The Lira Ensemble Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant


Chicago, IL— National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced that the Lira Ensemble is one of only 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant. Lira has had the privilege of being a recipient of NEA grants since 1996.

The Lira Ensemble is recommended for a grant to support its Midwest Holiday concerts with guest artist Grazyna Auguscik, distinguished jazz vocalist. These famous concerts include an English language narrative explaining the history and tradition behind the music and dance performed and illuminate the Polish-American immigrant experience, as well as demonstrate Polish holiday customs. Guest artist Grazyna Auguscik will perform her own jazz arrangements of beloved Polish carols, something rarely heard in the US.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, „I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Challenge America including the award to the Lira Ensemble. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

Lucyna Migala, artistic director and general manager of Lira, said “this year’s grant is especially wonderful because 2015 is the company’s 50th anniversary.”

The Challenge America category supports projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The NEA received 347 eligible Challenge America applications and will award 163 grants for a total of $1.63 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America support, please visit the NEAwebsite at Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at#NEAFall2014.

Lira is based at 6525 North Sheridan Road • #CH-052 • Chicago, Illinois 60626
773-508-7040 • •