VANCOUVER - A grant of $30,000 has been awarded to the Confluence Project to help fund the placing of sculptures by artist Maya Lin at three locations in Washington.

The funds are from the Challenge America program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Officials of the project say the money will accelerate planning and development of the project and hire expert staff members.

Each site - at Clarkston, Vancouver and in Pacific County - will receive $10,000.

"It is very gratifying to receive the support and confidence of the NEA during these early stages of project development," said Antone Minthorn, president of the Confluence Project board of directors and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. "The receipt of such a prestigious award underscores the project's potential today and into the future."

Kathleen Sayce, local representatiave on the Confluence Project board, said "We're very pleased to receive the grant."

The Challenge America Fast Track Grant is dedicated to developing and integrating the arts fully into community life nationwide and is central to the Endowment's Challenge America initiative - a program designed to strengthen families, communities and our nation through the arts. The Confluence Project represents all aspects of this grant, joining together communities, culture, education and art.

"The NEA funding is the result of a dedicated team of advisers, supporters and partner organizations," said Jane Jacobsen, executive director of the Confluence Project. "Included are Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and regional legislators who are united in their efforts to enable a project that will cast the national spotlight on the Northwest."

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