West Hills College Coalinga to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

West Hills College Coalinga has been chosen as a recipient for a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The award is part of a larger funding announcement from the Endowment of $84 million in grants awarded nationwide. WHCC has received an Art Works award. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the National Endowment for the Arts has approved in this category.

“This unique project realizes a goal of WHCC’s President Brenda Thames: to bring cultural enrichment activities to her campus at no cost to students and residents,” said Brian Boomer, Director of Grants for the West Hills Community College District. “As a department, The Grants Office was excited to be part of this project as it opens the door to continued funding for the arts, which has become increasingly rare over the last decade. While STEM and workforce funding will serve our students well in finding and maintaining living-wage careers, funding of the arts feeds the soul and treats students holistically.”

At WHCC, the award will be used to bring renowned Bay Area dance troupe Ballet Folklorico Mexico Danza to West Hills College Coalinga during the holiday season. Over two nights, the troupe will perform The Nutcracker Piñata for all students and area residents free of charge. The Nutcracker Piñata is a retelling of a classic Russian story now infused with Mexican folklore as Clara takes a journey through the beautiful states of Mexico on stage.

“The opportunity to present such a celebrated family holiday tradition in our small hometown should bring great excitement to the community,” said Javier Cazares, West Hills College Coalinga Dean of Student Services.

Mexico Danza is a non-profit dance troupe composed of volunteers of all ages, including volunteers from the Central Valley, who look forward to coming back to perform for their families. They are dedicated to educating and presenting Mexican culture through traditional dance.  

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like West Hills College Coalinga for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

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