Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Stimulus" funds on way to arts groups

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today its FY 2009 Grant Awards for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A total of 631 arts organizations nationwide will share $29,775,000 in grant amounts of either $50,000 or $25,000.

Minnesota arts organizations (26, or 4% of the grantees) will receive $1,025,000 (3.4% of the total dollars) to support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.

The grantees include American Composers Forum, St. Paul, $25,000; Art Start, St. Paul, $25,000; Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis, $50,000; Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, $25,000; East Side Arts Council, St. Paul, $25,000; Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, $50,000; Graywolf Press, St. Paul, $25,000; Guthrie Theatre Foundation, $50,000; Heart of the Beast Theater, Minneapolis, $25,000; Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, $50,000; IFP-Minneapolis, $25,000; Illusion Theater & School, Minneapolis, $50,000; Loft, Inc., Minneapolis, $50,000; MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis, $50,000; Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, $25,000; Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, Minneapolis, $50,000; Minnesota Opera Company, Minneapolis, $50,000; Minnesota Orchestral Association, Minneapolis, $50,000; Minnesota Public Radio, Inc., St. Paul, $50,000; Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Minneapolis, $25,000; Penumbra Theatre Company, Inc., St. Paul, $25,000; Public Radio International, Inc., Minneapolis, $50,000; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society, St. Paul, $50,000; Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul, $25,000; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis (museums), $50,000; and VocalEssence, Minneapolis, $50,000.

With the exception of the Franconia Sculpture Park, no Minnesota arts organizations located outside of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul – in those places where philanthropic and other support is harder to come by – made the cut.

Also noteworthy: in spite of having the second or third most thriving dance scene in the U.S., not a single Minnesota dance organization was granted stimulus funds to save jobs. Nationally, 60 dance organizations (9.5% of the total grantees) were awarded $2,650,000 (8.9% of total dollars).

The economic stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year included $50 million for the arts, of which today's grants are a part. In April, the NEA awarded 63 grants, totalling $19.8 million, to 63 state and regional agencies; in that round, the Minnesota State Arts Board received $316,000, and the Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest received $514,400.

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