Spy Hop to Receive $25,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Spy Hop
Spy Hop

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $25,000 to Spy Hop for its Sending Messages Program.  Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Spy Hop are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

“This year Spy Hop is celebrating its 20th anniversary of mentoring and empowering young people though the digital media arts. For nearly three-quarters of our existence the NEA has been a strong funding partner,” commented Kasandra VerBrugghen, Spy Hop’s Executive Director. “We are honored that the NEA continues to recognize the value of the digital media arts as a tool for creative self-expression and storytelling. Their continued support directly impacts the thousands of young people we serve. It is wonderful news to receive as we celebrate such a monumental milestone for our organization.” 

Born out of Spy Hop’s mission of giving a voice to all youth, Sending Messages reaches a population that rarely has that opportunity. In the program that began in 2010, students who are housed in a juvenile justice facility in Salt Lake City record, edit, and produce their own radio show. Each month, they write and perform poetry, short fiction, spoken word, and interviews that are then compiled into podcasts. The Sending Messages program empowers youth to envision a better future and provides youth with the tools, education, and positive self-esteem they need to pursue positive life goals. According to past program evaluation reports, 90% of students responded that sending messages encouraged skill-building and high productivity, increase their social awareness, and modified their future orientation.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

For more information about Spy Hop, please visit spyhop.org.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.