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Whitefish Theatre Company receives National Endowment for the Arts grant

by Whitefish Pilot
| January 25, 2023 1:00 AM

The Whitefish Theatre Company has been approved for a $10,000 Challenge America award from the National Endowment of the Arts to support two live performances by the vibrant Mediterranean band Seffarine. Seffarine will perform one evening show for the public and one free outreach show for Flathead Valley elementary and middle school students, as well as any senior residents that would like to attend. The Whitefish Theatre Company’s project is among 262 projects across America totaling $2,620,000 that were selected to receive fiscal year 2023 funding in the Challenge America grant category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with the Whitefish Theatre Company strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

The sounds that stir the dry winds of Southern Spain and Morocco, two countries separated by only a whisper of the Mediterranean, are the musical DNA of the beautifully complex music of Seffarine. The founders of Seffarine include soulful singer Lamiae Naki, who sings in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and French, and musician Nat Hulskamp, who plays the flamenco guitar and oud. They are joined by acclaimed bassist Damian Erskine who brings a soulful groove to their sound, and Manuel Gutierrez who plays the cajón and wows audiences with explosive flamenco dance footwork. The result is a lively and enriching musical journey throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. The grant provides a free afternoon performance for local elementary and middle school students and senior residents throughout the Flathead Valley. The public is invited to purchase tickets to the evening performance on Feb. 3, 2023.

“With the generous support of the National Endowment of the Arts, the Whitefish Theatre Company is thrilled to be able to bring Seffarine to the Flathead Valley,” says WTC Executive Director Jen Asebrook. “Not only will the evening concert be a unique night of exceptional world music for our community, but it is exciting to be able to offer a free outreach concert to local students who may not have the means or opportunity to see this type of live music.”

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit To purchase tickets to the Seffarine evening performance, call the WTC box office at 862-5371 or buy online at

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