K.C.’s children’s theatre receives NEA grant


Posted by Bob Evans

 Theatre for Young America to Receive $20,000.00 Grant

from the National Endowment for the Arts

Dolores Huerta, Courtesy of Theatre of Young America


Theatre for Young America has been approved for a $20,000.00 Grants for Arts Projects award to support Dolores Huerta, Crusader for Workers. This new project will bring together singer/songwriter Danny Cox and playwright Gene Mackey, the team that created the musical play Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America. Danny Cox lived 7 years in a small town in Mexico, studying the musical traditions of Mexican artists. Fluent in Spanish, Danny is creating new songs for the play. The production will take place inside the historic Union Station. The goal is to show a strong female heroine onstage and inspire young girls to lead and follow their dreams! The Dolores Huerta, Crusader for Workers project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Theatre for Young America reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

A grandchild of Mexican immigrants, Dolores Clara Fernandez was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Ferånández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time, she founded the Agricultural

Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. Early on, Dolores advocated for the entire family’s participation in the movement. After all it was men, women and children together out in the fields picking, thinning and hoeing. Thus the practice of non-violence was not only a philosophy but a very necessary approach in providing for the safety of all. Her life and the safety of those around her were in jeopardy on countless occasions.

She was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March of 2013. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of 1997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of the Year Award from the California State

Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and Nine Honorary Doctorates from Universities throughout the United States. In 2011 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.


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