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Torch Literary Arts to Receive Grants for Arts Allocation from the National Endowment for the Arts

Brittany Heckard

May 24, 2024

This is Torch's second year receiving funding from National Endowment for the Arts. Funding will go towards artist honorariums for retreats, workshops, panels, and readings.

AUSTIN, Tex., May 22, 2024 – Torch Literary Arts (Torch), a nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying Black women writers, will receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA’s) Grants for Arts Projects (GAP). The award from the NEA will be used to support artist honorariums for retreats, workshops, panels, and readings.

We are so excited to receive another year of funding for Torch’s programs,” said Amanda Johnston, founder and executive director of Torch. “Funding from the NEA will help pay Black women writers for creating and sharing their literary excellence with the Torch community.”

Paying artists not only shows that we appreciate and value the work Black women writers do, but also provides our community with quality engagement, learning opportunities, and fellowship. From publishing and improv workshops to screenwriting panels and exclusive readings and demonstrations, 100% of Torch’s features are paid.

“Projects like Torch’s exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

This is Torch’s second year receiving funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The organization is one of 50 grant recipients from Texas and one of 71 grant recipients from the literary arts category. For this funding round, there were over 2,000 eligible applicants for GAP, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships.

GAP is one of the largest grant programs by the NEA and was started to strengthen the cultural ecosystem around the nation. Investments for GAP focus on public engagement with the arts, integration with the well-being of communities, and overall capacity improvement for the arts. This round of grants for GAP funding totaled over 1,100 applicants.

You can read more about the NEA’s second round of grant funding here.


About Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established with love and intention in 2006 to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Torch has featured work by Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.

Help TORCH continue to publish and promote Black women writers by donating today.

About National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact Information:

Brittany Heckard

Communications Associate 

(512) 641-9251

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