Friday, July 17, 2009

Arts money to save jobs

So with recession, shrinking audiences and fewer philanthropic donations as the backdrop, Delaware just put $290,400 to work to sustain 14 jobs at 11 arts organizations. The saved jobs include curators, artistic, production, business and education staff.

This is one-time federal grant money for one year. Gov. Jack Markell and his designated "stimulus czar" Lt. Gov. Matt Denn cited not only the jobs themselves, but the value of arts to improve public education, encourage youth and attract employers seeking quality of life.

The government money comes from Congress, passed through the National Endowment of the Arts from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act this winter to confront the economy. Overall, the NEA distributed $50 million in job aid nationwide.

Then the Delaware Division of the Arts evaluated applications and decided:
Christina Cultural Arts Center in Wilmington got $20,000.
Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington got $50,000.
Delaware by Hand got $10,000.
Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington got $40,000.
Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation got $35,000.
Delaware Institute for Arts in Education got $5,000.
Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington got $40,000.
Newark Arts Alliance got $20,000.
New Candlelight Theatre in Ardentown got $22,500.
OperaDelaware in Wilmington got $27,900.
Wilmington Drama League got $20,000.

In addition, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra got $50,000 directly from the NEA.
And the Grand Opera House in Wilmington got $30,000 from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Lt. Gov. Denn said this arts money is the first chunk of federal stimulus to come to Delaware, and the "refreshingly drama-free" allocation process serves as a model for grantsmanship. Gov. Markell said, "This isn't the answer to everything but it helps," and is especially important to smaller organizations.

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