Mellon Foundation Awards $2 Million to Lyric Opera of Chicago

The has announced a $2 million grant from the in support of expanded community engagement efforts and new artistic initiatives.

The grant will help fund , a new initiative involving several community engagement projects designed to provide a relevant cultural service to a range of communities in the Chicagoland area, expand collaboration opportunities with cultural and community-based organizations, and advance the development of opera by exploring ways in which the art form can resonate more powerfully with people of multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests.

The funds also will help support the company's education programs and the world premiere of Bel Canto, an opera based on the novel by Ann Patchett, which is scheduled for the 2015-16 season.

"We are deeply grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its longstanding commitment to new work, as demonstrated by its support of our upcoming world premiere, Bel Canto, and for taking a leadership role in fostering and endorsing Lyric's plan to serve a wider public," said Anthony Freud, the opera's general director. "Lyric Unlimited is a long-term, evolving initiative that will encompass company activities that are not part of Lyric's mainstage season. It will comprise both large- and small-scale programs and performances that will take place both in and away from the opera house."

"." Lyric Opera of Chicago Press Release 07/11/2012.