Madison Chamber Music Festival receives the NEA Challenge America Grant

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Special to the Citizen

The Madison Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant in the amount of $10,000 for the 2014 season.

The Madison Chamber Music Festival has garnered much attention and praise in the Southeast by offering affordable concerts in unique venues, up-close and personal exchanges with world-class musicians, free community concerts, educational outreach, and an overall outstanding celebration of chamber music in all its forms from classical to bluegrass to jazz!

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. The NEA Challenge America grant offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

In fiscal year 2013, Challenge America grants funded 153 projects totaling $1.53 million. This generous grant goes to support all 10 concerts of the 2014 Madison Chamber Music Festival season—one of the most diverse selections of performances by world-renowned musicians in the Festival’s history. The 2014 season thus far has included the Brazilian Grammy-winning guitarists, the Assad family, and the ground-breaking Brooklyn Rider String Quartet. The Festival will continue with weekend concerts in June beginning with two performances at one of Madison’s most beautiful historic homes, Bonar Hall.

Award-winning violinist Chee-Yun and Russian-born pianist Natasha Paremski will delight audiences with the sounds of Franck and Chopin during Virtuoso Romantics II on Friday June 6, sponsored by Bill and Sharon Ross and Wayne and Lee Harper Vason.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:00 PM and the concert will begin at 7:00 PM. These highly coveted tickets are $75. Can’t make Friday night’s performance? Witness the stunning artistry of these two performers and new repertoire during the Chopin and Paris lunch concert on Saturday, June 7. A box lunch is included in the ticket price of $50. Lunch is served at noon, and the concert begins at 1:00 PM.

The weekend will round out with a memorable evening concert, Blockbuster Audio, by the Christiania Trio – David Coucheron, Julie Coucheron, and Christopher Rex – at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art on Sunday, June 8 at 7pm. This unique art museum provides the ideal setting in which to experience inspired melodies and the emotional warmth of Mendelssohn’s C minor Trio and Schubert’s E Major Trio.

Wine and cheese at 6:00 PM and the concert begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $30 and $5 for students. Additional Festival concerts in June are planned for Madison Town Park, the Cultural Center’s historic auditorium, and the Center’s Hall on Foster Street. The 2014 Madison Chamber Music Festival is presented by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, a non-profit visual and performing arts center located at 434 S. Main Street in historic Madison, GA.

Programming for the Festival is made possible by contributions from foundations, businesses, and individuals.  The founding Festival sponsor is the Robert M. and Lilias Baldwin Turnell Foundation and the Festival Sponsor is the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit the Cultural Center’s website,, for more information about the Festival, or contact Rebecca Bonas, Performance Director,at or call 706-342-4743.

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