Fund to help build audiences using new media

Feb 13, 1998

Dia Center for the Arts, a New York-based multidisciplinary contemporary arts institution, has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. The grant is one of five the Fund made recently to help organizations explore new forms of computer and communications technologies to engage people in the arts. Dia and its partner organization, Top Shows Inc., will develop websites that expand the reach of the arts to new and younger audiences.

The grant will support Dia's series of artists' projects for the web, starting with Tim Rollins and K.O.S.'s "Prometheus Bound," as well as the beginning of a digital audio archive from Dia's renowned Readings in Contemporary Poetry series. This archive, as well as the artists' projects, will be accessible via Dia's website at http://www.diacenter.org. Also, an online catalogue for artists' books and videos will be created, which will be shared by Electronic Arts Intermix, the nation's largest distributor of artists' videos.

"One of Dia's priorities is to continue to broaden public access to its unique programs," said Dia Director Michael Govan. "This grant will allow us to continue and expand our pioneering digital media programs, which allow artists to create and present work that is directly available to an ever-growing audience online. It also provides a cost-effective means to increase awareness of Dia's multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs."

The partner organization for this grant, Top Shows Inc. (Alyce Dissette, Director) will use a website at http://www.extremetaste.com as a tool for building audiences for contemporary performing arts projects by a number of leading world artists. These include "Pearls for Pigs" by Richard Foreman and "Monsters of Grace," a new work by composer Philip Glass and stage director Robert Wilson, which will tour to 35 U.S. cities and 17 countries in 1998-99.

Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the organization has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and contemporary culture. In fulfilling this commitment, Dia sustains diverse programming in poetry, visual arts, education, and critical discourse and debate.

The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund invests in programs that enhance the cultural life of communities and encourage people to make the arts and culture an active part of their everyday lives. It funds efforts to build audiences for the performing, visual, literary and folk arts, and supports programs to improve literacy instruction for adults and the creation and improvement of urban parks.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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