NEA Grant to Support Guitar Maker’s Woodson Art Museum Residency

Wausau, Wisconsin: The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau is one of only 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant, NEA Chairman Jane Chu recently announced. The Woodson Art Museum is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support hands-on programs led by a guitar designer and artisan during Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar, February 28 through May 31, 2015.

Stevens Point luthier John Currier will discuss and demonstrate how he designs and builds guitars in a re-created studio featuring an array of guitars in various stages of construction, during his Woodson Art Museum residency March 5-8. Currier will work on guitars in this studio while interacting with visitors and answering questions, perform selections, and lead gallery walks focusing on guitar history and the evolution of his work, which includes custom-built guitars for people with special needs. Woodson Art Museum visitors of all ages will gain insights into guitar creation and how design affects performance.

Organized by the National Guitar Museum, Medieval to Metal comprises guitars from an Iberian baroque guitar to a twenty-first century B.C. Rich “Warlock” electric guitar along with images by legendary rock photographer Neil Zlozower, who captured many of the greatest guitarists, including Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen.

“The Woodson Art Museum is eagerly looking forward to the Medieval to Metal exhibition and John Currier’s residency,” said Kathy Kelsey Foley, Woodson Art Museum director. “The relevance and importance of both have been bolstered by the award of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. We are grateful for the financial support and appreciative of the endorsement of our programming that the grant represents.”

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 Woodson Art Museum. 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.”

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 NEA website at Follow the conversation about this and other NEA funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.

For more Woodson Art Museum information, visit, e-mail the Museum at, call 715-845-7010, and follow the Museum on Facebook and Twitter using @WoodsonArt.

Woodson Art Museum

Tues–Fri 9am–4pm
First Thurs each month 9am–7:30pm
Thurs during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Sat–Sun Noon–5pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas

Admission: Always Free Admission
Phone: 715.845.7010
After hours press inquiries: 715.298.2901

Location: Franklin and 12th Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. Twelfth Street)

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