Florida Cultural Resources to Receive $35,000 NEA Grant for Greek Music Project

The album cover for A Greek in Dixieland, Gus Vali and his orchestra, 1962. Photo: Courtesy of Tina Bucuvalas

TARPON SPRINGS, FL – The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included is an Art Works grant of $35,000 to Florida Cultural Resources, Inc. to support the Greek Music in America Archives Project. Art Works is the NEA’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.

“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 Florida Cultural Resources are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

The Greek diaspora brought with them the many permutations of music in Greece. From 1896 to 1942, over 1000 analog discs and other media with Greek recordings appeared in the U.S. on labels large and small, and thousands more have since appeared. Encompassing not only traditional music from all regions, but also emerging urban genres, stylistic changes, new songs of social commentary in traditional music forms, and reflections of the daily lives of Greek immigrants, they are invaluable documents of community practices and preferences.

I sfouggarades tou Tarpon Springs-Dalia Rena, Jim Apostolou, Giannis Papaioannou on bouzouki, circa 1955. Photo: Courtesy of Tina Bucuvalas

The Greek Music in America Archives Project will create a comprehensive and publicly accessible collection of commercially released Greek music recorded in America or by American companies in Greece that will be incorporated into the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University. The collection will encompass multiple formats, including analog discs, audiotapes, piano rolls, cylinders, and associated ephemera such as record catalogs, sheet music, or images.

Project Director Tina Bucuvalas said, “Florida Cultural Resources is honored to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for this much-needed project. It will be implemented by a team with expertise in folklore, anthropology, ethnomusicology, Greek music history, and archiving, including Meletios Pouliopoulos, Stavros Frangos, Andy Kolovos, Dick Spottswood, Michael Kaloyanides, and Panayotis League. We are looking forward to collaborating with our partner organization, the Archives of Traditional Music, a leader in preserving and disseminating the world’s music and oral traditions.”

More information about the National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement is available online: arts.gov/news.

For more information about the Greek Music in America Archives Project, contact Tina Bucuvalas via email: tbucuvalas@hotmail.com.

A record from 1932 Minore tou teke features Jack Gregory on bouzouki. Photo: Courtesy of Tina Bucuvalas

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