Saturday Program Receives NEA Grant

POSTED ON: January 19, 2022

NEA logo

In addition to a recent major New York State Council on the Arts grant, The Cooper Union’s long-running Saturday Program was once again named a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Education grant recipient. This follows decades of support for the Saturday Program which has provided free education in the arts to underserved New York City high school students for more than 50 years. 

The NEA’s Arts Education funding category is focused on providing arts education for all students and closing the opportunity gap for students for whom a high-quality arts education is so often out of reach. NEA-supported research has shown that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who have arts-rich experiences are more likely to achieve key positive outcomes—academically, socially, and civically—compared with their peers who lack access to arts experiences.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Saturday Program that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers.

The Saturday Program is among more than 1,400 organizations across the United States selected to receive federal funding in the first part of fiscal year 2022.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.