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Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC) has been approved for two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for the amount of $15,000 and $100,000. These grants will go to support direct Art Outreach Programming through Grants for Arts Projects and operational costs through the American Rescue Plan, respectively.
Grants for Arts Projects
The Grants for Arts projects funds will support the enhancement of SAAC's Art Education & Outreach Initiatives, which provide expanded access to the arts through a combination of afterschool programs, community events, summer scholarships for youth development, and other community-engaged activities. SAAC's project is among 1,248 projects across America, totaling $28,840,000 selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.
In a county where one in three live at poverty levels, activities like Art Box drives and Little Free Libraries allow SAAC to get art supplies and books into the hands of thosR who need them most. Under this project, SAAC plans to expand on services that Teaching Artists can provide, more collaboration with other arts organizations, improve and expand summer scholarships for youth development, placement additional Little Free Libraries and reading materials, and more.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Starkville Area Arts Council that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “SAAC in Starkville is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”
American Rescue Plan
Starkville Area Arts Council is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. SAAC is recommended to receive $100,000 and may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.
“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as Starkville Area Arts Council, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”
"We are honored to be approved for this grant and we are excited about the continued growth of our program," says SAAC Executive Director, Mary Switzer. "We look forward to having a permanent facility made available in part through this grant, which will allow us to provide more freely accessible art education and outreach programs, as well as serving as a hub for Oktibbeha county's arts community."
SAAC plans to use these funds to help cover partial salaries of the Executive Director and the Program Coordinator, as well as funds to help secure a more permanent facility to ensure SAAC's longevity.
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.
For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.
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