I don’t have to tell you that the state of arts funding in much of the US is dismal. That’s why I feel particularly fortunate to live in Montgomery County, Maryland, a jurisdiction that supports both mainstream and esoteric artistic endeavors. I was recently awarded a county grant to write and produce a new chamber work for strings, harp and percussion. The piece I have in mind will incorporate Latin rhythms, in honor of the county’s booming population of immigrants from Central and South America.