MorrisonDance receives a surprise award from the New York based Rauschenberg Foundation. The anonymously nominated SEED grant will provide three years of unrestricted operating capital to bolster 16 national ground-breaking arts organizations.
Below is a letter from our Director, Sarah Morrison, to the ANONYMOUS person who nominated MorrisonDance, to the Foundation, and to everyone who has collaborated with MorrisonDance:
I cannot even begin to express the amazement I felt when I read this unexpected letter. When I collected the mail at the dance studio, and saw a Rauschenberg signature on an envelope, it made me curious, and made it’s way to the top of the pile of bills. The letter sat unread for several hours as I had many other priorities to attend to, and several people at the studio for a rehearsal.
When rehearsal ended, and I was gathering everything together to leave at the end of a particularly long day, I opened this mysterious letter, and had to read it THREE TIMES.
My mind was racing…”This just doesn’t happen, does it? People don’t just receive support out of the blue without explaining themselves, do they? I will have to google this to see if it is a hoax.”
Well, it isn’t a hoax, and I am still overjoyed and trembling with gratitude that such support exists and it found us. We all love what we do – but it doesn’t make it easy. As a small arts group, it is often hard to know whether or not we are making a splash, or if we are just spinning our own wheels.
This recognition goes far beyond the three years of financial support (which is also MUCH appreciated!!!!), and comes with an amazing burst of renewed energy and commitment on our part.
Thank you Robert Rauschenberg for having the insight to provide this kind of unsolicited and unrestricted support to gutsy artists through your legacy. Thank you ANONYMOUS for nominating us as one of 16 national organizations to receive this prestigious support and recognition. Thank you to the collaborators, performers, educators, and staff who have made MorrisonDance what it IS, and thank you to the people who have believed in us enough over the last 15 years to keep us running in the marathon of artistic innovation even when we get tired.
I feel a little bit like a high school girl who received a mystery carnation in my locker from a secret admirer – validation, worth, mystery, gratitude, and a smile that will last a long time. We will all be dancing a little taller, and we only hope we can pay it forward!!!!
Here is a list of the organizations picked for this year’s SEED grant. Four of the 16 are from Cleveland!