Cor Cantiamo, Northern Illinois University Ensemble in Residence will receive a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019.  Included in this announcement is the Art Works grant of $10,000 to Cor Cantiamo for a commissioning project with acclaimed composer Libby Larsen. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.

Larsen will be creating a work entitled Verdad, a 15-minute work focusing on the experiences of Central American immigrants entering the United States. The premiere performance will be presented on Sunday, November 3, 2019 part of a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary season of the ensemble. In preparation for the premiere concert, Larsen will be in residence with Cor Cantiamo, where she will attend rehearsals and present lectures and master classes at Northern Illinois University and at local high schools in DeKalb County.

An important community outreach-based element of this project is a collaboration with the NIU Center for Latino and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) and the Latinx Oral History Project, sponsored by CLLAS.  Stories from the oral history archives will be reviewed for potential libretto material and the Latinx Oral History Project will be featured at the November 3rd concert through interactive stations in the lobby of Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the NIU Music Building. Through these many activities, Cor Cantiamo will provide world class musical experiences to diverse and underserved populations in DeKalb County and Northern Illinois.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Carter. “Organizations such as Cor Cantiamo are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

“We are thrilled and honored that the NEA has recognized the artistry and vision of Cor Cantiamo and our mission to engage our audiences through exceptional concert experiences,” says Cor Cantiamo Founding Artistic Director, Eric Johnson.

American composer Libby Larsen shares the excitement for the collaboration, “For many years, I’ve hoped to work with Cor Cantiamo, and have been waiting for an opportunity to compose into their considerable musical, esthetic and visionary strengths.”

For more information on Cor Cantiamo, visit
For more information on the NIU School of Music, visit
For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit