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Center Stage's upcoming production of "Marley," written by the company's artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah (pictured), has received a $65,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Center Stage's upcoming production of "Marley," written by the company's artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah (pictured), has received a $65,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

Five Baltimore arts organizations, including Center Stage and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, have been awarded grants totaling $125,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The awards, announced last week, were part of $29 million in grants awarded by the federally funded arts organization.

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The largest of the local grants, $65,000, was given to Center Stage to support the upcoming production of "Marley," a musical largely based on singer Bob Marley's time in London from 1976 to 1978, in exile from his native Jamaica. The play, scheduled for its world premiere engagement May 6 through June 14, 2015, was written by the company's artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah.

A grant of $30,000 was awarded to the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, in order to help market Free Fall Baltimore.

Three local groups were awarded grants of $10,000 each: the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, for a concert program entitled "Quest for Peace, Dona Nobis Pacem," to feature the work of composers including Arvo Part, Jake Runestad, Peteris Vasks and Vaughan Williams; the National Association of Black Storytellers Inc., to support a storytelling festival, along with musical performances and workshops, in Washington, D.C., geared toward primarily African-American, low-income audiences; and Wide Angle Youth Media, to support Baltimore Speaks Out, "a media arts education program focused on community service and media literacy at public library sites."

Only one other Maryland group received a grant. The Silver Spring-based National Dance Education Organization was awarded $60,000 "to support professional development workshops and online training to implement National Core Arts Standards for dance for teachers around the United States."

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