Berkeley Repertory Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has been approved for a $50,000 Art Works grant to support The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work.

The grant is one of 1,187 totaling $27.3 million approved by the National Endowment for the Arts in the first round of fiscal 2020 funding to support arts projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

NEA grants in the Art Works category support projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor and its development of new work.”

“Berkeley Rep is committed to encouraging writers of all backgrounds to tell us their stories in the most imaginative way they possibly can, because their stories are our stories,” said Susan Medak, Berkeley Rep’s Managing Director. “Support from the National Endowment for the Arts is one of the essential components necessary to underpin our Ground Floor program and continue the growth of new works.”

Since 2012, Berkeley Rep has awarded 134 Ground Floor residencies to artists for projects such as Sarah Ruhl’s “Becky Nurse of Salem,” Anna Deavere Smith’s “Notes from the Field,” John Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons,” Anaïs Mitchell’s “Tony Award-winning musical “Hadestown,” Dave Malloy’s “Ghost Quartet,” Lauren Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band,” and Marcus Gardley’s “The House that will not Stand.”

The Ground Floor is supported by Louise Gund, Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau, Michael and Sue Steinberg, and other individual supporters of Berkeley Rep’s Create Campaign. Additional funding is provided by the Tournesol Project and Bank of America.