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The Ovation Foundation Announces A "Call For Entries" In The Creative Economy InnOVATION Grant Awards Program

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ovation Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ovation TV, is announcing a call for entries in its Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards Program. This year, the program will focus on model programs and projects that invest in preparing artists for jobs in creative industries. Five grants of $20,000 each will be awarded to the most innovative programs. 

"The 21st Century workforce looks vastly different from that of the last. Today's most-successful companies seek out creative, innovative and artistic thinkers. These workers make up the Creative Economy. As America's only arts network, we want to acknowledge those who are working to invest in and support this important sector of our country's economy," said Charles Segars, Chairman of the Ovation Foundation and CEO of Ovation TV.

The Ovation Foundation has assembled a stellar panel of judges to review this year's submissions and determine the five awardees. Judges include (listed in alphabetical order):

Senator Ben Allen - California State Senate. Senator Allen serves as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, as well as the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts.

Debbie Allen - Emmy Award-winning actress/choreographer and Founder, Red Bird Productions/Debbie Allen Dance Academy.  

Babette Allina - Executive Director, Government Relations and External Affairs, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Ms. Allina has combined her experience as an artist and background in public policy to advance the national agenda for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education.

Dennis Cheek - Executive Director, National Creativity Network. Mr. Cheek co-founded NCN to advance the skillful use of imagination, creativity, and innovation to transform commerce, culture, education, and government.

John M. Eger - Director of the Creative Economy Initiative, San Diego State University; College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

Christine Harris - CEO and Chief Connector, Christine Harris Connections, LLC.  Focusing on the creative economy since 2009, Ms. Harris co-founded the Creative Economy Coalition, a working committee of the National Creativity Network, and designed and executed the nation's first review, defining the creative economy.

Robert L. Lynch - President and CEO, Americans for the Arts. With more than 40 years of experience in the arts industry, Mr. Lynch is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society and in the lives of citizens.

Kimberly Ritter-Martinez - Economist, The LAEDC Kyser Center for Economic Research.  Ms. Ritter-Martinez is a principal contributor to the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy, among other industry reports.

Narric Rome - Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education, Americans for the Arts. Mr. Rome manages federal, state, and local government advocacy, grassroots campaigns, polity development, and national coalition-building efforts with both cultural and civic organizations with the goal of influencing public policies that advance support for the arts and arts education.

Joe Smoke - Grants Administration Division Director, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. For the past 18 years, Mr. Smoke has worked to support more than 250 annual grantees who provide more than 1,000 free and low-cost public activities per year in the City of Los Angeles.

Dee Schneidman - Research Manager, New England Foundation for the Arts. Ms. Schneidman oversees data collection, documentation, and creative economy activities at NEFA. These include the New England Creative Economy Reports; CreativeGround: New England's online directory of creative assets; regional events; knowledge-sharing projects and NEFA program evaluation.

"In this age of fast-changing technology, there is no better time to invest in the creative spine of our world as it is the artists' execution that leads to true innovation. That said, I am proud and hope to lend my expertise and heart to the esteemed panel of creative people for this year's innOVATION Grant Awards as we honor the real mission of the artist, which is to encourage and inspire to blossom," said Debbie Allen.

"Every day the arts transform America's communities and creative industries play a large role in that work," says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "The innOVATION Grant Awards are a way for Americans for the Arts and Ovation to bring more arts and community leaders together with the business sector to build a stronger creative workforce. When the arts and business come together, everyone wins." 

Applicants for the Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards should have exemplary programs that foster the growth and sustainability of America's creative industries through workforce development and skills training.  Entries will be judged according to their content, partnership opportunities and the creative ways in which technology is used as a medium to enhance workforce development and skills training to better prepare individuals for a competitive global economy.  To view the grant guidelines and access the online application, visit

The application process officially opens nationwide today, September 20.  The deadline for applications is October 28, 2016. The grant review process begins October 31 and the grant awardees will be announced on December 16, 2016.

About Ovation and The Ovation Foundation

Ovation is an independent television and digital media company dedicated to celebrating and supporting all forms of arts and culture. Ovation TV, selectively curates and airs arts-related series, specials, documentaries and films.  We also offer viewers an exciting line up of Ovation original productions. Ovation TV is available to nearly 50M subscribers via cable, satellite and telco systems including Comcast Cable/Xfinity, DIRECTV/AT&T U-verse, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, and many other smaller providers and is offered in both standard and high definition, as well as on VOD. Through The Ovation Foundation, the company is committed to advocating for the arts, nationally and locally, and has provided more than $15M in contributions and in kind support to arts institutions and arts education.  You can follow Ovation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and


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