National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has announced the first round of grants that are part of her signature leadership initiative, Creativity Connects. DXARTS will be awarded an Art Works: Creativity Connects grant of $80,000 to support Performing with the Brain: a musical performance for patients with motor disabilities, a project to be done in collaboration with Swedish Neuroscience Institute. This is one of 37 grants totaling $2,500,000 to support partnerships between arts organizations and organizations from non-arts sectors, such as healthcare, nutrition, juvenile justice, science, and technology, among many others.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is proud to support these Creativity Connects projects, such as DXARTS' Performing with the Brain, one of 37 projects that is connecting the arts and non-arts sectors in creative ways to produce something truly innovative.”
Performing with the Brain will explore a new form of musical performance and interaction based on biofeedback for patients suffering from motor disability from brainstem stroke , spinal cord injury, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Patients will be trained to perform the Encephalophone, a novel Brain Computer Music Interface (BCMI) that allows the user to create improvised music in real time using cognitive control of electroencephalogram (EEG), without movement. Thus patients whose brain no longer effectively controls the movement of their limbs can use those parts of their brain to generate music for enjoyment, and to help improve their neurological rehabilitation. Using the Encephalophone patients will be able to control a variety of specially-developed music devices, including electroacoustic and mechatronic instruments. The project will be hosted at the UW interdisciplinary Art + Brain lab at DXARTS and done in collaboration with Swedish Neuroscience Institute.
In addition to the grant program, the Creativity Connects initiative includes a “bright spots” interactive, digital graphic that shows the mashup of arts with other non-arts sectors; and the report Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting US Artists about the current infrastructure of the arts and working conditions for artists.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.