News & Events
May 12, 2009
Scott Walters, UNC Asheville Associate Professor of Drama, was recently given the "Access to Excellence" award along with a National Endowment for the Arts $5,000 grant. This national award presented annually by the N.E.A. is designed to acquaint Americans with the best of the nation's cultural and artistic heritage. Just 113 grants were awarded nationwide this year.
Walters plans to use the funds to help create a new model for regional and community theaters in towns with populations under 100,000. The project will include convening professionals to create the groundwork for a national organization to improve geographic diversity within American theater. Walters hopes to make the arts more widely available in smaller communities throughout the country.
"Right now, most arts organizations are located in metropolitan areas," Walters said. "My goal is to provide seed money for the creation of community arts organizations in small and rural communities, and by doing so provide an alternate career path for both young and experienced artists who would like to live in such communities. I want to bring the arts back home."
Walters joined the UNC Asheville faculty in 1998 and served as the chair of UNC Asheville's Drama Department from 1998-2002, and the program director of UNC Asheville's Arts and Ideas Program from 2002-2007. He is co-author of a play analysis book and has directed plays such as "Psycho Beach Party," "Marisol" and "The Fantasticks" at TheatreUNCA. Walters holds a master's degree from Illinois State University and a doctorate degree from the City University of New York.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities and military bases.