VCUarts wins $15,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts

In the latest round of funding by the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency awarded a $15,000 grant to VCU in support of a documentary film production by Sasha Waters Freyer, professor of photo and film, on artist Bruce Conner and gospel group the Soul Stirrers.

Mary Anne Carter, NEA chairman, has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. VCU’s $15,000 Art Works award is one of 1,015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.

“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 Carter. “We celebrate organizations like VCUarts for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

American artist Bruce Conner first began working on a documentary film about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Soul Stirrers in 1984. The project would have been Conner’s first feature length film and featured the group’s reunion tour; the group had first toured nationally in the 1940s and ’50s. When Conner died in 2008, the documentary remained unfinished. Waters Freyer’s work on this new project follows her last film Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, which utilized thousands of rolls of film that that the famed photographer had left undeveloped. All Things are Photographable aired on PBS Masterworks in April 2019.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit