistic risks; makes world-class performances and education programs more affordable and therefore accessible to more people; and, by virtue of the rigor with which organizations are selected, brings out the best from Chicago Human Rhythm Project while attracting additional support from people who consider the NEA a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” This is the 10th consecutive year that CHRP has been awarded Art Works funding.

Art Works grants were developed to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. 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, please visit the NEA website at For information about CHRP and the Rhythm World tap festival visit

Chicago Human Rhythm Project's BAM (photo by Glenn Kaupert).

Chicago Human Rhythm Project Gets 10th Straight NEA Nod