Art Works Blog

It's Showtime

Trailer for Have You Heard From Johannesburg, which won a 2012 Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.

Well, the Emmys are on Sunday, and I personally can't wait to criticize celebrity outfits offer high-brow insight into the best television shows of today. The night will unequivocally belong to Hollywood, and rightly so. But even though the Arts Endowment is 2,700 miles away from L.A.'s studios and sound stages, we've made our own indelible impact on television through the years.

Since the agency first began awarding grants for media arts, we have supported countless television productions and series that have gone on to win awards and acclaim. This year is no exception. Nearly two dozen NEA-supported programs were nominated for 2012 Emmys, and two took home statuettes at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards last Saturday: Have You Heard From Johannesburg (Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, Independent Lens) and Memphis (Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie, or a Special, Great Performances). Congratulations to both winners and all nominees!

If you need further convincing that the NEA is nothing short of a television powerhouse, here are a few more tie-ins between the Arts Endowment and the Emmys:

Did you know...that the NEA received special recognition at the 1985 Emmy Awards in honor of our 20th birthday? We've also won an Oscar. No big deal.

Did you know…that former NEA Chairwoman Jane Alexander (1993-1997) was also an Emmy Award-winning actress? Alexander secured the statuette twice for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: in 2005 for her performance as Sara Delano Roosevelt in Warm Springs, and in 1980 for her role as Alma Rose in Playing for Time.

Did you know…that the composer behind The Simpsons is also a two-time recipient of an NEA Composition Fellowship? Alf Clausen received two Emmys and 27 nominations for The Simpsons, and six Emmy noms for his work on Moonlighting.

Did you know…that the NEA’s Operation Homecoming initiative inspired an Emmy-winning documentary of the same name? The film, which aired on PBS, won two statuettes in 2008: Outstanding Informational Programming---Long Form and Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Music and Sound.

Did you know…that the very first broadcast of Live From Lincoln Center received three Emmy nominations? Funded in part by a $200,000 NEA grant, this first episode aired on January 30, 1976 and featured André Previn conducting the New York Philharmonic. The NEA still supports Live From Lincoln Center, and the program still shines: it received a 2012 Emmy nomination for its broadcast of a New York City Ballet performance of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.



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