EPA Administrator Grilled About $25K Interpretive Dance Grant

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing this week that she isn’t familiar with the “kinesthetic learning” for which a dance company got a $25,000 grant, but understands that they’re “quite well-respected.”


Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) questioned Jackson about the 2011 allotment made through the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, particularly in light of EPA complaints about funding shortages.

“Are you familiar with kinesthetic dance movements?” Gardner asked Jackson.

“I know what the words mean but I’ve never done them,” she replied.

“Are you familiar with kinesthetic learning?” the congressman asked.

“No sir, but I’m not a teacher,” Jackson responded.

The Repertory Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, according to an EPA document, “uses the arts to educate Salt Lake City youth about impacts of air pollution.”

“The project intends to produce innovative lectures, demonstrations and movement classes in 10 elementary schools,” the document describes. “Kinesthetic learning will be used to examine air quality issues and encourage youth and their families to adopt healthy living practices.”


“I’ve read about it and we are reviewing,” Jackson said. “It’s with a very well-respected group… that uses dance to educate. … Apparently they have a long history of doing this and are quite well-respected.”

“Can you assure us you’re not going to make these kinds of grants?” Gardner asked.

Jackson said she is reviewing the program at the request of another member and would discuss the program and such grants further when that study is complete.


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